The Metropolitan Room, established 2006, is a renowned and affordable New York cabaret venue for working entertainers. It may lack the veneer, pretense and price tag of the Upper East Side’s Carlyle Café, but cabaret mainstays, as well as performers of all stripes, appear there with regularity.
Lee Roy Reams with Maryann Lopinto
On Thursday, February 6, the Met Room’s managing partner, Bernie Furshpan, began a new cabaret tradition in New York with an inaugural event, “This is Your Night”, recognizing contributors to the New York cabaret scene. The Met Room furthered that theme by donating a portion of ticket proceeds to a charity named by Maryann Lopinto, the evening’s honoree, in this case Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids. (Photo at top shows Maryann Lopinto in crown on right receiving the award from Joanne and Bernie Furshpan.)
Alex Rybeck, Karen Mason
The first honoree is a long-time writer and photographer (and cabaret aficionado). Her writing and photographs are and have been ubiquitous in the industry and industry media for decades. But, among those heard or overheard on Thursday evening at the Met Room, she was a most worthy honoree at least as much for her heart, her dedication, her archivist skills, her modesty, her creativity, her kindness and her graciousness within the cabaret community, as for her published product.
Bernie Furshpan, Jason Graee, and Maryann Lopinto
Throughout the years she has provided all sorts of support to performers from bits of costuming to bits of lyrics. Her care was clearly reciprocated. The audience included well-known cabaret performers and cabaret publishers, and no detractors could be heard anywhere. Many in the audience (admittedly of Lopinto lovers) appreciated that the first such award did not go to a marquee entertainer but to a much appreciated field laborer.
Eric Michael Gillett, KT Sullivan
Early in the evening Lopinto was presented with flowers and a crown and, toward the end, with a handsome crystal award engraved with an acknowledgement of the evening. A number of well known performers, exuding warm appreciation for Lopinto, shared anecdotes, absentee messages, good humor and, sometimes, original songs with the house.
Notable among these was a very funny piece by Mark Nadler (a very funny man) who crafted “I Love Lopinto” to the tune of Irving Berlin’s “I Love a Piano”; the fit was so apt that, arriving at the spelling lyric, the audience anticipated and sang along: “So you can keep your fiddle and your bow, give me an L – O – P – I – N – T – O”!
Contributing performers included Baby Jane Dexter, Barry Levitt, KT Sullivan, Martha Lorin, Karen Mason, Mark Nadler, Anita Gillette, Lee Roy Reams, and Eric Michael Gillett, Jason Graee, Alex Rybeck and Christopher Denny. Danny Whitman of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids also spoke.
Photos by Fred Cohen Photography. For additional cabaret images, you can visit the cabaret gallery on Fred Cohen’s website.