Created in 1985 by the late cabaret columnist Bob Harrington, this year’s winners were chosen by two Back Stage critics, David Finkle and John Hoglund. Those receiving 2003 Bistros will be celebrated at a private party hosted by the famed industry magazine.
A one-time honor, those who win Bistro Awards in a category are no longer eligible for awards in that particular category in subsequent years. About the awards, Sherry Eaker, editor-in-chief of Back Stage, writes, “The object is not to choose the ‘best’ anything-of-the-year, but to recognize and congratulate the accomplishments of those who have done something special during the year — in this case, during 2002.”
The complete list of 2003 winners follows:
Major Jazz Engagement: Jane Monheit at the Oak Room at The Algonquin. Vocalist: Marcus Simeone at the Duplex and Don't Tell Mama.
International Artist: Barb Jungr at The Flea Theater.
Return to Cabaret: Ellen Greene at The Bottom Line.
Outstanding Performer in a Revue: Eric Comstock, Bill Henderson, Dena DeRose for "Made for the Movies: A Hollywood Songbook" at the Oak Room at The Algonquin.
Musical Comedy Performer: John Flynn in "Dances with Pitchforks" at Don't Tell Mama, Joe's Pub, and Rose's Turn; Elaine Brier in "Jirque du Soleil" at Don't Tell Mama.
Musical Duo: Michael Holland and Karen Mack for "Ice Gasholes... the next decade" at Don't Tell Mama.
Theme Show: "Songs in the Style of Weill" written and performed by Lorinda Lisitza at Don't Tell Mama.
Singer/Songwriter/Instrumentalist: Ed Alstrom for "Acid Cabaret" at Don't Tell Mama and Danny's Skylight Room.
Consistent Excellence in Songwriting: John Bucchino.
Special Material: "The Song Is Mine" with lyric by John DePalma and music by James Followell.
Musical Director: D. Jay Bradley.
Director: Lina Koutrakos.
Recording: Darius de Haas for "Day Dream"; Jerry Scott for "…with a little help from my friends."
Continued Piano Bar Excellence: Jerry Scott at Danny's Skylight Room.
Piano Bar Entertainment: Leslie Anderson at Judy's Chelsea and Rose's Turn.
Special Award: To Matt Dennis, posthumously, in recognition of his contribution to the Great American Songbook; to Judy's Chelsea, for continuous excellence and nurturing of cabaret; to Joy Behar, in recognition of "Joy's Comedy Corner" on ABC's "The View" and its contributions made to the comedy industry; to Mark Nadler, in recognition of his continuing to raise the standards of cabaret performance.
The Ira Eaker Special Achievement Award: Peter Cincotti.
Bob Harrington Lifetime Achievement Award: Barbara Carroll.