617 S Olive St, Los Angeles, CA | Directions 9001434.047864 -118.254570
Neighborhoods: Central LA, Downtown, Historic Core
The worst show ever. – Last night was hands down the worst Cicada club event I think I have ever been to. There were problems aplenty. First off, the singers were both horrible, Ginger pretending to be Betty Boop, each song was more annoying then before, not a big fan of the male singer Johnny something or other. Where does Maxwell DeMille find these people? Karaoke bars? Was he drunk when he hired them? I hope the restaurant didn't have to pay too much to hire them. I don't have any real thoughts about Maxwell DeMille unlike the other posters, but I can understand their feelings against him. The man never speaks to anyone and spends most of the event in hiding in dark corners. Why run a night club when you have a fear of being social? If had to pay, I would have wanted my money back. The restaurant which used to be great on service is also slipping. Our waiter was as clueless as it gets, not professional at all. The two stars goes for Cicada's management which is always professional.
Maxwell DeMille has a lot of improvements to make. – This place needs a lot improvement. Where do I start? 1. Poor singers/bands who can't carry a tune who screech and wail into the poorly hooked up sound system 2. Maxwell DeMille who is arrogant and cold;he couldn't be bothered to speak to anyone. 3. The general deadness of the place. Instead of another act coming on during the band break, DeMille puts on maudlin recorded music on a loop 5. Maxwell DeMille's annoying nasally voice. 6. The announcer's annoying voice 7. The fact that no new ever comes to the club to preform. 8. The fact that Maxwell DeMille needs to announce that they are broadcasting through the world on a webcam (how is this vintage?) 8. Slow service at the restaurant 9. Pricey cocktails.
Mediocre vintage nights – Cicada club used to be great, Maxwell De Mille simply does not care to greet his customers, the ones that are paying his salary. He is very aloof and almost antisocial. His last big band night was a HUGE disappointment. He needs to hire more professional acts. All of the singers and bands that have come in really had me and my friends yawning. I think Maxwell has tried to liven things up a new announcer, but all of his efforts really have bombed. Last week was particularly bad with the always boring Jennifer Keith ( I thought another singer was going to be singing but I guess she canceled), and the screechy blonde Christine. The 1920's nights are all the same, not worth going to anymore.
Absolutely Love Richard Halpern and the 1920s nights – Having read some of the recent reviews on here I am perplexed. Were my wife and I watching the same show that some of you were? We have been fans of the Cicada Restaurant musical nights for some time now, and we have had the pleasure of being able to watch the recorded shows on the internet before we actually made it into the place live. Our favorite is Richard Halpern without a doubt as his shows are the most lively of the series and he really seems to know how to put over the true spirit of the 1920s. Since coming into the club in-person, my wife and I are always greeted by Richard himself during some point of the evening as he makes his way to each and every table of guests, we noticed. We love his song choices and he has often asked people for requests, which he honors, if not on stage, but in subsequent nights. We even saw him sing a request acapella at a table near us, and the lady whose birthday it happened to be, was thrilled to say the least. We love the food at Cicada too and have recommended the place to several of our friends who have shared our opinion, and have received nothing but the finest feedback from them about the musical nights and Richard and the entire dining and show experience. Five stars absolutely.
Good for business/Sunday night ungood – Last weekend I took my fiance to Cicada Restaurant for our 2nd anniversary. From the minute I walked in I got the impression that no one knew what they were doing. The food was decent but I felt like I was paying for the ambiance which is WORTH IT! The macambo salad was good but I cannot call the filet mignon a "filet. "Think Black Angus...? For $32 + I expect a lot more! Especially a HOT plate because when I got mine it was cold. By this time I had already given up. The band looked to all be more "seasoned" performers which is usually a good sign. "Jenny and the somethings" was OK enough but nothing to write home about. The whole show kind of put me to sleep except for a hot blond named Christine who came up. Her voice was so annoying and shrill that I felt my veins begin to pop out of my head. The crowd was older and not very happening to say the least. You call this a "club?" I think it would be a good place for a quiet lunch or business meeting.
Cicada Restaurant= Fantastic/Maxwell Demille=NO – Firstly, I'm giving two reviews here. One is for Cicada as a restaurant in general and one is for, "Maxwell Demille's Cicada Club."
1) Cicada Restaurant/The Oviatt building is a beautiful art deco historical gem. It is one of the few places we have like this in Los Angeles. The architecture and decor are both breathtakingly beautiful and you'll swear it's another time. The food here is also wonderful. It's a bit pricey but a PERFECT place to bring a date for romance. The ambiance here can't be beat! FIVE STARS! If you haven't gone already- what is stopping you?!
2) Maxwell Demille's Cicada Club: It happens on Sunday nights and I'm sorry if you've had the unfortunate experience of choosing this night. There are competent musicians who play old style jazz in town but they're not booked by Maxwell Demille. This is more like "glorified musical theater jazz.." It really isn't jazz. The singers are all mostly earless posers. The bands are lukewarm and unrehearsed at best. Maxwell tops it off with his slimy arrogance and jerry-rigged sound system that is constantly feeding back. The worst night by far is "Richard Halpern's Roaring 20's Review"- think a broken Al Jolsen meets Branson Missouri meets a very gay piano bar. The night is peppered with a tone deaf coat check girl and a girl trying hard to be like Betty Boop- but why? Is this a play? I thought I was watching a jazz performance! Abysmal. Quite possibly the most annoying show in town.
To make matters worse if you appear to be a sharply dressed affluent man (such as myself): prepare to be propositioned by numerous, "working women" who dress like flappers and prey upon lonely men.
If I could give it ZERO stars I would but City Search forces me to give it one.
I am pleading with Cicada Restaurant: Whoever is in charge there, please- there MUST be someone else who you can find to book more competent performers and put on a decent musical experience.
Not sure what everyone is complaining about...Maxwell Demille puts on wonderful events. – Cicada is a great restaurant, sure the service maybe a little slow, but I know they have just hired some new people. The food here is great, I love the mocambo salad, the bolognese pasta with the filet mignon and the lobster pasta. The seafood dishes are also really great. People say how pricey Cicada is, but I have been to many restaurants in LA that are a lot more. If you don't have cocktails and desert, you can keep the bill down. I don't know why so many people are knocking the 1920's nights, I think they are a lot of fun, maybe if Richard's Halpern's show is too much like it is every time, maybe go to differently themed nights so you get a little variety. I really love getting on the dance floor and doing the Charleston. I was there when the comment about Mather was made and I really don't think that Maxwell meant anything insulting by it, I actually didn't notice anyone getting mad about it, but maybe there were some people who don't think the same way I do. I also don't think he "sours" the experience at the club, he is really under a lot of pressure to put on a production and have it go exactly right and I think that is a lot of responsibility for him.
Slow service plagues this otherwise good restaurant. – Went here for the Cicada club event, it was a slow night because of the Oscar Night, so why wasn't the service faster? Good food, but it might be cold by the time they get it out to you. Good choice of cocktails, so-so music, I have been to the 1920's style night before and it really wasn't much different then anything else I have seen there before, like the last poster a bit disappointed by Mr. Demille's choice of bands/singers for this upcoming year. Agree that Mather should get up on stage more and wasn't too keen on the joke Demille cracked about her. Does not bode well for his image. I wish Demille would get some better acts, someone should do a 1920's night besides Richard Halpern, he's great, but does the same schtick every time and its getting a bit old. Will be back in a few weeks as I am not into any of the upcoming singers for the coming month.
The host Maxwell Demille really sours this venue. – I used to spend a lot of time at Cicada and dropped off going for a while, now have started going again. Not much has changed, which is the problem. Went to Richard Halpern's 1920's review last night. There is nothing wrong with Richard Halpern, but I for one would like to see other people at this 1920's event, Richard seems to do the same songs every time. "Maxwell Demille" has gone from being kind of a novelty to somewhat unbearable. He really has no talent in front of a mic. He really made a lot of the customers angry last night when he cracked a very unfunny joke about his coat check girl ( who is by the way both very beautiful and VERY talented).This made a lot of the Cicada regulars mad because Mather who has more talent then all of the other female singers combined.
Unique night spot in historic building – My wife and I enjoyed Ian Whitcomb at the Cicada Club recently and loved the atmosphere of this historic art deco venue. Before we decided to go, we read many of the reviews here. A few seemed to be written by the same person or by an envious competitor, which is often the case with some websites. However, we went to the Cicada Club website and watched actual videos of past shows. It looked like so much fun we just had to go, and we were not dissapointed. What a wonderful experience! From the uniformed doorman to the vintage elevator operator, it was so much fun. The food and service was excellent. A bit pricey, but having no cover charge more than made up for it. We will be back next year!
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