Red Room News
Our guide to stand-up, improv and variety shows happening this weekend and in the week ahead.
‘THE BREAKDOWN WITH BORIS KHAYKIN’ at the Red Room at KGB Bar (April 24, 7 p.m.). Every fourth Wednesday of the month, upstairs at this East Village bar, Khaykin hosts a talk show with a twist in which guest improvisers perform scenes based on the interviews he conducts alongside his sidekick, “Uncle” Jawnee Conroy. This month, they welcome the comedian Ted Alexandro and the writer Eric Levitz from New York magazine’s Intelligencer, while... ›› read more
Looking for something with a little more kick? Try KGB Bar at 85 E. Fourth St. The building dates from 1838 and was renovated in the 1880s, which is when general manager Lori Schwarz believes that the tin ceilings were added.
Today, each ceiling is painted, says Schwarz, including in the Red Room, a “speakeasy complete with a copper bathtub but was the headquarters of Emma Goldman’s Secret Society of anarchists in 1914.”
Turns out the truth about tin ceilings is that New Yorkers of all stripes — from poets to shopkeepers to radical activists — really do exist under one roof. ›› read more
The Red Room above KGB— the former black box that you were probably dragged to by college friends doing DIY theater in the early aughts— has become a swanky, prohibition-themed bar. Every bit as tuxedo as the KGB is shirtsleeves, it boasts warm lighting and art deco details, with a tiny stage and a copper bathtub. “The Green Fairy” event showcases a monthly absinthe tasting paired with era-appropriate entertainment: August’s episode features live piano by Chris Johnson, absinthe history by Kellfire Bray, and Nelson Lugo on the Victrola during breaks. Ticket prices drop for those in “vintage, evening wear, unmentionables or intimate attire,” encouraging you to help create the ambiance.
We caught up with producer Don Spiro to get inside the cat’s pajamas, and also checked in with T.A. Breaux, founder of Jade Liqueurs and arguably the enthusiast most responsible for the revival of genuine absinthe. A scientist, he spearheaded reverse-engineering found bottles of original 19th century absinthe, sharing his research and helping give rise to the diverse current marketplace. ›› read more
(Podcast - click here to listen on Person Place Thing site.)
For 33 years, he was David Letterman’s music director and comic sideman, a career that began in Canada with the Toronto production of Godspell, as did those of Gilda Radner, Martin Short, and Andrea Martin. Some production! Some careers! And now what? What do you do when your job ends after three decades? Savvy reflections on a life in show business for Humanities New York. ›› read 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... ›› read more
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