This is definitely the season for Seasons. Like spring weather, it's always changing and constantly intriguing.

I was skeptical when a club official said, "Seasons is like the Foxtrap when it first opened." I envisioned a private club too upscale to be down to earth -- catering to Washington's black elite. But Seasons is simply a nightclub for everyone who appreciates the finer things, from atmosphere to entertainment. It's classy and friendly, like a noisy party you escape to, leaving behind all that ails you.

There's disco dancing downstairs and a piano bar upstairs featuring live entertainment three nights a week. The decor is simple -- soft lights and tasteful golds and rust- oranges. The dance floor, an elevated stage with a mirrored backdrop, offers plenty of room for dancing. And an ample bar winds toward the staircase that leads to the second level.

Upstairs, the crowd is as inviting as the club itself. The crowd can make or break a club -- Season's crowd makes it. As one patron put it, "This club reminds me of down home."

Down home is certainly the inspiration for Phillip Manuel, Seasons' featured entertainer, who offers his rendition of "Tobacco Road."

A seasoned vocalist, accompanied by his band Arion, Manuel belts out highs and lows reminiscent of such talents as Al Jarreau, Lou Rawls and Lionel Richie. He's a first-rate performer, able to "talk" to his audience, capture its attention and command its respect. His energy is unyielding, his delivery magnetic.

Approach Seasons the way you would your favorite entr,ee -- prepared to savor every bite. Of course, the first round will just wet your palate. But go on, order up some more. SEASONS NIGHTCLUB & RESTAURANT -- Open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 5 to 10; Thursday, 5 to 2 a.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5 to 3 a.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Happy hour is Monday through Saturday beginning at 5. Thursday night features special cover rates: women pay 99 cents cents and gentlemen are admitted free before 10. Cover charge is $5 all other times. Located at 7822 Eastern Avenue NW, 15 minutes from downtown. 726-5522. THE SHOW -- Phillip Manuel and Arion do two shows on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, at 10 and midnight.