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Short to end run at Cafe Carlyle
Associated Press- 4/ 25/ 2004
NEW YORK Bobby Short, who became an elegant institution with his performances at the Cafe Carlyle for 36 years, will end his run on New Year's Eve.

"I'm not retiring. I intend to keep on working," Short, 79, told The Associated Press by phone last week. "But the drill of five nights a week for 20 weeks at a time is something that no longer appeals to me. It's too much."

Short has been performing since age 12, when he became a vaudeville entertainer. But his sophisticated cabaret act, in which he sings the songs of Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hart, Duke Ellington, George Gershwin and others, made him one of New York's treasures and a member of the social elite.

Short, who was hospitalized a year ago because of a "weak spell," said he realized the rigors of his act were too much about two years ago.

"I began to think, 'What am I doing here?'" he said. "I couldn't have a better showcase than the Cafe Carlyle, but it does restrict my life."

Short's last date at the home-away-from-home of the fabulously rich will be Dec. 31. He still plans to continue touring, though he is interested in doing far more leisurely things, such as traveling and visiting friends: "There's no shortage of things to do when I'm not working, and working deprives me of the many things I love to do."

Short, who played himself in "Hannah and Her Sisters," Woody Allen's 1986 movie, has been a fixture at "A list" events in New York for decades. His panache kept him on best-dressed lists even in years when his bank account was slim, and he was one of very few African-Americans ever named to the Social Register.

Short said he won't rule out performances at the Carlyle after he leaves, but is interested in performing at other venues.

Still, he said, laughing, "I wouldn't work 20 weeks again for anybody."
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