As the Big Apple reopens to live entertainment, The Lineup at Birdland is a must-see.
It’s the best night out on the town. Every Tuesday presents a new lineup of stars, established and emerging, curated and introduced by the hilarious, improvisatory Susie Mosher, who is a talented singer and comedic actress in her own right. I ought to know. I’ve been going for years, and every show finds me smiling, crying with laughter, and singing along.
The Lineup on July 20 is incredibly varied, says Mosher. “Jacqueline B. Arnold is in Moulin Rouge on Broadway, Harrison Greenbaum is a magician/comic who astounds you as you’re doubled over with laughter, Andrew Swackhamer is one of the best ukulele players in the world, Darnell White has more soul in his pinky than most people have in their whole body, Sean Harkness is a guitar virtuoso, Nicholas Rodriguez was Tarzan on Broadway and Gabrielle Stravelli is a world class jazz singer. Not to mention the fabulous The Brad Simmons Trio featuring John Miller on bass and Clint de Ganon on drums.”
All this fun and variety takes place at the world famous Birdland, an iconic jazz and live music venue. The kind of place we almost lost to gentrification once, and again to Covid. “And because we all made it through the darkness, Birdland is only charging 99 cents for a cover charge, its original 1949 cover charge, to say thank you to the community for helping Birdland survive,” says Mosher.
So, I want to know how it was for Mosher, being a live performer, to get through the lockdowns of the pandemic, and how she survived with her talents and sanity intact. “The pandemic was filled with epic highs and lows,” she shares. “Of course it was traumatic, people were losing family members and jobs, not to mention their minds. But my wife and I were able to fully bond with our baby boy, born on March 11 2020, the first official day of the pandemic.
“Being able to only focus on this beautiful new life was an incredible distraction from the misery that was all around us. Hope, my wife, is a writer-director, and is completing her masters at Columbia in data science.”
Might I add, the gorgeous Hope attends every show, cheering Susie on, and on the inaugural return even brought their bundle of joy along to see what mommy gets up to in public. The Lineup is Susie’s second home and she’s glad to be back in the spotlight, out and proud, mic in hand. Most shows she will at some point during her legendary opening number belt out the very meaningful non-non-sequitur “I’m gaaaaaaaaaaay!” to an adoring crowd.
“Doing The Lineup at Birdland is my dream come true,” says Mosher. “It is such a fantastic club, and they let me totally do me. I’m out and loud about it, and Birdland totally supports me. NYC will always be the best city for live performance, Broadway is only a portion of the wealth of gifted folks, music, dance, comedy, it’s all here. Everyone with a vision of making it comes here and I am blessed to be able to showcase so many brilliant artists.”
Sure, come for the music. But stay for the endless thespian chutzpah that has made this Manhattan nightclub my home away from home, too.
Grab your tickets for the next show on July 20 at birdlandjazz.com.