Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage

Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage

Carolyn Montgomery and the ASA sure know how to put on a show.

Throughout any given year, any given show business season, there are multitudes of award shows, benefits, and Honors evenings in which the work, the life, and the life's work of artists (or a particular artist) are placed in the spotlight. Far too often these events designed to pay tribute to the artists who will go home with a trophy end up mired in over-produced programs and self-aggrandizing productions, and audience members go home exhausted, unsatisfied, and barely even remembering the purpose for their uncomfortable shoes, tight ties, and late night out.

Nothing could have been further from the experience of attending the American Songbook Association's presentation of the inaugural Darrell Henline Award to Eric Michael Gillett on Sunday night.

Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage

Darrell Henline was the founder and publisher of Cabaret Scenes Magazine, the periodical that has been the bible to members of the industry and small venue audiences for decades, until his death in 2008. The American Songbook Association partnered with the publication, making it the official magazine of their organization, and this year executive director Carolyn Montgomery and the ASA Board of Directors decided to create an award in his name, one that honors members of the cabaret community whose names stand for continued excellence and distinction. When they chose Eric Michael Gillett to be the first recipient, they could not have chosen more wisely. And when they put together the evening in which he would be bestowed with his citation, it would appear that the ASA made a list of every single flaw to be found in every award show since the beginning of time and made a determination to throw them all out with the garbage, which is precisely what they did.

Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage

On October 2nd, with Carolyn Montgomery serving as announcer for the blissfully host-less event, the ASA presented one hundred minutes of impeccable entertainment in a seamless production that featured a cast of actors hand-picked by Mr. Gillett himself, who opened the show with a mash-up of "Sweet Beginning" and "I'll Jump" that left the audience cheering, and with a full understanding of what it is that has given Gillett the longevity his career has had. In a word, the performance was stunning. Serving as the opening act for his own show was a classy way to kick off the evening, but as soon as he had the crowd's hearts racing with his own stellar storytelling, EMG retired to his table to allow Montgomery of the goddess mic to introduce each of the extraordinary performers who showed up to pay tribute to this man deeply loved and respected by so many. One by one, each act appeared on the stage to do their part in the celebration before running back to their seat. Enjoyable were occasional anecdotes from the likes of the inimitable KT Sullivan (who announced that she calls Eric her oldest friend in New York "Because he is") and Adriane Lenox (whose daughter, Crystal Joy, Eric has watched grow up) but many of the artists stepped up to the mic, performed, and left the stage, with an affectionate wave or air kiss in the direction of the honoree, artists like Andy Tighe, who drew tears with the closing number from "A Class Act" or opera singer Billy Shaw, who stepped in at the last minute for an ailing Karen Akers. The entire evening moved along at a proper pace, thanks to the diligence of the actors in getting on and off the stage in record time, thanks to stage manager Goldie Dver (who kept those mics and stands squeaky clean between numbers), and thanks to the goddess herself, Carolyn Montgomery, whose work as disembodied hostess voice was beyond reproach. This was truly one of the most professionally executed award shows this writer has ever seen - other members of the industry could learn a lot from Montgomery and co.

Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage

Aside from exceptional entertainment, what really guided the proceedings was an obvious ardor from the actors for their honoree, a dedication made clear in quotes recited by Carolyn, like Kelli Barrett's observation that Eric Michael is her director of choice because he cares more about her success than she does, or through video footage, like the one sent in by Gillett's longtime friend Kelli O'Hara, who detailed happenings from their years of friendship. Few moments were as powerful, though, as watching Ben Moss and Gillett duet with the song "For Good" from WICKED - the expression on Moss's face, while singing with his mentor, was one of purest adoration. Every teacher should be, thus, appreciated by their students - it was the most touching part of the evening, and a definite highlight in the musical proceedings.

Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage

Other special moments included KT Sullivan's rich, warm voice and interpretive skills (as both singer and pianist) on the Amanda McBroom composition "Dreamin'" and Crystal Joy's Cole Porter medley, which brought the house down and made this lover of fine musical entertainment circle her name in the program three times. This is a singer that is to be investigated, post haste. These are only two performances that resonated, especially, with this writer in an evening of quality talent on display, and that includes the work done by Musical Director Tracy Stark, bassist Skip Ward, and drummer David Silliman. Simply put: there was not one wrong move made throughout the night, one that featured the announcement of the winners of the 2022 ASA/Pomranz Performance Grant Recipients: Kathleen France, Alexis Fae Gach and Tim Keller. The American Songbook Association and Carolyn Montgomery are to be commended for their work, for a wonderful night of entertainment, and for their choice of Eric Michael Gillett as the first recipient of the Darrell Henline Award. He may have taken home the trophy, but the winners on Sunday night were the people in the audience because it was truly a night never to be forgotten - by everyone, not just Eric Michael Gillett.

Visit the American Songbook Association website HERE to learn more about the important work that they do.

HERE is the Eric Michael Gillett website.

Find great shows to see at Chelsea Table + Stage by visiting their website HERE.

Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage

Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage

Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage

Billy Shaw

Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage

Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage Amy Spanger

Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage

Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage Aaron Lee Battle

Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage

Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage

Crystal Joy

Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage

Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage

Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage

Steve Ross

Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage

Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage

Kelli Barrett & Jarrod Spector

Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage

Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage

Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage

Ben Moss

Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage

Ben Moss and Eric Michael Gillett

Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage

Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage

Melanie Vaughan and Eric Michael Gillett

Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage

Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage

Bonne Kramer

Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage

Craig Pomranz

Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage

Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage

Keith Meritz

Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage

Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage

Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage

Andy Tighe

Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage

Adriane Lenox

Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage

Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage KT Sullivan

Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage

Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage

Eric Michael Gillett

Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage

Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage

Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage Review: THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT Beautifully at Chelsea Table + Stage Photos by Stephen Mosher

Visit the Stephen Mosher website HERE.


Join Team BroadwayWorld

Are you an avid Cabaret fan in NYC? We're looking for people like you to share your thoughts and insights with our readers. Team BroadwayWorld members get access to shows to review, conduct interviews with artists, and the opportunity to meet and network with fellow theatre lovers and arts workers.

Interested? Learn more here.





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 Cra... (read more about this author)


Interview: Abigail Brooks of JOYFUL AND TRIUMPHANT at Chelsea Table + StageInterview: Abigail Brooks of JOYFUL AND TRIUMPHANT at Chelsea Table + Stage
December 1, 2022

American Idol alum and TikTok star Abigail Brooks prepares for her Manhattan club debut with a chat and a shoot with Stephen Mosher

Photos: 30 Days Of Cabaret Gratitude Final RoundupPhotos: 30 Days Of Cabaret Gratitude Final Roundup
November 30, 2022

After thirty days, we conclude the Broadway World Cabaret look at artists for whom our team feels thanks. Here they all are, together, with some thanks of our own.

Review: MALTBY AND SHIRE: REVUE # 3 at 54 Below Is Heaven On The WayReview: MALTBY AND SHIRE: REVUE # 3 at 54 Below Is Heaven On The Way
November 30, 2022

After groundbreaking and life-changing revues Starting Here, Starting Now and Closer Than Ever, Maltby and Shire have made a start on REVUE #3

Feature: 30 Days Of Cabaret Gratitude - Day Thirty - The Last WordFeature: 30 Days Of Cabaret Gratitude - Day Thirty - The Last Word
November 30, 2022

Broadway World Cabaret is looking at the Lady, the Legend, THE LAST WORD.

Feature: 30 Days Of Cabaret Gratitude - Day Twenty-Nine - The FutureFeature: 30 Days Of Cabaret Gratitude - Day Twenty-Nine - The Future
November 29, 2022

Broadway World Cabaret is looking at the work of ten artists we refer to, simply, as THE FUTURE.