Pangea was a supercontinent that existed during the late Paleozoic and early Mesozoic eras. It was assembled from bits approximately 300 million years ago, and it began to break apart about 175 million years ago. Now a piece has landed in Manhattan and though not a new kid to the hood, a relative new idea to New York nightlife.
Pangea is becoming the speakeasy of yesteryears today... where great food, meets booze meets amazing talent. They have a cabaret evenings almost every night with luminaries the likes of Eric Comstock, Julie Halston and Mad Jenny and her Society Band.
The tables are intimate, the lighting flattering and the waitstaff incredibly sensitive to the performers, quietly delivering that second bottle of champagne with hardly a sound.
Last night I was privileged to once again see the Wunderkind of Strings Aaron Weinstein accompanied by the brilliant Tedd Firth on piano. I've been watching Mr. Weinstein for years and his drop-in-your-lap dry humor only gets drier... he's a cross between Howdy Doody and Woody Allen, delivering witty and silly reflections about life, art and of course, music. His patter is only second to his virtuosity. The guy really swings on the fiddle, sneaking his way up to jazz as he dances his way through the American Songbook. He took a sit down break to play the mandolin which he insists he "bought at a sale at Whole Foods!"
Tedd Firth plays along beautifully and as everyone in the cabaret world knows, he is tops. When he provides as Mr. Weinstein calls it the percussion, every song is perfectly nuanced. On "I Want to Be Happy", I actually found my feet and arms moving in glee. The quieter honoring of Mother Rose's songs from Gypsy teared me up and I don't think I was alone. That's why Pangea's great cocktails are so helpful.
An added thrill was hearing Michael Musto do a number. I knew he was the great gossip guy but had no idea his pipes were so good. And Vivian Reed, a jazz powerhouse, honored the stage with a song. She's a master. I will keep following Mr. Weinstein to see where his humor and good taste next land.
And Pangea, thanks for holding on through the downtown shifts. Pangea proves that life is so much more than loud drinking joints and tapas. This piece of land is separate for a reason.