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BWW Feature: And The Nominees Are... BEST TRIBUTE SHOW

When these artists honored someone special to them, it brought out something special for the audiences.

BWW Feature: And The Nominees Are... BEST TRIBUTE SHOWThe Tribute Show is one of the most popular forms of club act in the business of small venue entertainment. People love to build a show around their favorites, whether it's a Kander & Ebb show, an evening of Marlene Dietrich songs, or a Joe Iconis review. Singing artists just love to honor the music makers, the singing actors, and the ground breakers who lit the way for their own work. It works for them and it works for the audiences because sometimes people can be got into the seats just by one magic word in the title: Sondheim.

These are the nightclub performers who paid homage to an artist that inspired them.


Christine Andres - Piaf: No Regrets - Feinstein's/54 Below: One of the cabaret and club industry's great chanteuses herself, it was no small surprise when Christine Andreas announced she was doing an Edith Piaf tribute show. The act garnered so much praise that it has remained one of the Tony Award nominee's regular properties, going out on the road and returning to Manhattan clubs... and now it is being filmed. Now, THAT's La Vie En Rose.

Clint Holmes & Billy Stritch - Straighten Up and Fly Right: The Music of Nat "King" Cole - Birdland: When two jazz experts who are Brofriends get together to do a club act for a legendary jazz club, it has to swing, it has to be hot, and it has to be cool- hot and cool at the same time - yeah, it can be done, and when Holmes and Stritch took their Nat "King" Cole tribute to the stage at Birdland it wowed so many people they had to bring it back again. It's that hot/cool thing - like putting m&m's in your movie popcorn: a perfect combination.

Melissa Errico - An Even Grander Affair - Feinstein's/54 Below: Tony Award nominee Melissa Errico is a world-renowned musical storyteller, a troubadour, a chanteuse, and like any good chanteuse, she had a maestro who viewed her as a muse. When her Maestro died, Errico continued her ongoing artistic representation of his canon by updating, supplementing, and freshening her pre-existing tribute show to him. Long may Melissa Errico sing Michel Legrand.

Sean Patrick Murtagh - Mario! A Salute to the Great Mario Lanza - The Green Room 42: More than just a muse, Mario Lanza was like a guiding light from beyond for bari-tenor Sean Patrick Murtagh. With his personal show about why Lanza meant so much to him, Murtagh garnered praise, gained fans, and got a MAC Award. Not bad for a debut solo show in NYC.

Nicole Henry - I Wanna Dance With Somebody: The Music of Whitney Houston - Feinstein's/54 Below: One of the jazz industry's shining stars, Nicole Henry went pop when she created her one-woman show about the diva who inspired a generation of singers to reach new heights and new standards with their vocal artistry. This one-act musical play showcased more than just Whitney: it shone a light on Nicole that ought to propel her into the vision of new audiences and new producers everywhere.

Nancy McGraw - In The Cool, Cool, Cool of The Evening - Laurie Beechman Theatre:

A class act deserves a class act, and when Nancy McGraw put together her new show, not only did she choose right when she made Johnny Mercer the subject of the show, she did it again when she put Mark Nadler behind the piano. Easily one of the slickest, most well-assembled and executed shows of 2019, this was also one of the most enjoyable, with audience members on their feet to honor a woman who, clearly, knows what it takes to create a great cabaret show.

The link to vote for your favorite Tribute Show is HERE.

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From This Author Stephen Mosher