THE LINEUP by Susie Mosher at Birdland

Anyone who lives in New York or visits (people from South London and Scotland were in the house) knows that the hottest place on a Tuesday night is Susie Mosher’s “The LINEUP” at the Birdland Theater, downstairs from the legendary Birdland Jazz Club. I must also share with you that the staff are wonderful, as are the cocktails, the service and the food menu.

Every week, at 8:30 p.m., the public shows up, sometimes knowing who is playing, sometimes not and even without caring because it is always guaranteed fun and good music. Hosted by the intelligent and talented Mosher (who is brilliant at IMPROV), she introduces us to each of the guest artists of the evening and the night is launched.

Every week is different and last night was a knockout with a fantastic roster of talent.

Among the artists last night were many artists that we know and love, like Karen Mason, Lauren Molina, Jennifer Pace, Marti Cummings, David Sabella and as many talented people who were unfamiliar to me and who have thrilled the crowd. A surprise for all of us was an appearance by Richard Jay-Alexander. He is widely recognized as a director and producer, but many people didn’t know, or forgot, that he started his career 47 years ago as a performer. Richard moved the room by sharing what it was like to come to New York in 1975 at the age of 22, then sang a song from THE WIZ. You had to be there.

Another observation about these special nights is that the audience can be just as full of “names” as what happens on stage. Spotted last night were legendary Marilyn Maye, Daniel Dunlow, Countess Luann de Lesseps (#RHONY), Creative Director of Harper Collins, Lisa Sharkey, Nellie Beavers, popular singing teacher Celeste Simone, Jamie deRoy, stalwart of the nightlife Maryann LoPinto, and newcomer Peter Dager, Jim Caruso, club owner Gianni Valenti and probably others I haven’t seen.

Mosher is to be congratulated for creating The LINEUP and generous thanks to Gianni Valenti and Jim Caruso for giving this Tuesday night tradition such a beautiful home, with great lighting and sound.

The other amazing part of these nights is THE BAND and this one is always great! Led by MD Brad Simmons on piano, with John Miller on bass and Clint de Ganon on drums and percussion, they rock the room with brilliant attendance from all the artists of the evening.

Photo credit: Stephen Sorokoff

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