- Ars Nova
511 West 54th Street, 212-489-9800
“The last time I was on a New York stage, I was straight,” head Sex and the City writer Michael Patrick King told the audience recently at this unassuming 99-seat black box. What attracted King—and has drawn Liza Minnelli, Rufus Wainwright, Roseanne Barr, Tony Kushner, David Cross, Christine Ebersole, Avenue Q’s human stars, Kiki & Herb’s Justin Bond and Kenny Mellman, writers from The Daily Show, and dozens of other celebrities from all walks of life in the year and a half since the club opened—is an informality and diversity you won’t find at your Don’t Tell Mamas. “Traditional cabaret performers tend to do more experimental things here,” says one of the owner-producers, Jon Steingart. “Maybe they’re in a Broadway show, but because it’s such a relaxed space, they’ll get up here and do some song that influenced them in their childhood.” Sure, you have to do without martinis, but nibbling on a Kit Kat as you sip red wine from a plastic cup purchased at the snack bar seems better suited to the mood anyway.
From the 2004 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).