restaurants
Spotlight Live
1604 Broadway
212 262 1111

The enormously fun Spotlight Live looks like a grand three story karaoke restaurant, but turns out to be a place where you can become famous during dinner on the Broadway-quality performance stage. It could be anyone from a Sinatra impersonator to a 15 year old named Emily (from Mississippi, natch) actually being discovered by an Epic Records exec. At tables diners have a TV screen where they can choose songs to sing, take photos to send to other tables or email to themselves. Talented in-house singers fill in with live performances of classics such as Proud Mary and Santana's Smooth so dinner is entertaining but not disruptive. You could focus on the food - a well-prepared and wide menu, such as sliders, steamed halibut, angel hair pasta with meatballs, pork ribs, mezze, and our favourite, the Junk Food dessert (home made Rice Krispie treats and Sno-balls) all done startlingly well - but it's hard to resist the lure of performing. Those willing to go it on the big stage, get back-up dancers, a fully mastered sound system complete with engineers, a behind-the-scenes green room where they'll do makeup and help with dance moves. Good thing because a partnership with Comcast means you can broadcast your performance onto real TV as well as a Times Square Jumbotron. Even for the shyest, there is the option of recording studio pods where private karaoke can be made into an album, a DVD, a tour poster, and t-shirts. Top level of the restaurant features a private mini-stage as well as an outdoor balcony. Already this spot has hosted J Lo and Natasha Bedingfield, not to mention parties for the Color Purple, Tori Amos and Legally Blonde.

$$$

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