Jim Caruso’s Cast Party, famed as the wildest, most entertaining soiree in Manhattan, will be recreated in South Beach Thursday night when he and award-winning pianist Billy Stritch bring their show to the Cabaret in South Beach.
The show, which Caruso calls an “Extreme Open Mic,” will bring an array of local South Beach entertainers, performers and also surprise guests to the stage for what the London Jazz Times called “the mother of all open mic nights” and “required watching for anyone in the live music and entertainment business.”
“I’m so excited. Billy and I have both been to Florida, but we’ve never brought our Cast Party here so I can’t wait to see what South Beach has to offer,” said Caruso, who hosts the long-running weekly soiree every Monday at Manhattan’s famous Birdland.
“It’s an upbeat, party night for sure. We keep the show moving so its energetic and fun,” said Stritch. “We not only have singers, but I’ve seen jugglers, sword swallowers and all kinds of entertainers take the stage,” he added.
Caruso made his Broadway debut alongside Liza Minnelli in the smash hit Liza’s At The Palace! The show was honored with a 2009 Tony Award for Best Special Event and the recording was nominated for a Grammy. He has hosted “Broadway On Broadway” in Times Square for a crowd of 100,000 theater fans, hosted MAC Awards at Town Hall in Manhattan and co-hosted the Drama Desk Award webcasts for four years.
Stritch is an award-winning composer, arranger, vocalist, and jazz pianist, who served for two decades as Liza Minnelli’s confident, pianist and musical arranger. He is known for his extraordinary range and sophistication, as well as his sense of humor and showmanship.
At the Cast Party, all manner of performers are welcome to join the famous duo on stage. “We create a friendly atmosphere with no judgments,” said Caruso. There are a few guidelines, though – performers are limited to one song, and they need to bring sheet music and know their key. Oh, and ballads are prohibited, he added. “We want to keep everything up tempo. That keeps the party rolling,” Caruso said.
“When we’ve done this in New York, we get Liza Minelli one minute, and then Tony Bennett followed by Michael Feinstein, and then we’ll get a woman who wrote a song about her feet. They all get the same applause,” said Caruso, who paused, and then added, “Well, maybe not, but everyone has fun.”
Jim Caruso’s Cast Party is the latest entry in club owner Edison Farrow’s bid to bring top-notch entertainment to South Beach. In recent months, Molly Ringwald, Coco Peru and Tito Puente Jr., have all graced the stage at the newly expanded popular South Beach nightspot, which recently took top honors when it was voted Miami’s #1 nightlife spot by Trip Advisor.
More info: Cabaret South Beach