Veteran improviser Katy Berry takes you on an eccentric musical journey that wraps cabaret, burlesque and improv into one show. Berry’s 1920s Weimar-inspired character, the Electric Bitch, crafts songs and freestyle raps based on her interactions with audience members, while dancers and guest comedians periodically interrupt the proceedings with their own characters.

NIGHT and day, New York reveals itself as the Art Deco capital of the world. I don’t mean just the obvious treasures — the Chrysler Building, Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Center — but the Deco surprises that decorate just about every other block.

This seems especially so nowadays, with the growing interest in 1920s and ‘30s bar culture. Some of the detail is original, and some is hauled in from other places. But on a dark and rainy night, hurrying along under your slick black umbrella, you can move from Deco bar to Deco bar, Deco club to Deco restaurant to Deco hotel lobby, and not even realize it’s 2014. (more…)

In 2001, James Wood, a professor at Harvard and, since 2007, a literary critic at this magazine, reviewed Jonathan Franzen’s “The Corrections,” somewhat harshly. Perhaps with a bit of irony (or maybe just because it sounds cool), it’s also the name of a torchy soul-rock group, with Wood on drums. The novelist Rebecca Donner is the lead vocalist, and the saxophonist Lily White, the bassist Gregory M. Jones, and the keyboardist Adam Klipple round out the ensemble when it plays on Nov. 14 in the Red Room at KGB Bar, a former speakeasy. No word on whether Franzen will be reviewing. (85 E. 4th St. kgbbar.com.)

KGB Bar’s Upscale Upstairs Brother

This weekend, you say goodbye to an hour.

And hello to a tucked-away, burlesque-having cocktail spot.

You’ll take that trade every time.

It’s called The Red Room, a third-floor crown jewel of a cocktail and live-performance spot, now open above KGB Bar in the East Village. Regarding this place, here’s what to know…

There’s a past here.

Before well-known writers started sharing their literary glories downstairs at KGB Bar, this building was where Lucky Luciano ran his brothel/speakeasy/casino, Palm Casino. So, you know, it’s got a track record.

To get there, go up.

Just off 4th Street, you’ll see the neon sign for KGB. Climb past the first-floor box office. Past the bar level. To the top of that old uneven staircase. You’ll see a bright-red door with a brass flap on it. That’s the place. Grab a spot along one of the tufted-leather banquettes, order up a Casino (champagne and Chartreuse) and… drink it.

Tonight is burlesque night.

Every Friday is. That small stage in the far corner—the one with the upright piano and the classic Unidyne microphone—it’ll never be empty. Big-band orchestras. Late-night jazz trios. And hopefully someone who’ll utilize the old copper bathtub by the bar.

Our money’s on the jazz trio.

New Speakeasy Opens Above KGB Bar

Speakeasy-type bars have been popping up all over New York in the past few years, but not all of them have direct ties to Lucky Luciano.

The Red Room, located on the third floor of a Lower East Side tenement where Luciano ran Palms Casino in the 1920s and ’30s, aims to recreate that Prohibition-era ambience.

“I love the space because it is like a time machine. Everything down to the sconces is from the Prohibition era,” said owner Denis Woychuk, who is also the man behind the KGB Bar downstairs in the same building.

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