Park Avenue site shut
Arci’s Place, the cozy cabaret venue on Park Avenue South, has shut its doors. The announcement comes as a jolt to the cabaret community, which has suffered the loss of other cherished intimate Manhattan stages in recent years.“The cost of doing business on Park Avenue has proven too rich,” said owner-manager John Miller. But Miller is in negotiations for a new venue in midtown on the West Side and hopes for a midsummer opening. New space will be a restaurant, piano bar and show room. Both Tavern on the Green in Central Park and Rainbow and Stars at Rockefeller Center discontinued musical perfs by stage and jazz artists in recent seasons. More recently, Firebird, the intimate 50-seat room on West 46th Street, ceased its entertainment policy. And in a surprise announcement from the Algonquin Hotel, Arthur Pomposello, the genial longtime Oak Room host who booked the room, has stepped down as the club’s maitre d’. During his long tenure, Pomposello introduced such promising newcomers as Michael Feinstein, Harry Connick, John Pizzarelli, Jane Monheit, Eric Comstock and Diana Krall. All went on to carve significant careers as recording and performing artists. Comstock’s collaborative show, “Our Sinatra,” leaped from its Oak Room engagement to a two-year Off Broadway run, in addition to an 80-city tour with a 13-piece big band. Pomposello’s sudden exit has not affected the room’s music policy, which continues with the current engagement of KT Sullivan and forthcoming turns by Dave Frishberg, Karen Akers and Mary Cleere Haran. Arci’s served as a showcase for many moonlighting Broadway entertainers, including Sam Harris, Tom Wopat, Christine Ebersole and Stephanie Pope. “Mamma Mia!” star Karen Mason opened the room in 1998. Vet club warblers Margaret Whiting, Philip Officer and Buddy Greco also played the room in recent months. Only last week, Arci’s was honored at the Back Stage Bistro Award ceremonies at the Supper Club. Miller was cited with a special award for “inspired programming, professionalism and hospitality.” Arci’s sound and lighting designer Jean-Pierre Perreaux also grabbed a trophy. Closing derails opening on Wednesday of Melba Moore.