As previously announced, the contest will begin June 9 at 9:30 PM and run for 12 consecutive weeks every Tuesday through Aug. 25. Mama's Next BIG Act! will invite solo, duo and group acts in the following categories: music, magic, drag, burlesque and variety. (All acts may use the contest's resident music director or provide their own accompaniment.)
Audience members and celebrity judges will vote on the different performances, and the top acts will be pitted against each other during the contest's final weeks.
Serving as permanent judges are singer-entertainer Tanya Moberly and Frank Dain, editor-in-chief of Cabaret Scenes Magazine.
After the contest's initial three weeks of trials, the two are joined by an extended family of New York entertainment artists, including William Blake, Mary Foster Conklin, Scott Coulter, Cynthia Crane, Natalie Douglas, Tommy Femia, Michael Holland, Cady Huffman, Rick Jensen, David Kenney, Barry Kleinbort, Lina Koutrakos, Karen Mack, Karen Mason, Marissa Mulder, Georga Osborne, Phyllis Pastore, Kelli Rabke, Julie Reyburn, Ruby Rims, Ricky Ritzel, Jay Rogers, Richard Skipper, Stacy Sullivan and Nancy Witter.
"It's definitely a family affair," said contest co-producer Lennie Watts, "with entertainers and industry leaders who have nurtured live entertainment for years lending their support and jurisprudence in this massive undertaking. We also wanted our judges closely associated with Don't Tell Mama. Many either got their start here, or are currently performing here either in the cabaret or piano bar." The contest's winner will receive a fully produced, four-show run of a new show, complete with publicity support; a "making of" promo video; social media Vine clips of the winning performance; and a Black & Decker toaster oven. The winner's show poster will be permanently enshrined on Mama's Legacy Wall.
Following the three preliminary rounds, the Top 30 contestants will earn chances to win a number of "pop-up prizes" offered every week.
Don't Tell Mama celebrates its 33rd anniversary in November.
Mama's Next BIG Act! will run June 9, 16, 23 (at 9:30 PM); June 30, July 7, 14, 21, 28, Aug. 4, 11, 18 and 25 (at 7:30 PM). The shows will be live-tweeted.
Don't Tell Mama is located at 343 West 46th Street. There is a $12 cover, plus a two-drink minimum. For reservations, call (212) 757-0788 or visit DontTellMamaNYC.com.