Bistro Awards, Honoring Kaye Ballard, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Rita Gardner, Melissa Manchester, Presented April 23

By Andrew Gans
and Michael Gioia
23 Apr 2012

Melissa Manchester
Melissa Manchester
Photo by Ed Geller

The 27th annual Bistro Awards Gala, which celebrates outstanding achievement in New York cabaret and jazz, is held April 23 at the Gotham Comedy Club.

Comedian and actor Jim David hosts the awards ceremony, which begins at 6:30 PM. Presenters include columnist Liz Smith, composer and conductor Marvin Hamlisch, choreographer George Faison and jazz artist Annie Ross.

Directed by Sara Louise Lazarus, the show also includes performances from Bistro-winning artists. Lenny Babbish is the musical director; Sherry Eaker produces.

Special honorees Kaye Ballard (The Pirates of Penzance) and Dee Dee Bridgewater (The Wiz) will receive the Bob Harrington Lifetime Achievement Award and the Ongoing Artistry in Jazz Award, respectively. Rita Gardner (The Fantasticks, The Wedding Singer) will receive the Major Engagement Award for her show Try to Remember: A Look Back at Off-Broadway. Grammy winner Melissa Manchester, who starred in the national tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Song and Dance, will receive a Special Award for Outstanding Contributions to American Popular Music.



Other award winners include Warren Vaché (Ongoing Excellence as a Jazz Instrumentalist), Joyce Breach (Ongoing Vocal Artistry), Lauren Fox (Debut), Nicolas King (Vocalist), Billie Roe (Theme Show), Justin Sayre (Comedy Artistry), Parker Scott and Wells Hanley (Recording, "Selecting Souvenirs"), Jon Weber (Musical Director), Aaron Weinstein (Ira Eaker Special Achievement Award), Jean Brassard (Tribute Show, The Kid From Paris – Jean Brassard Sings Yves Montand) and Amy Beth Williams (Vocalist).

Bistros will also be given to If It Only Even Runs a Minute (Musical Series), created and produced by Jennifer Ashley Tepper and Kevin Michael Murphy with musical direction by Caleb Hoyer; Max & Maxine: Together…Again! (Musical Comedy), conceived, written and performed by Gary Adler, Bryan Scott Johnson and Jen Perry; and Russ Garcia 95th Birthday Show (Tribute Show) by Terese Genecco, Shaynee Rainbolt, Billy Stritch and Russ Garcia.

The Gotham Comedy Club is located at 208 West 23rd Street (between 7th and 8th Avenues). For more information and tickets, call (917) 239-5467 or visit www.bistroawards.com.