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Every month, we round up the most scintillating, striking, and splendid cabarets taking place in the city — those that feature Broadway stars and those that spotlight talent on the rise. While the snow and icy chill that’s descended upon New York over the course of these first two months of 2015 is enough to keep you locked in your apartment with Netflix and a space heater till spring, these acts are more than worth the trip out into the blustery night.
Wednesday, February 11
54 Below, 9:30 p.m., $25
Ashford lit fires up and down Broadway last year in Kinky Boots and this year in the stupendous You Can’t Take It With You. Wherever this incendiary performer is, she steals scene after scene (even from other adept scene-stealers). She returns with a revised version of Lost in the Stars, her concert that sold out the venue not that long ago. Music director Will Van Dyke has returned as well, so prepare to be unprepared for what unfolds between the two of them.
Wednesday, February 18
54 Below, 7 p.m., $35–$65
Seemingly compelled to put on a new show at least once a year, Nadler’s looking back over a 43-year career for his most recent run at 54 Below. Nadler started playing piano and singing at the Long Straw Saloon in Cedar Falls, Iowa, at the ripe old age of ten. He calls the turn Addicted to the Spotlight, a title apparently appropriated from a recent review. This is a guy who likes going as far over the top as he can, and more often than not he pulls ringsiders right along with him.
Monday, February 23
Broadway by the Year
Town Hall, 8 p.m., $45
Scott Siegel, who put the “imp” in impresario, begins his 15 series with the revised formula he introduced last year. Instead of scrutinizing one Broadway season, he divides his four annual shows into glimpses of the Great White Way down the years. This look turns a spotlight on Broadway’s best tunes from 1916 through 1940. Tonya Pinkins, Steve Ross, Emily Skinner, Stephen Bogardus, Nancy Anderson, Karen Ziemba, William Michals, and more will lend their voices to this trip back in time.