The Manhattan Association of Cabarets' 36th Annual MAC Awards, celebrating the best in New York City nightlife, were presented April 12 at Peter Norton Symphony Space.
Cabaret veteran Natalie Douglas won the MAC Award for Celebrity Artist, a category that also included The Life Tony winner Lillias White for her evening at The Green Room 42, Tony winner André De Shields (Hadestown) for Black by Popular Demand at Feinstein's/54 Below, Tony nominee Norm Lewis (The Gershwins' Porgy & Bess) for (There's No Place Like) Home for the Holidays at Feinstein's/54 Below, and Billy Stritch for Billy's Place at Birdland. Douglas was honored for several tribute shows: Best of Tributes: The Women (Nina, Dolly, Roberta), Best of Tributes: The Men (Nat, Sammy, Elvis), Tributes: James Taylor, To Nina: Tribute to Nina Simone, and Four Women Four Decades.
Two theatre favorites were also winners: David Sabella, who originated the role of Mary Sunshine in the Tony-winning revival of Chicago, won the award for Major Artist-Male for 25chicago25, Pandemic Relief; and Sunset Boulevard and Mamma Mia! star Karen Mason won the Major Recording MAC Award for her solo disc, Let the Music Play. The title song from the album, "Let the Music Play," penned by Paul Rolnick and David Friedman, also took the award for Best Song.
Lifetime Achievement Awards were presented to three-time Tony recipient Chita Rivera (Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Rink, The Visit, West Side Story) and cabaret veteran Marta Sanders, the Bistro and MAC Award winner who has played Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall, Carnegie Hall, Feinstein’s/54 Below, and Birdland and also appeared on Broadway in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.
Board of Directors Awards were presented to the Mabel Mercer Foundation and Lennie Watts. Jim Caruso’s Cast Party/Pajama Cast Party received the Show of the Year Award, while Cabaret on the Couch received the Ruth Kurtzman Benefit Series Award, and Aaron Lee Battle was honored with the Hanson Award.
The awards show was produced by Michael Kirk Lane and directed by Lennie Watts with musical direction by Yasuhiko Fukuoka.
The complete list of winners follows (click here for all the nominees).
Amy Beth Williams
Sean Patrick Murtagh
Major Artist – Female
Major Artist – Male
New York Debut
Musical Comedy Performer
Michael Garin and Mardie Millit
Clearly Now (Sean Harkness, Marcus Simeone, Lina Koutrakos)
Piano Bar Instrumentalist
Piano Bar/Restaurant Singing Entertainer — Female
Piano Bar/Restaurant Singing Entertainer — Male
Restaurant/Hotel Lounge/Happy Hour Entertainer
Matt Scharfglass, Bass
The Lineup With Susie Mosher
Revue Or Special Production
Rian Keating: Time Stamps—Fragments in Story and Song
Alison Nusbaum, Don’t Tell Mama
"Let the Music Play"
Music and Lyrics by Paul Rolnick and David Friedman
"You Can Keep the Wings"
Music and Lyrics By Carolyn German
Recording (LaMott Friedman Award)
Dawn Derow: My Ship, Songs From 1941
Karen Mason: Let the Music Play