Don't Tell Mama NYC

Our Story

Established in 1982, don’t tell mama is celebrating over 40 years as a world famous entertainment destination. Located on renowned Restaurant Row in the heart of New York’s theater district, don’t tell mama is one-of-a-kind – a veritable nightlife mall with four individual spaces: a piano bar, a restaurant and 2 separate cabaret showrooms: a cineplex of cabaret!

Countless luminaries have come through our doors such as Liza Minnelli, Paul Newman, Joan Rivers, Bette Midler, Rosie O’Donnell, Chita Rivera, Kathy Griffin, Audra MacDonald, Kristin Chenoweth, Mario Cantone, & Cuba Gooding Jr., to name but a few!

The Name

Origin of the name: In the award-winning 1966 Broadway musical “Cabaret” by John Kander & Fred Ebb, the heroine Sally Bowles performs at The Kit Kat Club. She sings a racy, flirtatious song entitled "don’t tell mama", explaining to the audience that her mama thinks she is living in a convent but actually she is working in a nightclub in a pair of lacy pants! All the implied naughtiness, high spirits and fun in the lyrics suggests this is indeed the place to be!

In the Media

Much media coverage from “Saturday Night Live” and “Friends”on television to The New York Times and “Vanity Fair” in print!

"don’t tell mama is tucked under a black awning on leafy West 46th Street and hosts the city’s leading combination of cabaret room and piano bar"

Will Friedwald, The Wall Street Journal

“Delicious camp” “Always fun” “Great Performers”

Zagat, New York 1

“What good is sitting alone in your room? Cabaret is a steal. A show at don’t tell mama costs less than parking your car. And don’t tell mama offers a separate piano bar with no cover. Not that cheap comes at the expense of quality. Many people working in this club have Broadway credits.”

Erik Peipenburg, The New York Times

“The Algonquin and other major rooms are populated by artists who got their first major break here.”

Ruth Leon, Applause New York’s Guide to the Performing Arts