Best Weeknight Cabaret: Incandescence Wednesdays at the Edison

If you make your way down Harlem Place, past the man in the fedora guarding the door, and step into the caverns of the Edison on a Wednesday evening, you will find yourself head-deep in Roaring-’20s Berlin. A quartet of flapper girls adorns the stage while contortionists spiral from the ceiling to the floor to the chairs to the bar. Characters like Candy, a redhead with décolletage bejeweled in strawberry cotton candy, sit casually on the banquettes. A man in stripes paints a portrait of his lady friend, a circus escapee draped over a black leather chair. The barman removes his hat momentarily to dish out absinthe cocktails and applejack shots, served in vintage-style take-home bottles to extend the entertainment long after the show ends. The perma-packed Edison enlisted the help of the Lucent Dossier cabaret company six months back to jump-start its weeknights, and after a brief hiatus, the players have returned by popular demand. Their weekly appearances have been dubbed “sensual vaudeville,” a sexy reconstruction of a time when everybody was looking to escape from their suit and tie. As you crawl out of the foggy underground and back up to street level, you feel as though you’ve escaped to another world entirely. And for $15, it sure beats dinner and a movie.

108 W. Second St., downtown, (213) 613-0000. $15 presale tickets, $20 at door.

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