Marilyn Maye to Present Lainie Kazan With 'Lifetime Achievement' Award at Bistro Awards Gala, 3/4
Two New York Cabaret Awards shows down, two to go.
Who would have ever thought that the New York Cabaret scene would end up having almost as many awards shows as the film industry? The Nightlife Awards Show at Town Hall was presented on January 14, and the newly established BroadwayWorld.com New York Cabaret Awards Show filled the Metropolitan Room on February 21. The Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs (MAC) will hold its 27th Annual MAC Awards Show on March 21 at B.B. King's Blues Club. But next up is the granddaddy of all the Cabaret Award shows, the 28th Annual Bistro Awards Gala, which recognizes outstanding achievement in New York cabaret, jazz, and comedy, on March 4 at 6:30pm at the Gotham Comedy Club (208 West 23rd Street, Between 7th & 8th Ave). The evening, under the direction of Shellen Lubin, will once again be co-hosted by comedian and actor Jim David, and will feature performances from most of this year's Bistro-winning artists.
This year's featured honorees include Lainie Kazan (photo above), Clint Holmes, Sue Raney, Jenifer Lewis, Alec Mapa (all of whom are flying into New York from the West Coast to attend the event), Maurice Hines and Justin Vivian Bond. One of the real treats of every Bistro Awards is seeing the presenters who are on hand to bestow special awards. At the March 4th event, the legendary cabaret singer Marilyn Maye will be presenting fellow legend singer-actress Lainie Kazan with the "Bob Harrington Lifetime Achievement Award;" Dee Dee Bridgewater, who won last year's Bistro for "Ongoing Artistry in Jazz," will present the Award for "Enduring Artistry" to Maurice Hines; Director, Acting Coach and Author Larry Moss will be on hand to present Clint Holmes with the Bistro for "Major Engagement " for his 2012 show This Thing Called Love: Cole Porter & Paul Simon at the Café Carlyle; Nikki Blonsky, who starred in the 2007 film Hairspray, is presenting Alec Mapa with the Bistro for "Comedy Monology" for his show Baby Daddy at the Laurie Beechman Theatre; and Producer/Composer/Director Lee Summers will present Jennifer Lewis with the Bistro for "Dazzling Return to New York Cabaret" for her show Black Don't Crack at 54 Below.
The Bistro Awards Show was an outgrowth of writer Bob Harrington's cabaret column honoring performers in the entertainment-industry newspaper Back Stage. Five years after Harrington's column began in 1985, the Bistros staged their first live presentation at the club Eighty Eights. The Awards show has been at the Gotham Comedy Club for the past six years. "Though larger than an average cabaret venue, it still maintains the intimacy of a small cabaret room which is so essential to the art," says Producer and Host Sherry Eaker, a former Editor-in-Chief of Back Stage. "The Bistro Awards Show is an evening filled with great performances from the winners--the stars, as well as the talented newcomers--who represent a wide variety of styles from the worlds of cabaret, comedy, and jazz. Our mission is to recognize, encourage, and support new talent and our philosophy is to be as constructive as possible. The awards show is simply a culmination of what we do year-round." (Please click on Page 2 below to continue)
Ms. Kazan, who has entertained audiences on stage and screen and in night clubs since the 1960s--from Funny Girl to My Big Fat Greek Wedding, from Mr. Kelly's to Feinstein's at Loews Regency--will receive the Bob Harrington Lifetime Achievement Award. Mr. Hines (photo above), the celebrated actor, dancer and choreographer who started on TV variety shows in the 1950s and went on to a Tony Award-nominated career on Broadway, is being honored for his Enduring Artistry.
Clint Holmes (photo left) and Sue Raney, two veteran entertainers, are being honored for their Major Engagements at the Café Carlyle and Feinstein's at Loews Regency, respectively. Mr. Holmes brought his bravura showmanship and powerful vocals to a critically acclaimed new show comparing and contrasting the music of Cole Porter and Paul Simon. Ms. Raney, a leading light on the West Coast jazz scene since the 1950s and still gloriously in command of her sunny voice and trademark range, marked her first New York nightclub engagement in over 25 years.
Other Bistro Awards go to film, TV and stage star Jenifer Lewis (photo right) for her "Dazzling Return to New York Cabaret"; Broadway and symphony conductor Barry Levitt, who is music director for many of nightlife's biggest names, for "Ongoing Musical Excellence"; and Mx Justin Vivian Bond, the Tony Award-nominated performance artist, for "Singular Artistry." Two Special Awards will be presented: to Jack Kleinsinger, whose concert series "Highlights in Jazz" has been presenting major jazz performers for 41 seasons, and to Ben Rimalower, the writer and performer of the poignant and hilarious solo play Patti Issues, which has been extended four times at The Duplex.
Alec Mapa will be honored for his comedy monologue Baby Daddy, while Tanya Holt will be recognized for her achievements as a Vocalist and Deanna Kirk as Jazz Vocalist. Michael Hughes wins a Bistro Award for his debut New York show, Mickey and Judy, the musical memoir that was the hit of the 2011 Toronto Fringe Festival. T. Oliver Reid is being recognized with a Bistro for Theme Show for his show Drop Me Off in Harlem, which marked his debut at Feinstein's at Loews Regency last fall. Mary Liz McNamara, already honored by BMI for outstanding creative achievement in musical theatre, will take home the Bistro Award for Songwriter.
In addition, the Bistro Awards will honor two very special new recordings. Catherine Russell, the versatile singer whose CDs have topped both the Billboard charts and the Village Voice's Jazz Critics poll, has impressed the jazz world yet again with the 2012 album Strictly Romancin'. Moira Danis features many genres of music to highlight the connections between friends, lovers, relatives and strangers on her new CD, Some People's Lives.
The "Ira Eaker Special Achievement Award," given to an outstanding performer on the rise, and named after Back Stage's co-founder, co-publisher, and first cabaret critic, goes to multi-talented Liam Forde.
The gala event will be preceded by a champagne reception for Bistro recipients and Premium Ticket holders beginning at 5 pm. In addition to Producer and Host Sherry Eaker, other members of the Bistro Awards Committee included Elizabeth Ahlfors (Cabaret Scenes, CurtainUp.com), David Finkle (Village Voice, The Huffington Post), Kevin Scott Hall (Edge Media Network, BistroAwards.com ), Rob Lester (Cabaret Scenes, TalkinBroadway.com), Erv Raible, executive/artistic director of the Cabaret Conference at Yale University, Roy Sander (BistroAwards.com, chairman of the Advisory Board of MAC), Robert Windeler (BistroAwards.com) and Mark Dundas Wood (Simply-Showbiz.com, BistroAwards.com). Eaker, who heads the Bistro Committee, is the former longtime Editor-in-Chief of Back Stage and the producer of the event since its inception. Roy Sander and Tanya Moberly are Associate Producers.
The complete list of 2013 Bistro Award Winners:
Lainie Kazan / Bob Harrington Lifetime Achievement Award
Maurice Hines / Enduring Artistry
Sue Raney / Major Engagement / Feinstein's at Loews Regency
Jenifer Lewis / Dazzling Return to New York Cabaret / "Black Don't Crack at 54 Below" / 54 Below
Barry Levitt / Ongoing Musical Excellence
Liam Forde / Ira Eaker Award
Highlights in Jazz / Special Award to Jack Kleinsinger / series
Justin Vivian Bond / Singular Artistry / 54 Below
Tanya Holt / Vocalist
Deanna Kirk / Jazz Vocalist
T. Oliver Reid / Theme Show / "Drop Me Off in Harlem" / Feinstein's at Loews Regency
Mary Liz McNamara / Songwriter
Moira Danis / Recording, "Some People's Lives"
Catherine Russell / Recording, "Strictly Romancin'"
The Bistro Awards are sponsored by ASCAP, with additional sponsorship from BMI, Branson B. Champagne, and Banfi Wines. General Admission tickets are $65; Premium Tickets are $100, which includes the pre-show Champagne reception and priority seating. A two-drink minimum applies to both ticket categories, and all attendees are invited to the "After Bistros" party. To purchase tickets, go to www.bistroawards.com. For additional information, please call 646-637-2806 or 917-239-5467.