John Kander and Fred Ebb aren't the only ones for whom "life is a cabaret." Lovers of singers and comedians seen in intimate venues also feel proprietary about the art form. One way to show that affection is the annual Back Stage Bistro Awards ceremony. The 16th annual awards for achievement in cabaret will be presented at NYC's The Supper Club, March 5.
The awards were established in 1985 by the late columnist Bob Harrington. The goal of the awards is not to deem the "best" but to acknowledge achievement and originality. This year's evening will begin with a 5 PM reception, with Jerry Scott providing music on the piano and the presentation of the awards at 6:30 PM followed by dinner.
The winners of the 2001 Bistro Awards follow:
OUTSTANDING MAJOR ENGAGEMENT
Polly Bergen at Feinstein's at the Regency.
OUTSTANDING MUSICAL COMEDY
Jim Caruso at Arci's Place
Jason Graae at Arci's Place
Scott Coulter at Don't Tell Mama
Jack Donahue at the FireBird Café and Cabaret 1050
Audrey Lavine at the FireBird Café and Judy's Chelsea.
OUTSTANDING CABARET DEBUT
Kane Alexander at the FireBird Café
Julie Reyburn at Judy's Chelsea
"Bistro Baby" by David Gurland
OUTSTANDING MUSICAL REVUE
"This Life - The Songs of Portia Nelson," at Don't Tell Mama
OUTSTANDING PERFORMER IN A REVUE
Bobby Peaco for "Indigo Rat" at Upstairs at Rose's Turn
SPECIAL CABARET EVENT BISTRO
"Purpose of Love - A Tim Di Pasqua Songbook," at The Triad
Marc Salem for "Mind Games and All That Jazz" at Feinstein's at the Regency
Michael Feinstein for "Romance on Film, Romance on Broadway"
OUTSTANDING COMEDY PERFORMER
OUTSTANDING VARIETY SHOW
Ron Poole for "Poole Party!" at Don't Tell Mama
OUTSTANDING MUSICAL DIRECTION
OUTSTANDING TECHNICAL DIRECTION
Michael Barbieri at Judy's Chelsea
Ervin Drake - Songwriter, whose contributions to cabaret have been his life's labor of love.
Joe's Pub Songbook Series - for exploration, preservation, and enrichment of the growing Great American Songbook.
And finally, this year's Bob Harrington Lifetime Achievement Award will be given to legends Dame Cleo Laine and John Dankworth.
A limited number of seats are available to the public for $60. Those tickets can be purchased at the Back Stage offices, 770 Broadway (6th Floor), by calling (646) 654 5740 or online at www.backstage.com.
— by Ernio Hernandez