Simply a Song

If you can get past karaoke nazi Ronnie, the Studio at the Shelbourne is where to belt with the best of them

There’s nothing like singing your favorite song drunk as a skunk on a big stage in front of your dearest friends and a bunch of tacky strangers. It’s not only liberating, it’s therapeutic as well. These are your moments to dedicate a tune and emote heavily, all while being displayed on small television screens around the room.

Studio at the Shelborne Hotel on Miami Beach is one of the most precious places to scream into a mike, probably in the world.

Located in the basement of the hotel, the room is dark and dingy. The stage, though, is large enough for a small crowd and lined with any instrument of your choice, so if you have any talent, you can play along or just fake it on the air guitars. There’s a two drink minimum, over recent years these drinks have gone from $7 to $10, quite a hike.

The walls are lined with photos of stars posing with Louie Rosenthal, the bedazzled and bespectacled owner. From the Olsen Twins to Willie Nelson to freaking Jerry Seinfeld, this wall is littered with familiar faces.

Studio has one of the best collections of songs to sing, but there is one huge wall that may come up between you and your good time.

That wall’s name is Ronnie. Ronnie is the moody and sometimes cantankerous DJ who controls when and what you get to sing. At times he’ll join in on the piano as you hit the wrong notes and at times he’ll turn the mike down on you.

Either way, it’s clear who’s in control. Oh, and don’t you dare turn in two songs at once; one request at a time, please.

One last thing, Ronnie, buddy, you’re cool. Front of the cue next time?

For more of Liz Tracy's Miami missives, visit her blog, Miami, bro.

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