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Feature: And The Nominees Are... BEST SPECIAL EVENT, MULTIPLE

And, boy, were these one-offs really, truly special.

Feature: And The Nominees Are... BEST SPECIAL EVENT, MULTIPLE Throughout each season of the cabaret and concert community there can be found a variety of programs - everything from weekly variety shows to debuts, and the audience members who fill the seats are regularly checking the calendars of the clubs to see if there are any special events happening. For a solo act, a special event could be a CD release or a birthday party; for a multiple act special event, though, it could be anything from a fundraiser to a holiday party. The title isn't a misnomer because these events are, really and truly, very special, a lot of fun, and always memorable.

Just consider the special events listed here.

The Category is BEST SPECIAL EVENT, Multiple

Meghan Murphy - Big Red and The Boys - Feinstein's/54 Below: Frontwoman Meghan Murphy is an artist with a stamp. She is big of voice, style, personality, and stature - and the Big Red brand fits her as comfortably as a slinky sequined gown, all in red. Her annual holiday party has become a tradition for many, selling out as soon as the tickets are available, and with good reason. Murphy and the men who share the stage with her sure know how to bring the cheer.

Sherry Eaker - The 2019 Bistro Awards - Gotham Comedy Club: The iconic Eaker has given her life to the cabaret industry, as an editor, reviewer, producer, bestower of awards, and advocate. The annual Bistro Awards is one of the parties of the year, every year, but in 2020 Eaker and Co. presented an award ceremony for the record books. With all the pieces perfectly in place, The Bistro Awards presented a lineup of talent that would leave a person breathless... and that's exactly what it did.

Eric Michael Gillett - Do You Hear What I Hear - Laurie Beechman Theatre: Mr. Gillett, an actor, singer, producer and teacher, brings all the parts of himself to an annual holiday concert to raise money for Benjamin House, an organization with which he has strong ties. For the delightful Christmas show, Gillett gathers around the piano some of the brightest lights in the business, presenting an evening filled with love, pathos, humor, and generosity of spirit - completely true to the season of giving.

Meghan Gunther - Love Is Love Is Love: A Celebration of Queer Love - Feinstein's/54 Below: Meghan Gunther produced this evening at 54 Below, welcoming to the stage and shining a light on performers from the LGBTQIA+ community, while shining a light on love at the same time. With artists who are gay, lesbian, trans, non-binary and more, Gunther showed the audience that there is no difference between any of us when it comes to love - everyone feels it and everyone deserves it. The audience loved what Meghan & co. showed them on this night.

Jamie deRoy - Jamie deRoy & friends Primary Stages Benefit - The Green Room 42: Iconic cabaret artist and Tony Award winning producer Jaime deRoy is one of the industry's most cherished and important members. Her Jaime deRoy & friends series has been an invaluable and enjoyable part of the history of cabaret for over twenty years and she, herself, is loved by everyone who knows her, sees her in action, or hers her sing "Jews Don't Camp". On this occasion, deRoy joined with Tyne Daly, Howard McGillin, Julie Halston and several other artists to raise funds for NYC theatrical giant Primary Stages. See? A treasure.

Marty Thomas SECOND CHANCE PROM - The Green Room 42: Broadway star and cabaret great Marty Thomas threw himself a prom to celebrate the release of his CD Slow Dancing With a Boy. To celebrate the album and the fact that the world now welcomes same-sex couples to prom, Thomas welcomed artists like Mykal Kilgore, Rachel Potter, and his ever-present partner Marissa Rosen to make the Second Chance Prom the party of the year. Spoiler: it was.

Helen Park - New Writers at 54: Helen Park In Concert - Feinstein's/54 Below: Up anc coming musical theater writer and prodigy Helen Park had an evening at 54 Below that showcased her compositions and her brilliance. With an army of talented artists like Ashley Park and Jason Tam, Ms. Park staked her claim as one of the new members of the songwriting industry. The sold-out house at Feinstein's was very vocal in their appreciation of the program, completely validating Park's growing reputation and place at the table.

Catherine Porter & Jim Vallance in Concert - Birdland Theater: When the word got out that musical theater actress Catherine Porter and rock & roll legend Jim Vallance were going to be performing his compositions at the Birdland Theater, reservations went through the roof. For one night only the musical theater aficionados and rock fans sat side by side in a jazz club and reveled in the magic that happens when musical genres meet and join hands.

Brad Simmons - Blue Christmas - The Green Room 42: Singer-songwriter and prolific musical director Brad Simmons took a December night off from playing for other people and put on his own show. With frank discussion of his life as a Southern boy and as a gay male, Simmons and a coterie of sparkly guest artists delivered unto the audience a holiday show filled with heart, honesty, and authenticity, proving that sometimes the musical director needs to be the star of the show. Simmons is definitely a star.

Joe Iconis - The Joe Iconis Christmas - Feinstein's/54 Below: This holiday tradition at Feinstein's/54 is one of the biggest and most popular parties of the year. Mr. Iconis has become as famous for his family Christmas party as he has for musicals like BE MORE CHILL. The Christmas show always runs for more than one performance and always sells out because it is just that special a treat for the fans, old and new, who simply won't miss out on seeing it.

Life Jacket Theatre Company - The Gorgeous Nothings In Concert At Joe's Pub: This one-night-only special concert told the story of the gay men of the twenties, imprisoned for their orientation, who made prison life bearable by putting on a show for each other. Recreating that show with gay artists of this day and age, the Life Jacket Theatre Company created an evening so memorable that it was turned into an online special. There are definitely hopes that the show will have a future life.

See The Gorgeous Nothings In Concert on Vimeo HERE.

Jaime Lozano - A Never-Ending Line In Concert - The Metropolitan Room: Songwriter Jaime Lozano created a song cycle that told the stories of the women who influenced his life, and that song cycle led to the creation of a cd, a cabaret show, and a fully mounted theatrical production. The event spotlighting the power and importance of the women in our lives captured the attention of many, securing a place in musical theater for Lozano, who has gone on to create many more shows with his passionate and sympathetic voice for telling stories and telling the truth.

Will Nunziata - Over Here! - Triad: One of the last things Will Nunziata did before making the transition to directing film and television was to mount a concert version of the 1974 Broadway musical at the Triad Theater. Making full use of every inch of the theater, Nunziata showed audiences that a concert in a cabaret room can feel like a production in a Broadway theater. The show got such a good response that there was speculation that it should be moved into a theater - many are still hoping that might happen.

While no online video footage of Over Here! could be found online, you can read the Broadway World coverage of the event HERE.

Jaime Lozano - Children of Salt in Concert - The Metropolitan Room: While his song-cycles are currently getting a great deal of attention, Jaime Lozano is a writer of musical theater and his show Children of Salt was mounted as a concert in 2016 and the now-shuttered Metropolitan Room. Inspired by the story of Lot's wife, Children of Salt has been fully-produced but to audiences who attended the concert reading at the Metropolitan Room found that, even without sets and costumes, the musical offerings make Children of Salt a worthy venture in any venue.

YANK! - Feinstein's/54 Below: The brothers Zelnik wrote YANK! and saw the gay World War II romance produced off-Broadway. They watched it become a hit in NYC, the UK, Australia, Brazil and other countries, with a following that could be described as devoted, if not cult-ish. For the tenth anniversary of the opening of the play in Manhattan, the Zelnik's produced a concert that reunited the original cast and introduced cast members from productions around the world. The SRO night at 54 Below was a magical moment for all the fans of the show, thrilled to be in a room with YANK! one last time.

Chanteuse New Years Eve - Don't Tell Mama: Consummate performers Laura Pavles and Tara Martinez are the entertainers for the crowds at Don't Tell Mama on New Year's Eve, and they pull out all the stops to make sure that the patrons of the famed midtown Manhattan nightclub feel the NYE love, just one block from the ball drop in Times Square. Better to be with them than the crowds, it's more fun, more glittery, and filled with the warmth of the club, the entertainment, and human companionship.

While no online footage from the New Year's Eve show for 2019 could be found, this video from the 2018 show was on Facebook HERE.

John Bucchino and Amanda McBroom SWEET DREAMS AND ROSES - Birdland: Iconic songwriters Amanda McBroom and John Bucchino are close friends and respected colleagues. After years of being advised to do a show together, Bucchino & McBroom tested the waters with a special one-night-only concert that excited crowds so much that the crowds were standing along the wall to watch it happen. There is great hope that, in a changed world, Amanda and John will reunite for more shows.

We are awaiting footage from this concert and will update this story when it arrives.

Be sure to vote for the SPECIAL EVENT of your choice HERE.

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From This Author - Stephen Mosher

Stephen Mosher is the author of The Sweater Book (a collection of his photography featuring celebrated artists from the entertainment communities of New York, Los Angeles, and London), Lived In Crazy... (read more about this author)

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