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BWW Announces 2015 New York Cabaret Awards Nominees; KAREN MASON and MARK NADLER Named Year's Best Performers; JEFF HARNAR (4) and MARILYN MAYE (3) LEAD NOMINEES

Happy Thanksgiving Day, Cabaret Fans!

Here's some breaking news you can discuss and debate in between courses at tonight's dinner: It's the final nominees for the 2015 BroadwayWorld New York Cabaret Awards. This year, the cabaret editors and writers at BWW have cited 116 nominees (including duos and variety show/recurring series producers) in 14 categories. In addition, this year six performers or musicians have been cited for special "Editor's Choice Awards," led by veteran New York cabaret stars Karen Mason (photo below) and Mark Nadler, who have been named "Performers of the Year." Mason (who also earned a nomination for Best Celebrity Show, Female) excelled in her consistently sold-out shows at Don't Tell Mama, Mason at Mama's, in which she celebrated a return to her cabaret roots. Nadler had a stellar 2015, as he was nominated for Best Show, Male for his Addicted to the Spotlight at Feinstein's/54 Below, as well as selling out the Metropolitan Room with a one-night return of his Award-winning 2003 show Tschaikowsky (and Other Russians), performing his show Crazy 1961 on the PBS TV Series, 66th and Broadway, and a couple of charming runs at Cafe Noctambulo in the East Village.

Among the 14 Award categories, cabaret veteran Jeff Harnar and the legendary Marilyn Maye led the way in nominations with four and three nominations, respectively. Harnar received nods for Best Male Vocalist, Best Duo Show and Best Tribute Show (with KT Sullivan), and Best Director. Maye was nominated for Best Celebrity Show, Female; Best Tribute Show; and Best Director.

This year, BWW's cabaret writing team dispensed with a preliminary online fan ballot to determine nominees. Instead, a nominating panel including BWW New York Cabaret Section Editor Stephen Hanks, along with writer/reviewers Remy Block, David Clarke, Alix Cohen, John Hoglund, and Billie Roe, determined the final 2015 nominees. In addition to their own observations, the nominating panel also considered the published reviews and opinions of critics at the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and cabaret-related websites and publications such as Cabaret Scenes Magazine,,, and To qualify as an Award nominee, candidates would have had to perform a minimum of three shows in a New York metropolitan area cabaret or theater venue.

"We believe that having our reviewing team select the final nominees in the various categories--as well as considering the opinions of other experts--gives these nominations enhanced credibility and make that part of the process less a popularity contest," says Hanks. "Now it's time for Cabaret devotees, fans, and the public to chime in and vote for the winners."

BWW will post the actual nominations ballots in the next couple of days. Voters will have until Noon on December 31, 2015 to cast their votes. As in previous years, people are permitted to cast one vote per email address, but we strongly urge everyone to NOT stuff the ballot for any one nominee and to vote for candidates in as many categories as possible. Any detection of voting abuse (multiple votes appearing to come from similar email addresses) will disqualify those votes. The 2015 BroadwayWorld New York Cabaret Award winners will be announced officially the week of January 4, 2016.

Here are your 2015 Broadway New York Cabaret Award Nominees and Editor's Choice Award Winners:

Best Debut Show (Male or Female)

Natalie Arneson, Mama Drama, Duplex
Celia Berk, You Can't Rush Spring, Metropolitan Room
Christy Frye, Things I Learned From the Car Radio, Don't Tell Mama
William TN Hall, Other People's Parties, Duplex/Don't Tell Mama
Rebekah Lowin, I Know You By Heart, Metropolitan Room

Best Director

Helen Baldassare (Kim Sutton)
Lauren Fox (Rebekah Lowin)
Jeff Harnar (Celia Berk, Tovah Feldshuh)
Barry Kleinbort (Karen Mason; Rosemary Loar)
Sondra Lee (KT Sullivan & Jeff Harnar)
Marilyn Maye (Danny Bacher)
Peter Napolitano (Nicholas Levin Songbook, Adam Shapiro)
Karen Oberlin (Charlotte Patton)
Lennie Watts (Kristoffer Lowe, Rob Sutton, Eve Eaton, more)

Best Duo Show

Eric Comstock & Barbara Fasano, Shoulder Season, Metropolitan Room
Barb Jungr & John McDaniel, Come Together: Sing The Beatles, Feinstein's/54 Below
Jarrod Spector & Kelli Barrett, Music's Greatest Marriages, 54 Below
KT Sullivan & Jeff Harnar, Another Hundred People (Sondheim Songbook), Laurie Beechman
Mary Testa & Michael Strobin, Have Faith, Laurie Beechman/Feinstein's/54 Below

Best Jazz Vocalist (Male or Female)

Alexis Cole
Kat Gang
Gregory Generet
Gabrielle Stravelli
Nancy Harms
Allan Harris
Sheila Jordan
Laurie Krauz
Jane Monheit
Catherine Russell

Best Musical Comedy or Alt Cabaret Show

Dorothy Bishop, Dozen Divas, Metropolitan Room
Justin Vivian Bond, Star of Light!; Love Is Crazy!, Joe's Pub
Raquel Cion, Me and Mr. Jones (David Bowie Show), Slipper Room
Bill Dyszel, The Internet Ate My Brain, Don't Tell Mama
Bridget Everett, Rock Bottom, at Joe's Pub
Carol Lipnik at Joe's Pub, Pangea
Molly Pope, Molly Pope Likes Your Status, the Duplex
Ricky Ritzel, Ricky Ritzel's Broadway, Don't Tell Mama
Tammy Faye Starlite, Marianne Faithful at Pangea and Metropolitan Room
Evelyn Sullivan, Paper Dolls, Don't Tell Mama

Best Musical Director

Christopher Denny (Karen Mason, Stearns Matthews, Andrea Marcovicci)
Tedd Firth (Brian Stokes Mitchell, Marilyn Maye, Jason Danieley, Karen Oberlin)
Mark Janas (Dawn Derow, Len Cariou)
Barry Levitt (Gary Crawford, Charlotte Patton)
Alex Rybeck (Celia Berk, Todd Murray)
Tracy Stark (Kristoffer Lowe, Natalie Arneson)
Gregory Toroian (Kim Sutton)
Steven Ray Watkins (Eve Eaton, Rob Sutton, more)
Jon Weber (KT Sullivan & Jeff Harnar; Lauren Fox)

Best Show, Celebrity Female

Annaleigh Ashford, Lost In the Stars, Feinstein's/54 Below
Betty Buckley, Dark Blue-Eyed Blues, Joe's Pub
Ann Hampton Callaway, On My Way to You; Turning Points, Feinstein's/54 Below
Barb Jungr, Mad About the Boy And No Regrets, Feinstein's/54 Below
Bettye LaVette, Worthy, Café Carlyle
Karen Mason, Mason at Mama's, Don't Tell Mama
Marilyn Maye (photo right), Her Way: A Salute to Frank Sinatra, Feinstein's/54 Below; Marilyn by Request, Metropolitan Room

Best Show, Female

Dawn Derow, LEGIT: A Classical Cabaret, Metropolitan Room
Eve Eaton, Back to Billy, Don't Tell Mama
Lauren Fox, Groupies: The Muses Behind the Legends of Rock & Roll, Metropolitan Room
Nancy Harms, Ellington at Night, Metropolitan Room
Donna Hayes, Ordinary Miracles, Metropolitan Room
Rosemary Loar, STING*chronicity, Metropolitan Room
Tanya Moberly, Songs I Feel Like Singing: With Sean Harkness, Don't Tell Mama
Carolyn Montgomery-Forant, Visible Phoenix, Laurie Beechman
Charlotte Patton, Celebrating Men (Bless Their Hearts), Metropolitan Room
Kim Sutton, Anchors Away, Don't Tell Mama

Best Vocalist, Female

Carole J. Bufford
Minda Larsen
Maxine Linehan
Carol Lipnik
Marissa Mulder
Corinna Sowers-Adler
Lucia Spina

Best Show, Celebrity Male

Alan Cumming, Sings Sappy Songs, Café Carlyle
Jason Danieley, Romantic Notions, Feinstein's/54 Below
Michael Feinstein, The Sinatra Project, Birdland
Jeremy Jordan LIVE at Feinstein's/54 Below
John Pizzarelli, McCartney & Jobim, Birdland
Brian Stokes Mitchell, Plays With Music, Café Carlyle

Best Show, Male

Danny Bacher, Swing That Music, Metropolitan Room
Eric Comstock at Café Noctambulo
Michael Garin, Punch in the Mouth, Metropolitan Room
Kristoffer Lowe, You're Getting to Be a Habit With Me, Metropolitan Room
Todd Murray, CROON, Metropolitan Room
Mark Nadler, Addicted to the Spotlight, Feinstein's/54 Below
Rob Sutton, Not The Boy Next Door, Don't Tell Mama

Best Vocalist, Male

William Blake
Kevin Dozier
Eric Yves Garcia
Marcus Goldhaber
Jeff Harnar (photo right)
Kristoffer Lowe
Stearns Matthews
Todd Murray
Brian Charles Rooney
Adam B. Shapiro
David Vernon

Best Tribute Show (Male or Female)

Natalie Douglas, Hello Dolly: The Music of Dolly Parton, Birdland
Pamela Lewis, New York State of Mind: The Songs of Billy Joel, Metropolitan Room
Rosemary Loar, STING*chronicity, Metropolitan Room
Jeff Macauley, Mr. Lucky: The Songs of Henry Mancini, Metropolitan Room/Don't Tell Mama
Karen Oberlin, His Aim Is True: The Singular Songs of Elvis Costello, Stage 72
Marilyn Maye, Her Way: A Salute to Frank Sinatra, Feinstein's/54 Below
Seth Sikes, Seth Sikes Sings Mostly Judy Garland, Feinstein's/54 Below
Marcus Simeone and Tracy Stark, The Songs of Janis Ian, Metropolitan Room
KT Sullivan & Jeff Harnar, Another Hundred People (Sondheim Songbook) Laurie Beechman

Best Variety Show or Recurring Series

Broadway Ballyhoo--Scott Siegel, Producer, Laurie Beechman; Feinstein's/54 Below
Cabaret Cares--Joseph Macchia, Producer, Metropolitan Room
Clip Joint--Will Friedwald, Producer-Zeb's at 28th Street
Concerts for City Greens--Raissa Katona Bennett, Producer, Tudor City
54 Below Sings (Grand Hotel, 1776, etc.)--Feinstein's/54 Below
Guinness Book of World Records Marathon--Bernie Furshpan, Producer, Metropolitan Room
Jazz Soup--Laurie Krauz, Producer, Metropolitan Room
New York Cabaret's Greatest Hits--Stephen Hanks, Producer, Metropolitan Room
Tune In Time--Amy Englehart & Heather Shields, Producers, York Theater
2015 Cabaret Convention--Mabel Mercer Foundation/KT Sullivan, Producer, Town Hall
Urban Stages Winter Rhythms Festival--Francis Hill/Peter Napolitano, Producers, Urban Stages

2015 Editor's Choice Awards:

Cabaret Performers of the Year (Female and Male): Karen Mason; Mark Nadler
Dedication & Devotion to the Art of Cabaret: Steve Ross
Excellence In Hosting Variety Show, Series, or Open Mic: Jim Caruso, Cast Party, Birdland
Excellence in Musicianship: Ian Herman and Sean Harkness, Duet (Show at Subculture and CD Release)
Excellence in Songwriting: Alex Rybeck (Songbook Shows at Feinstein's/54 Below & Metropolitan Room)

Photos of Karen Mason, Marilyn Maye and Jeff Harnar by Stephen Sorokoff

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From This Author - Stephen Hanks

During four decades as an award-winning magazine publisher/editor/writer for a variety of national magazines and websites, Stephen Hanks has written about sports, health and nutrition, parenting, p... (read more about this author)