“Jim Caruso’s Cast Party” is a wildly popular weekly Open Mic Night/Variety Show that has brought Broadway glitz and urbane wit to the legendary Birdland in New York City every Monday night since 2003. Showbiz superstars hit the stage alongside up-and-comers, serving up jaw-dropping music and general razzle-dazzle. It’s the ultimate spot to mix and mingle with show folk and the people who love them! Showman Jim Caruso guides the entire affair with razor-sharp humor and the unbridled enthusiasm of an uber-fan. Musical director Billy Stritch holds court at the ivories, along with Steve Doyle on bass and Daniel Glass on drums. But the real fun starts when the audience participates in the onstage festivities. Broadway legends, jazzers, cabaret divas, starry-eyed tourists, and kids right off the bus storm the stage to entertain each other. If you have a voice, a dream, and some sheet music, your Cast Party moment awaits.
Caruso and Stritch have taken the show on the road, celebrating talent in London, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Chicago, Austin, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Dallas, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, the Hamptons, Provincetown, Miami, Orlando and Delray Beach, as well as special all-star events at The Town Hall and Jazz at Lincoln Center in Manhattan.
Cast Party has been honored with four BroadwayWorld Awards, two MAC Awards, Bistro Award, and a Nightlife Award.
When the world shut down during the pandemic, Mr. Caruso, along with the technical know-how of producer Ruby Locknar, wasted no time in migrating to YouTube with 82 episodes of “Pajama Cast Party,” a weekly virtual show presenting starry musical performances via livestream. The show received five BroadwayWorld Awards and a Summit Award.
The New York Times called Cast Party “show business heaven,” the Wall Street Journal claimed it is “the gold standard of open mic nights,” and Time Out New York exclaimed “this Party is a vital pulse point of the musical theater bloodstream.”
Visit CastPartyNYC.com and follow us on Instagram at @jimcarusoscastparty.
Email Jim Caruso to sign up for a slot to perform in the show. Jim’s email address is: email@example.com
Please bring sheet music or a chord chart in the correct key! Yes…our musicians are brilliant and all…but it’s just no fun for them to transpose on the spot. If you bring three copies, our bass-man and drummer will love you forever, as they won’t risk scoliosis craning to see the piano player’s music.
Now…this is important…remember it’s a party! An evening of weepy ballads is no fun for anyone except Edith Piaf, and she rarely attends. Try to pick material that is fun, upbeat, swingy, zesty and bursting with verve and pluck. The audience and host will thank you with hearty applause and perhaps even a warm handshake.
If you play an instrument, plan on amplifying said instrument with a microphone, and not plugging into the house sound system. Even though that’s “not how it’s done,” it keeps the party running smoothly and tightens up those pesky between-song lulls.
Above all, have a great time! Cast Party is a celebration of the Broadway, jazz and nightclub communities. As Jim says, it’s where “you can see and hear some of the best performers in the world. Also other people.” Come cheer them all on, sing and schmooze! We can’t wait to see you!