Thursday Featured Cabaret Performance Website: Jim Caruso’s Cast Party At McElrath Cabaret


Welcome to McElrath Cabaret!  We hope you enjoy our cabaret blog.


Thursday is the day of the week when McElrath Cabaret features some of our favorite cabaret blogs, websites or performers. Today we’re featuring a cabaret website called Jim Caruso’s Cast Party.  Jim Caruso is the host of the weekly open mic, which is held at Birdland in New York City.  Jim Caruso has an additional online presence on his personal websiteFacebook as well as Twitter.  At the Cast Party website, you can sign up for the newsletter, which lists who is performing or has recently performed, and all types of news concerning the Cast Party.


Jim Caruso you may recognize as one of the wonderful backup singers and dancers that Liza Minnelli worked with in her Tony Award-winning show, Liza’s At The Palace, which is available on Netflix if you haven’t seen it yet, and I strongly recommend that you do.  This show was Caruso’s Broadway debut!  In it she does a number of her hits in the first act, and in the second act, which is where Jim Caruso comes in, she does a fantastic tribute to her godmother, the legendary nightclub performer Kay Thompson.


From the “Press” section of his website, I learned that Jim Caruso has a recent album available, which is called The Swing Set.  He is also a writer, having worked on such magazines as InStyle, TheatreMania and InTheatre.  He is probably best well known, however, as the host of Cast Party, which has the format of an open mic/variety show.  You sign up to sing, and you get called up at some point during the evening if you sign up early, or get put on a waiting list if you sign up late.  If you are a musician you are also allowed to entertain, which is really cool.  They often have famous stars dropping in to sing, like Liza or Marilyn Maye, along with other Broadway performers, which must be amazing if you are fortunate enough to be in the audience, but up-and-coming entertainers are also encouraged to participate.  The singers are backed by a trio led by Musical Directors Tedd Firth or Billy Stritch.  Caruso definitely sets the tone for the evening, which is geared toward fun and upbeat music and a party atmostphere.  The Cast Party is held every Monday night at Birdland, and has been there since 2003, and sometimes they take it on the road and do a Cast Party in other cities, which must be a blast.  On his website, he lists that they have taken the Cast Party to “Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Delray Beach and on the Dave Koz & Friends Jazz Cruise to Alaska!”


Here is a highlight reel showing what the Cast Party is like:




And another one showing a typical evening at the Cast Party:




I encourage you to check out Jim Caruso’s album and his work on Liza’s At The Palace.  If you are in New York City, if you haven’t been before, I recommend Jim Caruso’s Cast Party on a Monday night!

Is there a cabaret blog, website or performer that you would like to see featured on McElrath Cabaret? Leave us a note in the comments below—we always love to hear from our readers!


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Till next time, 


ps–The Cabaret Soiree Link Party is still going strong–you can visit anytime to click on the links and see what others have posted, or you can share your own recent cabaret blog or cabaret website link from now through Thursday.  Link is below.


Weekly Post Lineup At McElrath Cabaret:

Mondays:  Cabaret Soiree Cabaret Blog Link Party

Tuesdays:  Cabaret Tip Tuesday

Wednesdays:  Ask A Cabaret Question

Thursdays:  Featured Cabaret Blog, Website, Performer

Fridays:  Cabaret Through Time

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About Athena at McElrath Cabaret

Athena McElrath is an entertainer with a love for theatre and singing. She enjoys delving in the area of historical cabaret, researching the singers and clubs that were in business from before 1920 to the present, in New York and beyond.
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4 Responses to Thursday Featured Cabaret Performance Website: Jim Caruso’s Cast Party At McElrath Cabaret

  1. Hey Athena! good one! we LOVED having Jim Caruso and Billy Stritch here in Vegas! It was quite something and let me tell you the STARS came out! Clint Holmes, Kelly Clinton-Holmes, Frankie Moreno, Donny Osmond, and so many more of our local celebs and stars of shows here got in line to sing. The way Jim led the evenings and Billy played the piano, it was amazing! The girls and I sang several times over the 2 appearances they made and my husband, too. They were gracious and kind and super fun! We are SO waiting with baited breath for them to come back!

    • This is so cool to hear, Karen–I love hearing first-hand accounts of these types of events, and so glad you got to sing at it–how exciting!! Hope they do come back to your area, and soon. Take care, and have a great weekend!

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