I want to recommend The Cabaret Artist’s Handbook by Bob Harrington and Edited by Sherry Eaker as a great place to find information about cabaret. Harrington wrote for Back Stage Magazine in their “Bistro Bits” column, which was essentially a place where he would review cabaret acts that he had seen in New York and a place for news about cabaret. Harrington had intended to take his columns and put them into book form, but unfortunately he passed away before he was able to do so. After his passing, Sherry Eaker, the editor of BackStage, took it upon herself to create the book on his behalf, and I am glad she did.
He gives some practical pointers, based on his having seen thousands of cabaret acts, on what works and what doesn’t in terms of promotion, first audiences and building your audience base, cover charges, preparing songs, structuring your act and more. You may or may not agree with all he has to say, but he will give you a lot to think about in terms of your own act.
Please leave a comment–what cabaret acts have you seen lately and enjoyed? Especially if you are outside of the New York area–is cabaret flourishing outside of New York, and where?