Feature Article: The Swanky Cicada Club: Dinner and Dancing

I’ll tell you what. I wish every city I visited had a place like the Cicada Club, a Sunday night supper club happening at the Oviatt building on Olive St. in Los Angeles.

I am so so glad I found out about this venue for my trip to LA and we were able to take in  the fabulous dine and dance and show experience.

The Oviatt building is a 1928 art deco former department store, with original Lalique decorative glass and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and now an event space. My cousins said they went to a wedding there. It has its own myspace page and The Cicada Club has a facebook fan club.

Doors open at 6 for the pre-show dinner and you better be dressed or you can’t come in, so they say, but I saw some guys in long sleeve shirts, no jacket or tie. Please dress for a glamorous night out in cocktail attire or go the whole nine yards and wear your vintage 1940’s  dress. My black silk and organza dress was actually from Banana Republic but it had that vintage look and I paired it with a long string of pearls and elbow length gloves plus I wore the green telephone operator shoes. I saw men in fedoras and jackets with shawl collars.

The three course dinner was delicious, innovative and a relative bargain at $49 which included any cover charge and guaranteed your table for the evening.  I was happy with my iceberg lettuce wedge salad with gorgonzola dressing and bacon bits and John found his Caesar salad on the menu. As soon as the waiter recited the main course specials he knew we were sold. I had the three fish entrée special; he had John at gnocchi with sirloin. For dessert we shared the Prohibition profiterole trio and the molten chocolate cake. Luckily the table was ours for the evening so we told them to hold dessert so we could digest and dance in between. 

Did I mention we went there to dance? The evening’s performer was Christine Nelson with the band, the Mocambo Moderns and we did swing dancing all night long with some slow foxtrots and one or two rhumbas and cha chas.

Do you want to see us dancing? Check out the broadcast archive on the club website via you tube at http://clubcicada.com/broadcast_archive/christine-nelson-8-16-09.asp.

The whole evening is set up like a radio broadcast, so an announcer kicks off the 8:30 evening show and introduces the club owner Maxwell Demille who then introduced the singer. 

The first set was 53 minutes and the second set was 1 hour 15 minutes. How do I know this? It’s right there on the you tube videos. 

If you don’t want to have dinner, there is a mezzanine lounge which was pretty full. ($10 cover charge without dinner.)

Jennifer Keith was brought up onstage and she was great. I’d go hear her.

Cicada is at 617 S. Olive St. Reservations at (213) 488-9488, showtime info at 877-463-7773 or ClubCicada.com.

And here is Part 2

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