Have you ever had dreams of starring in a Broadway show and singing your heart out to hundreds of people in a packed New York theater?
If you’re like me, then you answered yes. I’m also pretty self aware, and realized at a very young age that I did not have the pipes to make it on Broadway, but that never stopped me from singing my favorite Broadway songs while driving around in my car.
I visited a friend from college in New York City recently, and she took me to a bar that she knew was going to tick all the right boxes: cheap drinks, fun vibes and Broadway songs.
It’s called Marie’s Crisis Café, and it’s been a staple of the West Village in New York City for decades. According to the bar’s website, it dates back to the late 1800′s. The website says that the bar was the site of the death of Thomas Paine, who authored the crisis papers sparking the American Revolution. Neat stuff, right?
It’s a Broadway piano bar, but instead of just one person singing for the bar, everyone in the bar sings together. It’s like doing group karaoke, except so much better.
The minute I walked into Marie’s Crisis, the packed bar was in the middle of singing “Defying Gravity” from the hit Broadway show “Wicked.” I immediately felt at home.
The bar isn’t very big, and there are chairs surrounding the piano player of the night. The bartender, pianist and server all work on tips, so it’s heavily encouraged if you want good service, or if you want to hear songs from your favorite Broadway musical.
There are rainbow lights decorating the bar, and black and white photos of all the Broadway legends: Carole Channing, Barbara Streisand, Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli.
The pianist for the night will do all the best songs from a musical, and then move on to the next one. The night I was there, I sang songs from “Wicked,” “Hair,” “Oklahoma,” “Little Shop of Horrors,” “Rent,” “Hairspray” and even “Hamilton,” just to name a few.
Just like many of the other LGBTQ+ bars in the West Village, Marie’s Crisis Café is a New York City institution. It’s a place where thousands of Broadway-loving fans come to sing their hearts out and have a good time. According to the bar’s website, they are the “world’s only acoustic sing-a-long show tunes bar,” and I 100% believe them. There is no other place in the world like Marie’s Crisis Café.
So if you’re heading to New York City for a vacation and you love musicals, Marie’s Crisis Café is a must. You may not win tickets to a Broadway show by entering the daily lottery, but you can feel like a Broadway star at Marie’s Crisis.