Seth Sikes Channels Judy Garland in Cabaret Act


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Seth Sikes is a cabaret singer who channels Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli. He’s taking his tribute shows on the road this summer.

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Mark Hartman for The New York Times

Name Seth Sikes

Age 32

Hometown Paris, Tex.

Now Lives In Hell’s Kitchen, in a two-bedroom duplex with his roommate and the Tony nominee Max von Essen, currently starring in “An American in Paris.”

Claim to Fame Seth Sikes is a cabaret singer who channels Judy Garland. A childhood obsession with musicals like “Summer Stock” and “A Star Is Born” led to his first solo show at Feinstein’s/54 Below, which mixed Ms. Garland’s greatest hits with Mr. Sikes’s life story. “I liked those songs as a kid, but when I grew older and things had happened to me, the songs really meant something,” he said about standards like “The Man Who Got Away.”

Big Break After studying at Circle in the Square Theater School, Mr. Sikes followed his love of musicals to a role in the Off Broadway production of “Fame.” But he found steadier employment behind the scenes as an assistant director on plays like “The Nance” and “Tribes.” Still longing to perform, he would frequent piano bars like Marie’s Crisis and the Monster after work.

In 2014, he challenged himself to return to the stage for the first time in 10 years with an all-Judy show. “It was really supposed to be a one-night-only stunt for all my friends in the theater,” he said. The performance — less an impression of Ms. Garland than an interpretation of her vibrato-heavy method of belting — was a hit with fans and, later, critics like Rex Reed.

Latest Project On June 8, Mr. Sikes returns to Feinstein’s/54 Below with his latest show, which pays homage to (who else?) Liza Minnelli. A videotape of “Liza Minnelli: Live From Radio City Music Hall” was also on repeat as a kid, and was the source of a shocking discovery when he was 10 years old. “My aunt told me that Liza was Judy’s daughter, and I nearly died!”

Next Thing This summer, Mr. Sikes is packing up his trunk and taking his two tribute shows on the road to San Francisco, Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and some potential dates in Provincetown, Mass.

Best Piano Bar When asked for his favorite piano bar, Mr. Sikes’s answer is quick and unequivocal: the Townhouse, on the Upper East Side. “It has an elegance to it and it has really fantastic pianists,” he said. “That’s where you can find me on the weekends, draped over the piano singing old songs with frankly old men.”

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