bare essentials: Burlesque at the Slipper Room.
On Friday and Saturday nights, you'd be hard-pressed to find such
bawdy fun (that's still legal, that is) under one roof for such
a bargain. The cover is never more than $5, and acts have included
such famed performers as Dirty Martini and the bodacious *BOB*.
167 Orchard St., at Stanton St., 212-253-7246; slipperroom.com
"Eating It" at Luna
For several years, this Monday night series has provided an environment
where lesser known comedians as well as established jokesters like
Jon Stewart and Saturday Night alums try out their new material.
Admission is $8 and includes a free drinkstarts in September, '04.
8 p.m., 171 Ludlow St., between Stanton and Houston Sts.;
The comedians are seasoned pros (most have had a turn on Comedy
Central or NBC at some point or another). Political humor dominates,
and if the crowd has taken advantage of the two-for-one drinks before
the show (5 p.m.-8 p.m.), it gets lively. No cover.
9p.m., 28 E. 23rd St. between Madison and Park Aves.; 212-254-6727;
Downtown's best overall Off-Off Broadway venue, with a consistent
lineup of the top experimental productions in the city, including
works by Elevator Repair Service and HERE's director and founder,
Kristin Marting. Tickets start at $15.
145 Sixth Ave., between Spring and Broome Sts.; 212-647-0202;
Every year, this celebrated little TriBeCa performance space seems
to get better, with regular visits by downtown talents like Obie
Award-winning playwright Mac Wellman. Tickets cost between $5 and
$25 and include a free drink.
41 White St., between Broadway and Church St.; 212-226-0051;
the blues: Arthur's Tavern.
jazz and blues
For more than 65 years, this legendary live-music venue has been
home to performances ranging from Dixieland jazz to Chicago blues.
There's no cover and the two-drink minimum is rarely enforced since
it's impossible to keep track of who's who in the packed crowd.
57 Grove St., at Seventh Ave.; 212-675-6879; arthurstavernnyc.com.
Free live music, featuring everything from rock to country, seven
nights a week. Audience participation is always welcomed. What you'll
hear may not always be earth-shatteringly original, but it will
be solid enough to merit the cost of the one-drink (usually around
157 Ave. C, at 10th St.; 212 677-8142; thecnote.com.
Every night this bar and restaurant showcases some of the best big-band
jazz in the country — an infectious mix of twenties and thirties
jazz classics that you won't hear anywhere this side of a Woody
Allen film soundtrack. No cover.
129 Eighth Ave., between 16th and 17th Sts.; 212-691-6174.
For the past nine years, the East Village's Detour has brought
traditional and experimental jazz to the neighborhood at no cost,
live, seven days a week. Plus, there's a $3 Happy Hour that runs
from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., 7 days a week. Great jazz and cheap drinks
— it couldn't get any better. Two drink minimum.
349 E. 13th St., btw. First and Second Aves.; 212-533-6212;
Smoke hosts a revolving cast of terrific jazz bands. Big names like
George Benson drop in to jam with the marquee acts, and many of
the city's best side men play Sunday through Thursday for absolutely
nothing more than your applause. $10 drink minimum.
2751 Broadway, between 105th and 106th Sts.; 212-864 6662;
Punk Rock/Heavy Metal Mondays at Arlene's
Looking to kick your karaoke up a notch? All your rockstar fantasies
can come true when you step in front of a real band to belt out
some vintage Aerosmith or Sex Pistols. And the best part
here is you don't have pay a cover charge or a song fee to fuel
your K addiction.
10 p.m., 95 Stanton St., at Seventh Ave.; 212-358-1633; arlene-grocery.com
Named after a 1954 French film noir, Rififi, a hipster bar with soul, doubles as a screening room, with a variety of 16mm artsy, foreign, classic and cult films shown for a mere $6. Wednesday night comedy and Thursday and Sunday night burlesque acts are also a steal ($5 or less).
332 E. 11th St., btw First and Second Aves.; 212-677-5368; cinemaclassics.com.
The Baggot Inn
Props to the Baggot for being one of the only alternative music
venues in Greenwich Village that won't bleed you dry. Enjoy the
Irish hospitality of the barkeeps as you fulfill your one-drink
minimum and catch the tunes of future Island Records artists. No
cover, Sunday through Wednesday; $5-$10, Thursday through Saturday.
82 W. 3rd St., between Thompson and Sullivan Sts.; 212-477-0622;
A contemporary folkie haven with a revolving door of troubadours,
from cable-access rejects to popular regulars such as Lianne Smith
and ex-Fleshtone Robert George Warren. There's usually no cover and a one-drink
minimum, but the bartenders exert only modest pressure to honor
154 Ludlow St., between Rivington and Stanton Sts.; 212-533-7234;
The Strokes, Kid Rock, and Elliot Smith have all belted, bellowed
or bounced across this stage at one time or another. The club is
great for catching an eclectic group of future stars and they even
have their own record label, LunaSea. Three shows nightly; all
171 Ludlow St., between Stanton and Houston Sts.; 212-260-2323;