Short to end run at Cafe Carlyle
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
"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
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."