FOREIGN AFFAIRS, Cabaret
Co-Producer (The Canal Chapter & Gershwin Hotel)
In the spring of 2008, The Canal Chapter joined forces with renowned cabaret performer Daniel Isengart to create an underground, postmodern cabaret club. The resulting “Foreign Affairs” became an instant hit. Directed and hosted by Isengart, the weekly shows became spectacles that drew inspiration from the vaudeville and cabaret cultures of Berlin, Paris, Shanghai, Bucharest, and even the imaginary worlds of cartoon movies. Every Thursday night throughout the month of March, audiences packed themselves into The Canal Chapter to witness the excitement of this new cabaret.
Small mosaic roundtables overflowed with wine, vodka, and Red Bull mixers. Black velvet fabric lined the walls and windows to spotlight the stage and a “Foreign Affairs” neon sign. Spectators found seating on the floor, against the walls, and on plush comfortable sofas to watch one of kind performances. Folk singer Tine Kinderman cooed medieval German songs of dark debauchery. The Shanghai Triad played authentic Chinese jazz songs from the 1940’s. Burlesque artists Legs Malone and Amber Ray tantalized viewers with their risqué dance numbers. French chanteuse Nicole Renaud enchanted the crowd floor loft on Canal Street into a louche with her ethereal soprano, and Isengart belted out 80’s disco hits mixed up with political ditties from the Weimar Republic era, arranged by music maverick Rami Ramirez. Singer-songwriter Todd Almond brought down the house with witty and elegant compositions about urban life. In between performance sets, the crowd mingled to the eclectic sounds of DJ Mondo Lucien.
Later that year in October, the members of The Canal Chapter and Isengart brought Foreign Affairs to the legendary Gershwin Hotel in New York City, allowing the event to continue to present downtown’s best to a mixed crowd of artists, hipsters, and sophisticated urbanites. Taking place in the hotel’s Grand Hall, the new Foreign Affairs was be able to reach an audience three times the size than at The Canal Chapter.
On February 2nd 2009, Foreign Affairs reopened as a weekly cabaret in the lounge of the chic Night Hotel in midtown Manhattan, this time produced by legendary NYC nightlife maven Lee Chappell and hosted by Isengart and singing comedienne and cabaret star Lady Rizo. The new show, featured a live quartet of musicians as well as a wide array of guest performers ran as a critically acclaimed, weekly cabaret for 10 months. It reappeared for a limited run in the fall of 2010 at the Griffin in the Meatpacking District before Isengart decided to retire the show for the time being.
- Daniel Isengart