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My View: Take Out Order From Birdland….Jim Caruso’s Pajama Cast Party

Fifteen years ago, before the iPhone, when Zoom only referred to a camera lens, when Corona was one of the top selling beers in the world, and Social Distance wasn’t part of the lexicon, Jim Caruso’s Cast Party made it’s debut on the Birdland stage.  It started a New York City entertainment late night Monday tradition attracting some of the greatest entertainers on the planet (also other people).  Caruso, arguably one of the wittiest and talented performers to ever host an open Mic joined with the extraordinary pianist/vocalist and partner in repartee Billy Stritch to create one of the most entertaining evenings in the heart of the theatre district.  It attracts celebrities and audiences from all over the world.  Eda and I discovered it early on and a few times I even made it on Jim’s list.  Just as the Late Night TV hosts Jack Parr, Johnny Carson, Merv Griffin, and Steve Allen had some familiar continual guests, Jim’s list of talent for the evenings would always include some Cast Party regulars in addition to the talented newcomers and major Broadway stars who dropped in.  

For the first time in it’s 17 year history Cast Party has not been able to happen.  Only a world-wide disaster could have interrupted the fun, so Jim endeavored to bring some of the spirt of Cast Party into our homes last night via the internet.  I used to document the early Cast Parties but alas, watching from one’s bedroom can be dangerous and I dozed off three quarters of the way through (very busy days lately) but here are some of the performers.  The evening was technically produced by the uber talented Ruby Locknar daughter of Award Winning country songwriter and performer Victoria Shaw.  

Jim Caruso & Billy Stritch
Pajama Cast Party
Ruby Locknar & Jim Caruso
Jim Caruso & BIlly Stritch
BIlly Stritch
Jim Caruso, Victoria Shaw, Ava Locknar
Victoria Shaw, Ava Locknar, Jim Caruso
Jim Caruso & Constantine Maroulis
Jim Caruso & Tiffany Abban
Jim Caruso & The Drinkwater Brothers
Jim Caruso & Terese Curatolo
Jim Caruso & Cooper Alan
Jim Caruso & Amanda Green
Amanda Green
Billy Stritch, Stephen Sorokoff, Jim Caruso
Ruby Locknar, Eda Sorokoff, Victoria Shaw, BIlly Stritch


Stephen studied at the Manhattan School of Music. Besides being a pianist, Stephen’s business career was in the Fashion Industry. He was CEO of a textile manufacturing facility and President of an international textile machinery company. Stephen was on the Board of Directors of the “First All Children’s Theatre” which brought the Stephen Schwartz musical The Trip and Captain Louie to the Kennedy Center in Wash DC. His wife Eda, an interior space designer and classical pianist was on the Board of Barrington Stage Company and is still active at BSC. Stephen’s photographs, videos and articles appear on, and The New York Observer. He is active in the entertainment events at the Friars Club, where he is a member. Stephen is also an Honorary Board Member of The Society For The Preservation of The Great American Songbook. Stephen

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