The best of New York City cabaret artists were celebrated 7:30 PM April 1, when The Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs (MAC) presented the 2002 MAC Awards at Town Hall in Manhattan.
Nominations were announced March 1. Among the winners this year are Julie Wilson, Karen Mason, Craig Rubano, Sam Harris, Richard Skipper (the Carol Channing wonder), Philip Officer and more. The star-packed event included live performances from honorees Pizzarelli and Akers, as well as Chris Calloway, Peter Cincotti, Scott Coulter, Baby Jane Dexter, Natalie Gamsu, Audrey Lavine, Donna McKechnie, Phillip Officer, John Pizzarelli, Billy Stritch, Tom Wopat and other special guests. To commemorate the Richard Rodgers centennial, Celeste Holm introduced a musical tribute featuring Heather Mac Rae, KT Sullivan, Mark Nadler and Craig Rubano.
MAC honored master jazz guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli with the Lifetime Achievement Award. The MAC Board of Directors Awards went to cabaret chanteuse Karen Akers (of Broadway's Nine and Grand Hotel) and the monthly publication "Cabaret Scenes."
The Hanson Award for promising talent went to Alexandra Billings. The Time Out New York Award for overall achievement went to Klea Blackhurst (who gets $2,000 worth of free advertising in the future in the weekly magazine).
MAC Awards producer Barry Levitt and director-choreographer Pamela Sousa (Romance/Romance, A Grand Night for Singing) helmed the star-filled evening, the biggest annual event in the cabaret community — a crossover family including those in the jazz, recording, Broadway, comedy and nightclub worlds. MAC Award-winning comedian, Ron Poole, will serve as master of ceremonies. He also picked up an award. D. Jay Bradley is musical director.
Visit the official MAC website at www.MACnyc.com.
The 2002 MAC winners (in bold-face type) and nominees are:
Klea Blackhurst, Danny's, Jack Rose
Jeanne MacDonald, Bradstan, FireBird, Odette's
Julie Reyburn, FireBird, Judy's
MAJOR FEMALE VOCALIST
Karen Mason, Arci's
Donna McKechnie, Arci's
Julie Wilson, Algonquin, Cinegrill, Plush Room
D.C. Anderson, Don't Tell Mama, High Spirits, Downstairs Cabaret Theatre
Craig Rubano, Laurie Beechman
Marcus Simeone, Danny's, Don't Tell Mama
MAJOR MALE VOCALIST
Jeff Harnar, Laurie Beechman
Sam Harris, Arci's
Phillip Officer, Arci's, Laurie Beechman
FEMALE MUSICAL COMEDY
Leslie Anderson, Judy's
Natalie Blalock, Don't Tell Mama
Joan Crowe, Arci's, Don't Tell Mama
MALE MUSICAL COMEDY
Jim Caruso, Arci's
John Flynn, Don't Tell Mama
Michael Vaccaro, Don't Tell Mama, Judy's
FEMALE JAZZ/POP/R&B VOCALIST
Mary Foster Conklin, Danny's
Natalie Douglas, FireBird
Sue Matsuki, Arci's, Don't Tell Mama, Judy's
MAJOR FEMALE JAZZ/POP/R&B VOCALIST
Lea DeLaria, Joe's Pub
Baby Jane Dexter, Arci's
Carol Woods, Arci's
FEMALE NEW YORK DEBUT
Jeanne Resula, Danny's, Don't Tell Mama
Stacy Sullivan, FireBird, Danny's
Anne Steele, Don't Tell Mama
MALE NEW YORK DEBUT
Rock Albers, Don't Tell Mama
Eric Pickering, Don't Tell Mama, Judy's
Johnny Rodgers, Arci's
FEMALE STAND-UP COMEDY
MALE STAND-UP COMEDY
Paul J. Williams
MAJOR STAND-UP COMEDY
Michael Barbieri, Judy's
Robert Kneeland, Don't Tell Mama
Shawn Moninger, Don't Tell Mama
Lina Koutrakos: Rick Jensen, Sally Mayes, Johnny Rodgers
Erv Raible: Tessa Bell, HeartSong: The Heroes' Concert, Nan Selle Lennie Watts: Karen Mack & Michael Holland, Mark McCombs
Christopher Denny: Kane Alexander, Steven Brinberg, Karen Mason
Dick Gallagher: Eric Michael Gillett, Craig Rubano, Maureen Kelley Stewart
David Maiocco: James Beaman & Goldie Dver, Eric Pickering, Tommy Femia & Christine Pedi, Richard Skipper
Tommy Femia: Judy Garland
Christine Pedi: Multiple Celebrities
Richard Skipper: Carol Channing
Jamie DeRoy & Friends
Late Breaking Stories: Mark Hartman
Poole Party: Ron Poole
PIANO BAR/RESTAURANT INSTRUMENTALIST
Bobby Peaco, Don't Tell Mama, Rose's Turn
Jerry Scott, Danny's
Tracy Stark, Don't Tell Mama, Judy's, Rose's Turn
PIANO BAR/RESTAURANT SINGING ENTERTAINER
Jennifer Kruskamp, Don't Tell Mama
Trudi Mann, Chez Suzette
Eric Pickering, Don't Tell Mama
John Bucchino, FireBird
Tim Di Pasqua, FireBird, Don't Tell Mama
Rick Jensen, FireBird
The Accidentals, Bottom Line, Don't Tell Mama
Karen Mack & Michael Holland, Don't Tell Mama
Modern Man, Laurie Beechman
REVUE OF THE YEAR
James Beaman & Goldie Dver, Crazy World: Songs of Leslie Bricusse
D. Jay Bradley, D. Jay Bradley's Christmas Show
Zina Goldrich & Marcy Heisler, Make Your Own Party 2002
SPECIAL PRODUCTION/MUSICAL COMEDY GROUP
Tommy Femia & Christine Pedi, Judy & Liza Live!
Ron Poole & Comapny, The Next Big Broadway Musical
Lennie Watts, Scott Coulter, Heart & Music
FEMALE ARTIST RECORDING OF THE YEAR
Natalie Gamsu, Weave
Heather MacRae, Songs For My Father
Sue Matsuki, A New Take
MALE ARTIST RECORDING OF THE YEAR
D.C. Anderson, "All Is Calm, All Is Bright"
Jim Caruso, "Caruso Live and In Person"
Tim Di Pasqua, "Monster Under These Conditions"
Sammy Goldstein, "So Far It's Wonderful"
MALE MAJOR ARTIST RECORDING OF THE YEAR
Jeff Harnar, "Sammy Cahn All the Way"
Phillip Officer, "Hoagy On My Mind"
MULTIPLE ARTISTS RECORDING OF THE YEAR
Babbie Green, "Soldiers of the Heart: More Songs of Babbie Green"
Jamie DeRoy & Friends "Tis the Season"
The Lounge-O-Leers, "Now That's What I Call the Lounge-O Leers
SONG OF THE YEAR
"The Boy For Me," music and lyrics by Michael Ogborn
"I Believe," music and lyrics by Ben Moore
"Seventeen on Mars," music by Louis Rosen, lyrics by Thom Bishop & Louis Rosen
"Welcome the Rain," music by Zina Goldrich, lyrics by Marcy Heisler
"The Whole Wide World," music & lyrics by Brett Kristofferson
SPECIAL MATERIAL OF THE YEAR
"The Drinking Song," music by David Maiocco & Michael Conley; lyrics by Michael Conley
"Over-Estimated," music by Curtis Moore; lyrics by Amanda Green
"Where's Shirley," music by John McMahon; lyrics by Jay Jefferies
— By Kenneth Jones