Coaxing New Yorkers out into the frigid cold for a late night gathering on a Monday is no small task. Fortunately, Julianna Margulies and her husband, Keith Lieberthal, had an enticing draw: music sensation Max Raabe. Earlier this week, the couple hosted a party in honor of the German singer at Scott and Rande Gerber’s new restaurant, Kingside, in the Viceroy hotel. The occasion was Raabe’s return to Carnegie Hall, where he played a concert earlier in the evening along with his 12-piece Palast Orchestra to promote his new album “Golden Age.”
The dapper German crooner, dressed in tails, hair slicked back, his figure trim as a ballroom dancer’s, managed to transform Carnegie Hall’s stage into an elegant 1920s supper club with his mix of Weimar standards, Cole Porter hits and even a Cuban rumba. Between songs, he interjected dry commentary like “this is the funny portion of the evening,” before a rendition of “Singing in the Bathtub” featuring a horn solo in which two musicians submerged their instruments in a miniature, water-filled tub. Or “this song is still very popular in Germany because we find it funny,” introducing “Mein kleiner gruner Kaktus” (My Little Green Cactus) which describes a cactus falling off a balcony onto someone’s head.
“I think his voice is the closest thing to Fred Astaire,” enthused Margulies at the party, where Alan Cumming (who will enter his own Weimar world in this spring’s revival of “Cabaret”), Christine Baranksi, Carol Alt, and Padma Lakshmi mingled.
“We’re groupies—it’s so embarrassing. I’ve never been a groupie before,” added the actress, who has seen Raabe perform eight times. “We went to Carnegie Hall six years ago. I was eight and a half months pregnant and my husband had read about him. We got the last two tickets way, way at the top and I was like, ‘I have to climb three flights of stairs? This better be good!’” Clearly it was.