The Clumsy Cabaret

NEW YORK:  In the dark early days of the 1990s, The Clumsy Cabaret at Sin-é Café on St. Mark’s Place entertained East Villagers, New Irish, poets, musicians, and a cheery street gentleman known fondly as “The Tree Man” every Saturday night from very late to very early. Clumsy, spontaneous, magical – it was a night of always special guests, and whatever the East Village musicians were offering.

Deanna Kirk, at The Clumsy Cabaret, Sin-é Cafe

Deanna Kirk

Helena Mulkerns at The Clumsy Cabaret, Sin-é Café

Helena Mulkerns

Elizabeth Logun at The Clumsy Cabaret, Sin-e Cafe

Elizabeth Logun

Paul Hond at The Clumsy Cabaret, Sin-é Cafe

Paul Hond



As hosts of this rather ramshackle review, Helena Mulkerns, Deanna Kirk, Elizabeth Logun – and any combination of the above – would be accompanied by the inimitable Mr. Paul Hond on piano, as they performed torch songs, Sean Nós, Old English Music Hall ditties and Piaf/Brel favourites. Café owner Shane Doyle presided behind the bar and the very talented and unique crew that formed the Sin-é Café staff kept everybody in beer and cappuccinos.

Sin-é was a very special place at the time, with its clientele of New Irish artists, musicians, writers, poets and actors. It was a cauldron of fusion for Irish and New York Culture that sparked a wave of creative output. The Cabaret had its day – and when the magic had played its course, it left its tiny stage to other worthy artists, such as Jeff Buckley, who recorded his first live EP there.