Posts Tagged: Showtunes Night

Showtunes Night in Baltimore at The Hippo

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So I finally gave in and went up to Baltimore Maryland for Showtunes Night at the Hippo bar and lounge. I absolutely love the Hippo for dancing on Saturday nights, but I was a bit curious to see how they would do showtunes. Sure you have a ton of gays in Baltimore and they love theatre just as much as everyone else, but could Baltimore have an actual showtunes night? The answer is Yes!

I have to be honest, it wasn’t my favorite showtunes event at a bar when we first got there. The VJ kept on playing Glee after Glee after Glee. Then we saw Lea Michele in Ragtime and then another thing about Glee when he announced the show spin off. The Glee over and over got old and annoying fast. I love Glee like no tomorrow, but at a showtunes night I want to hear showtunes and that is where I really enjoyed showtunes night at the Hippo.

Instead of playing a million mainstream songs, the VJ played a few hits, but also many lesser known songs from shows. With La Cage Aux Follies, instead of playing a little more mascara or I am what I am, he played a huge dance routine and a lesser known yet equally as fabulous song. Instead of Children will listen from Into the Woods, he played the song about the couple who wanted a child. I loved the fact that the VJ played a good mix of well known and lesser known showtunes. It not only helps to show people that there are more than just ballads and belters on broadway, but it also helps to get people to love new songs. My only complain about playing lesser known casts is that he would line up a cast singing a song from a show, then play another outtake from the show, then a song from the movie version of the show. That got old fast. When I’m at showtunes, I don’t mind two songs in a row if one is a parody, but two or three songs from the same show in a row and none of them are parodies or unique, that’s a bit much.

So overall, Baltimore has a pretty kick ass showtunes night at the Hippo Bar and Lounge. The audience is awesome and loves to sing. The bartender is cute as heck and serves awesome drinks. The showtunes are great, but repetitive and overall it is worth going to. I give it around a 4 out of 5 stars as far as showtunes nights go. If you are in Baltimore on a Tuesday night, check out the Hippo Bar for Showtunes and then come back here and leave a comment with what you think. Thank you again Hippo for having me and everyone that I met. You guys have a great showtunes night that is definitely a great time.

Showtunes Nights Across the USA

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Where can you find showtunes nights in the USA?

If there is one trend that has picked back up in the USA it is Musical Theatre. All of us know and love musicals and love to sing a long, even if we didn’t realize that the song was a showtune. Musical Theatre has invaded Hollywood throughout time regardless of whether it is Funny Girl, Annie, Chicago or even modern shows like Wicked or if the rumor is accurate that the new remake of the Wizard of Oz showcasing quite a few broadway stars and even the possible make of In The Heights. Nintendo Wii just introduced a completely new game called Dance on Broadway which teaches you how to execute a professionally choreographed dance routine to some of the most well known and well-liked broadway showtunes.

With just about all of the main stream media channels going broadway crazy, the bar and lounge scene has started to really feel the pressure to add in musical theatre and showtunes nights and a few of the most famous showtunes nights at these lounges are now feeling the benefits of their commitment to theatre and hosting showtunes nights.

Here are some of the best showtunes nights in the USA. Feel free to leave a comment below if you find out of any other high quality or fabulous ones. I am aware that there is an outstanding one in Cleveland and some other metropolitan areas, I just don’t have enough time to write about them all.

Sidetracks Showtunes Night Chicago.

Sidetracks is the home of showtunes night in the United States. Sidetracks is a massive bar with large projection screens, several rooms, a rooftop bar, flat screen tv sets and Sidetracks Chicago delivers 3 or 4 nights of showtunes each and every week. Everynight for showtunes is packed full of people and Monday Night showtunes at Sidetracks is above and beyond the most popular. People act out the songs, sing and dance and what can make it much more fun is that Sidetracks is full audience participation, it is almost like you are going to see the Rocky Horror Picture Show. The Sidetracks staff even gets into the spirit with wigs, singing and acting out their favorite characters. Whether you love Patty Lupone or Carol Channing, an Idina fan or a Kristen fan, you’ll have a ton of fun at showtunes night at Sidetracks in Chicago.

JRs in Washington DC.

JRs is one of the most broadly known bars in Dc. It was the first bar in DC to offer an official showtunes night where they only played and continue to blast showtunes everywhere. Shortly after other bars saw how well-liked JRs showtunes night is so they began to try and copy them. Unfortunately JRs hasn’t been able to keep up with the times. Even though it is still the standard in DC showtunes nights, JRs showtunes have taken a hit with crowds in Chicago, NY, Philly, Florida, Ohio and the (no longer) rivalling bar EFN Lounge which are different because they already have added in audience participation and a bar staff that sings along and contributes to the fun. JRs is still a staple and the most recommended showtunes night in DC. I also highly recommend it each and every Monday night, but if you want Chicago styled showtunes nights, you have to check out EFN Lounge (which is no longer running).

Don’t Tell Mama Showtunes in New York City

In the heart of Manhattan, just outside of Midtown is Don’t Tell Mama. A small bar in the basement of a building with a loud sound. Don’t Tell Mama is a piano bar that takes on an assortment of music but the most popular are the showtunes. How could you go wrong in New York City with showtunes, especially when you are around the corner from the actual Broadway where Musical Theatre started. Although it is not the greatest showtunes night or bar in the NYC, it is absolutely one with tons of personality and I have met a few cast members from Broadway Shows like Mama Mia there so it is without a doubt a locals bar too.

Splash Bar in NYC

Every single Monday people flock from all over Manhattan and NYC to Chelsea for Splash Bar’s showtunes on Monday Nights. Splash Bar is one of the most popular video bars and dance clubs and downstairs Splash Bar turns it lounge into the absolute best Showtunes Night in Manhattan every Monday evening and night. My friends get stuck upstairs with the 80’s music and the drag show, but I usually stay downstairs to spend time with Liza and all of the other broadway megastars you expect to watch on the screen. The showtunes night at Splash Bar covers just about all shows from many eras and is NYC’s best showtunes night of the week. The main complaint a few individuals have is that they play a lot of clips from the Tony Awards, but when you are in The big apple and the Tony’s are right there, why complain? I highly recommend splash bar’s Monday night showtunes night, especially since Broadway is black on Mondays and you cannot go to see a live show.

New York New York Showtunes Bar Pittsburgh PA

Unfortunately New York New York Showtunes Lounge in Pittsburgh PA no longer exists. It was replaced when the owners tried to help it become more contemporary and I guess the new owners just didn’t want showtunes. Not only was it one of the most popular spots for the Pittsburgh theatre community, but people would sing along to the music coming from the jukebox as well as go to the upstairs and to the back rooms where the piano player would work the broadway scores like there was no tomorrow. It was a shame when I discovered that New York New York in Pittsburgh got rid of their piano player and showtunes theme. Maybe someday they’ll bring showtunes back and get the theatre crowds to come back as well.

EFN Lounge in Washington, DC.

EFN Lounge (EFN Lounge has unfortunately shut down their doors for good but in honor of their wonderful showtunes night I wanted to include them in this post.) in Washington, D.C. is set sort of in the ghetto. Off of Logan circle, every Sunday a tiny but fabulous and loud group of showtune enthusiasts group together for food, fun and showtunes. The bar staff sings along and encourages you to get up and dance and with the exception of the weekend they devoted to bollywood (thank god they stopped that one), this is one of the best showtunes nights on the East Coast. Unfortunately because of the location many people don’t want to go, but with the neighborhood getting better every week, you’ll find a growing number of Broadway fans start pouring in for EFN Lounge Showtunes on Sunday evenings. It is full of life, fun and $2 Absolute Vodka drinks. It is a must attend event if you have nothing better to do on a Sunday afternoon and evening in Washington DC.

Tavern on Camac Showtunes Philadelphia PA

Tavern is a classic Philadelphia bar. You can find Tavern on Camac off of a side street that hasn’t been updated and on an actual cobblestone road. Tavern really makes you believe you are back in the times of My Fair Lady when you are strolling up the historic roads. Tavern on Camac has the downstairs floor when you walk in and to your left you’ll find a huge grand piano. On Monday Nights in the downstairs at the piano, and I think Tuesdays as well, you’ll find a fabulous Pianist playing his favorite showtunes from all of the classic shows. He not only sings along but he also promotes the visitors to take a microphone and work their favorite showtunes along with him. He is one of the greatest showtunes piano sing a long hosts in the country and one that you cannot miss. The only bad side to it is that he really isn’t a fan of the newer shows so if you request one like Wicked or Avenue Q, be prepared to tip extra in order to get him to play it. He is incredibly talented and someone I always make an effort to see when I’m in Philly.

Partners Bar Rehoboth Beach Delaware

I found Partners Bar (It now has a new name but I cannot remember what the name is) in Rehoboth Beach Delaware from reading this Gay Wedding blog about what to do and where to go when you are in Rehoboth Beach. Partners is a small locals restaurant and bar with a small piano or keyboard (I can’t remember but I am pretty sure it was a keyboard). There was a younger piano player there named Matt and although he was a bit bitchy and had a diva attitude with some of the tourists (mainly me because I was a bit drunk at the time) when they wanted to sing, he was very talented. He not only played classic showtunes, but he also liked and played a lot of newer showtunes as well. I’m not sure if he is still there or not but my only problem was that he never let the audience sing into the microphone or wanted to actually share it. If he would have I probably would have gone back and not been as moody. He is very talented and I actually enjoyed the night there, but my opinion with showtunes night is that unless the audience gets to sing a long, it probably isn’t worth going back to.

The Hippo in Baltimore Maryland

The Hippo is a fantastic gay bar and one of the top night clubs in Baltimore. It is also a personal favorite club to have drinks in by the writers at Broadway Reviewed. Unfortunately we have had very negative communications with the individuals who claim to run the showtunes night at the Hippo so we will never set foot at showtunes at the Hippo in Baltimore, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t go. The Hippo is a fabulous club, but since we were spoken down to and treated very rudely by the people who claim to manage or host showtunes there, we will find other clubs and bars to go to for showtunes nights. Unfortunately This also means that we cannot give it a legit review because we have not been there, but we did want to talk about it because it is supposed to have a showtunes night and if you are reading this post, that is probably what you are looking for. If you have been to showtunes night at the Hippo in Baltimore, please feel free to leave a comment below. All comments are being moderated and not all will be posted as a quick heads up.

Showtunes nights are becoming a favorite night out again in almost every major US city. If you have a favorite showtunes night or bar and want to review it here on Broadway Reviewed, feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll be happy to include it into this post.

Showtunes Night at EFN Lounge Washington DC

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Although most people consider showtunes night in Washington DC the showtunes night at JRs on 17th street, my favorite showtunes night in Washington DC is in Logan Circle at EFN Lounge.  EFN Lounge showtunes night is every Sunday evening from 6pm to 9pm.  There are usually snacks there and a great drink special with $2 absolute drinks during showtunes.  What makes Showtunes at EFN Lounge special though isn’t the drink specials or the food, it is the energy and the people that go.

Unlike JRs showtunes where you get a bunch of fake broadway fans faking the words to the songs (although JRs showtunes can be fun) EFN Lounge has a much smaller crowd but a crowd that sings along, dances and has fun with the shows.  It is more like a Sidetracks Chicago the way the crowd it.  There is a lot of audience participation with the shows and the bartenders sing a long and get into the music as well.  EFN Lounge showtunes in Washington DC has definitely become my favorite showtunes night in Washington DC, even though I still do love the showtunes night at JRs.  So what makes the two nights different?

The reason I like Showtunes Night at EFN Lounge better is because of the music they play.  EFN Lounge plays a lot of non well known songs from not as popular shows like Tick Tick Boom, they also play songs like Every Sperm is Sacred from Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life and they also play a ton of clips from different Broadway Spoofs.  When you combine that with a bunch of cool off broadway and promotional performances like the rock version of Defying Gravity from Wicked you have a new type of showtunes night that easily beats out a bunch of clips from shows that were turned into movies.

Showtunes night reminds me of Showtunes at Sidetracks in Chicago which is probably the best showtunes night there is.  If you are in the DC areas and looking for something to do on a Sunday evening, I highly recommend checking out Showtunes Night at EFN Lounge in Washington DC.

1318 9th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 341-8281

If you’ve been to EFN Lounge for showtunes or are coming to showtunes at EFN Lounge, please feel free to leave a comment below or share this post with your friends on Twitter by clicking on the green tweet or retweet button at the top of the post.   Even though showtunes night at EFN Lounge is much smaller than JRs, it is also much better in my opinion.  Hope to see you there one night.

Wicked Rock N Roll Version

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I don’t think I need to say much about this video except that it is absolutely the perfect mesh of classic rock and roll mixed with one of the most famous Stephan Shwartz songs from one of his latest musicals Wicked.  So what happens when Rock N Roll meets broadway?

Most of the time it forms a show like the Billy Joel Musical Movin on Out or Rock of Ages or the Queen Musical.  So what happens when broadway meets Rock N Roll, normally you get shows like Glee who cover songs from Rock N Roll stars like Madonna or Journey and everyonce in a while you get a broadway song that takes on a rock band and creates an instant hit.

The Wicked Rock N Roll version of Defying Gravity is above and beyond amazing.  Kerry Ellis does an amazing job as Elphaba and can make her voice not only go from Broadway but also have a Rock N Roll attitude.  The remix with the guitars and the drums is also incredible.  Then again how could you go wrong with a lead guitarist as famous and fabulous as well he doesn’t need an introduction if you love  Rock N Roll and know your bands.  Anyways, I heard this version of Defying Gravity last night at EFN Lounge Showtunes Night and had to share it with you all.  Here is the Rock N Roll version of Defying Gravity.   Please feel free to leave a comment below if you like the video or to click the little green retweet or tweet button in the top right corner to share this video and post with all of your friends on twitter.

Old Lady Gaga starring Jackie Hoffman

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If you can’t tell by my previous posts that I think that no one can do a Parody like a Broadway Star or a Drag Queen then you haven’t been reading this blog close enough.  I was watching showtunes at EFN Lounge in Washington DC and they played a new parody of the Lady Gaga song Alejandro except instead of being a drag queen or a star or a regular person playing Lady Gaga it was none other than the talented and fabulous Ms. Jackie Hoffman from the cast of The Addams Family on broadway with Nathan Lane.

Not only does Jackie Hoffman make probably one of the very best Granny’s that we will ever see but she is able to take the Granny character and turn it into a great spoof on a hit Lady Gaga song called Alejandro.  I absolutely loved this video and although it is disturbing to watch Jackie Hoffman play this character because of the Granny Panties no one else could pull off such a fabulous parody and make it work the way that she can.  The parody is absolutely fabulous and amazing and I love it.  It is almost enough to get me to go see The Addams Family on Broadway when I go to New York in a few weeks.  Jackie Hoffman did an amazing job with the parody of Lady Gaga’s Alejandro and it is perfectly called Old Lady Gaga.

It is kind of a disturbing video but if you are a Jackie Hoffman or a Lady Gaga fan you’ll love the video.  Thank you EFN Lounge as well for playing it at showtunes or I might have never found this fabulous parody of Lady Gaga’s Alejandro.  Jackie did an amazing job with the parody and let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment below or by clicking on the green tweet or retweet button at the top of this post to share it with all of your friends on Twitter.

Here is Jackie Hoffman’s Old Lady Gaga.