BWW 2014 NY Cabaret Awards News: Oberlin, Harkness, Jungr, deRoy, and Schalchlin To Be Honored With Special 'Editor's Awards' at Joe's Pub Show on 2/23
With the official results of the voting for the 2014 BroadwayWorld Cabaret Awards to be revealed later this week, BWW and New York Cabaret Editor Stephen Hanks have announced this year's "Editor's Awards" for special achievement in categories that were not subject to online voting. The winners will receive their Awards and most will perform at the 3rd Annual BroadwayWorld Cabaret Awards show on February 23 (6:30 pm) at Joe's Pub. Tickets are already on sale and can be purchased here.
This year's "Best CD Release" actually features two winners--one U.S. and one U.K.--who produced critically acclaimed albums. Singer Karen Oberlin and guitarist Sean Harkness have been selected for their CD A Wish (Miranda Music), which is a jazzy and eclectic mix of songs written by extraordinary songwriters like Dorothy Fields, Paul McCartney, Fred Hersch, and Joni Mitchell. The website Jazz Times wrote: "Never has Oberlin sounded as nakedly beautiful as in this spare, mellow pairing with guitarist Sean Harkness . . ." And according to the New York Times, when the duo performed the songs live, "Oberlin and Harkness took their time as they carried on a relaxed romantic dialogue that allowed each to give full expression to the mood of the moment. A high point was a mildly jaunty version of Paul Simon's 'Train in the Distance.'" Oberlin and Harkness performed shows based on the CD set in nightclubs all over New York in 2014, including Kitano, Metropolitan Room, and Café Noctambulo.
Britain's Barb Jungr was also named a "Best CD Release" winner for Hard Rain (produced and co-arranged by Simon Wallace for Kristalyn Records), her collection of intense interpretations of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen songs. The disc has garnered universal praise in the Great Britain arts press. The Independent wrote: "It's a master class in the value of interpretive liberty, with songs transformed in almost revelatory manner. As with the album generally, its a subtle balance of hot and cold, a work of fiery cool." The website All About Jazz said that Jungr's readings of the Dylan songs, "Reaffirm Jungr's standing as a Dylan interpreter. In no way does it detract from her abilities as a Dylan interpreter to say that the revelation of Hard Rain is that her versions of the Cohen songs all but steal the album. As an album, it is the equal of Jungr's two all-Dylan ones but, more importantly, it opens up a rich new seam for her to mine." Jungr performed many of the Hard Rain cuts, along with other Dylan and Cohen classics, this past November at the East Side NYC theater 59E59. Her previous show at 59E59, Dancing In the Dark (performed last December) received a 2014 BWW Award nomination for "Best Show, Female.
The 2014 recipient of the BWW award for "Dedication & Devotion to the Art of Cabaret" goes to Jamie deRoy, who has been a fixture on the New York cabaret scene and one of its most ardent supporters for decades. Over the years, deRoy has captured eight MAC Awards and for Back Stage Bistro Awards. This year, deRoy earned her second BWW Award nomination for "Best Host/Producer for Variety Show or Recurring Series" for her very popular show Jamie deRoy & Friends. Here at BroadwayWorld, deRoy is considered a double-threat, as in addition to cabaret she is also a prominent Broadway producer with three Tony Awards to her credit, most recently including, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike and The Norman Conquests. deRoy is also an accomplished stage and TV actor. Last year's award--the first--went to Don't Tell Mama manager and cabaret performer Sidney Myer.
In a field with many deserving candidates, this year's first ever BWW New York Cabaret Award for "Excellence in Songwriting" goes to Steve Schalchlin, a New York-based composer and lyricist who has been on quite a cabaret roll the past two years. Although his two biggest recent projects, the CD and subsequent show, Tales From the Bonus Round, and his song cycle, New World Waking, were years in development, Schalchlin performed both in New York over the past couple of seasons. Bonus Round--which featured Schalchlin at the piano as lead singer--was performed as a cabaret show at the Metropolitan Room in October 2013 (and received a BWW Award nomination for "Best CD Release," and one of the songs garnered a nomination for "Best Original Song for a Cabaret Show"), while New World Waking received a standing ovation when performed at the Urban Stages Winter Rhythms Festival last month. "What makes Steve stand out above the rest for his recent body of work is that he not only writes both music and lyrics, but also performs his songs," says BWW New York Cabaret Editor Stephen Hanks. "But even more impressive is that his songs in Bonus Round compellingly chronicled his battle with the life-threatening AIDS disease, while New World Waking offered important messages about how our planet needs to finally overcome violence, war, racism, and prejudice--and how it might be possible through the power of music. Schalchlin's lyrically powerful and pleasingly melodic songs couldn't be timelier."
Congratulations to all of this year's "Special BWW Editor's Award" winners.