What to Do This Week in LA, Miami, and NYC

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Let us entertain you this week before Labor Day. Los Angeles hosts a 1960s memorabilia exhibition that will transport you back to the first “event” rock concert that mattered. In New York, it’s showtime with show tunes at a venerable piano bar in old school Greenwich Village. And in Miami, dress glamorous and hit a one-of-a-kind burlesque show that will have you Havana daydreaming the night away.


This Thursday, check out the Grammy Museum’s new exhibit, Monterey International Pop Festival: Music, Love, and Flowers, 1967. It’s a memorabilia showcase, featuring artifacts from that legendary three-day fest in which everyone from Joplin and Hendrix to the Grateful Dead and Otis Redding had their breakout moments. There’s clothing and accessories from all of them on display celebrating the fest’s 50th anniversary. This was the precursor to Woodstock and, today, Coachella. There’s also all that explosive imagery of the hippie era from some of the great visual chroniclers. Learn from that countercultural movement’s groovy style.


Crisis? What crisis? This Wednesday night, around 10 p.m., pack all your troubles in an old kit bag and sing show tunes at Marie’s Crisis Café, the legendary one-time cathouse from the 1850s that is ground zero for piano bar euphoria. This place gets jam-packed, but it’s worth niggling into a space. You can get in line on Broadway for a musical, but here, you can listen and sing with professional Broadway belters (who will even provide tips). Locals and tourists, gays and straights, all cram this iconic West Village dive for a smashing good time. And what’s more, the equally kicking Arthur’s Tavern is next door, featuring more modest drinks and live bands belting their lungs out. From there, there’s plenty of late night eats to choose from.


In always sexy Miami you’d think locals would get bored by all the exhibitionism. But when there is great food, music, and talent thrown in, well, that is El Tucán, the Brickell Avenue venue, only two years old, that has helped to kick off a burlesque renaissance in Miami, vintage Havana style. Go on a Wednesday night, have some authentic Caribbean fare, and watch the tassels shake, courtesy of the vixens that comprise the Tucanette trio. There’s nothing prurient; it’s more so saucy bygone 1940s-era flair. The music mixes up salsa with more old-school variety show. Cha-cha-cha the night away.

Photo courtesy of the Grammy Museum

Steve Garbarino

Steve Garbarino

Steve Garbarino is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and a culture reporter for The Wall Street Journal. He is also the author of "A Fitzgerald Companion."