We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
In a dimly lit room secluded from the rat race of Georgetown, a happily employed bass player exchanges indecipherable and possibly meaningless cues with a chipper pianist. A few feet away, the drummer provides the rhythm with those cool metallic brushes. A man in an expensive-looking suit alternately waits at the door and patrols the area for customers, unsatisfied or otherwise. A tall, regal woman mounts the low stage, introduces herself, and sings. For a layman like myself, a Monday night at Chelsea’s has all the ingredients of a jazzy night out, except for a crowd. During prime dinner hours, the place was too quiet for singer Yvette Spears’ onstage banter to seem anything but kitschy. As she launched into her overblown rendition of “The Crying Game,” I was silently begging for someone at the next table to propose a toast or spill a drink. Fifty or so heads mulling about to find their seats would diffuse Spears’ Lena Horne-esque pretensions enough for the show to be enjoyable, so join the set; they need extras. From 6:30-10 p.m. at Chelsea’s, 1055 Thomas Jefferson St. NW. $10. (202) 298-8222. (Neil Drumming)