Karen Akers, seen on Broadway in the original casts of Nine and Grand Hotel, and jazz artist Keely Smith were both named Outstanding Cabaret Female Vocalist in a Major Engagement, while the late composer Cy Coleman received the honor posthumously for Male Vocalist in a Major Engagement. Other winners of interest to theatre fans include Liz and Ann Hampton Callaway, who were honored with the Outstanding Duo/Group Cabaret Performance in a Major Engagement prize and Side Show's Phillip Officer, named Outstanding Cabaret Male Vocalist.
The complete list of recipients — selected by more than 20 judges who cover the arts — follows:
Outstanding Cabaret Female Vocalist in a Major Engagement
(Tie) Karen Akers and Keely Smith
Outstanding Cabaret Male Vocalist in a Major Engagement
Cy Coleman (posthumous)
Outstanding Duo/Group Cabaret Performance in a Major Engagement
Liz and Ann Hampton Callaway Outstanding Cabaret Female Vocalist
Outstanding Cabaret Male Vocalist
Outstanding Cabaret Musical Comedy/Characterization Performance
Outstanding Cabaret Piano Bar Performer
Unique Cabaret Event
"Under the Covers" (at Mama Rose's)
Outstanding Female Standup Comedian
Outstanding Male Standup Comedian
Outstanding Group Comedy Performance
Invite Them Up (Eugene Mirman and Bobby Tisdale)
Unique Comedy Performance
Dave Gorman's Googlewhack Adventure
Outstanding Jazz Soloist
Outstanding Jazz Combo Performance
Outstanding Female Jazz Vocalist
Outstanding Male Jazz Vocalist
Jackie Paris (posthumous)
The awards will be presented Jan. 31, 2005, at New York's Town Hall. The award winners have been invited to perform at the ceremony (there are no acceptance speeches), which will feature special guest stars Joy Behar, Bruce Vilanch, Sutton Foster, Ute Lemper, Maureen McGovern and Kate Clinton, who will perform in honor of the winners. The 7 PM evening will also honor the late Cy Coleman and Jackie Paris.
This year's judges included Kirsten Ames (Producer, Festival Talent, U.S. Comedy Arts Festival), Michael Anthony (WHPC - 90.3 FM, Jazz Journalist), Jane Borden (Time Out NY), Angela Bowers (HBO), Adam Feldman (Time Out NY), David Finkle (Village Voice), Will Friedwald (Village Voice), Steve Futterman (The New Yorker), Amelie Gillette (The Onion), Ira Gittler (Jazz Times and Downbeat), Celia Iplotis (Eye on the Arts), Peter Leavy (Cabaret Scenes), Brian Scott Lipton (Cititour.com), Ward Morehouse III (AM NY), David Perozzi (ABC-TV), Rex Reed (The New York Observer), Roy Sander (formerly Back Stage and Citysearch), Barbara Siegel (Theatermania.com and Siegel Entertainment Syndicate), Scott Siegel (Theatermania.com and Siegel Entertainment Syndicate), Naomi Steinberg (Comedy Central), Jonathan Warman (HX Magazine) and K. Leander Williams (Time Out NY).
In a previous statement, critic/author Scott Siegel, who created the awards, said, "It is our particular intention to give New York City's nightlife — its clubs and performers — the same importance in the public mindset as Broadway. This is an award that will have immediate credibility and importance because it will be given by the broadest possible spectrum of this city's most influential authorities on cabaret, jazz, and comedy from those who see acts in the big rooms to those who cover the nightlife waterfront."
Tickets for the Nightlife Awards are priced at $25, $50 and $75 and are available by calling Ticket Master at (212) 307-4100. (Tickets to the after party are an additional $50.) Town Hall is located in Manhattan at 123 West 43rd Street.