Singer Rosemary Clooney headed the list of award winners honored at the annual Manhattan Association of Cabaret and Clubs (MAC) Awards on April 1.
Clooney received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the MAC Awards, which were held at Town Hall. From March 27, Clooney was in town starring in her own New York show with Big Kahuna and Copa Cat Pack at Feinstein’s at the Regency. Clooney told Playbill On-Line that her MAC award made her feel “Just terrific...it’s wonderful,” she said. “I’m very excited about it.”
Other big MAC award winners included Michael Feinstein, Karen Mason, Mario Cantone and Billy Stritch. Also honored at Town Hall on April 1 were John McDaniel, musical director of television's "The Rosie O'Donnell Show," as well as numerous other talents from the cabaret world.
Award presenters for the MACs were Susan Lucci, Cy Coleman, Michele Lee, Margaret Whiting, Julie Wilson, Julie Budd, Mario Cantone, Sam Harris, Carol Woods, Susannah McCorkle, Angela LaGreca, Mary Cleere Haran with Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, Eileen Fulton, Eric Comstock, Lorna Dallas, Baby Jane Dexter, David Friedman, Julie Gold, Erv Raible, Jack Donahue, Barry Kleinbort, Gary Giddins, Roy Sander, Leslie Anderson, Maria Gentile, Jenifer Kruskamp, Johanna Pinzler, Terri White and The Bobby Peaco Trio.
Last week, MAC producer Nancy McGraw told Playbill On-Line, “This is the 15th year of the MAC Awards. The show will begin with two of our Lifetime Achievement winners, Margaret Whiting and Julie Wilson, who will introduce our debut artists—the cabaret newcomers. We open with piano bar singers and close with Rosemary Clooney.” McGraw and two-time Tony Award winner Thommie Walsh have produced the MAC Awards for three years. A former singer, McGraw has also worked to support Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids . Also a MAC board member, McGraw said that the appeal of the MAC Awards is felt across the entire cabaret community. “If you don’t know anything about cabaret,” McGraw said, “our show will give you a great overview. This is all about developing an audience: the more people see something and the more cabaret they see, the more success we’ll have building audiences.”
The MAC awards recognize "achievements in cabaret, comedy and jazz," in more than two dozen categories. MAC was created in 1983 and the awards program has been running for 15 years. In all, the group says, there are 54 clubs in New York City and around the country keeping the cabaret tradition alive. March has been designated as "Cabaret Month" by the City of New York and the MAC awards cap a "four-week celebration of Manhattan's cabarets, nightclubs, and its abundance of live talent."
Producer Nancy McGraw and director and Tony Award winning choreographer Thommie Walsh (A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine, My One and Only ) did the award show for the third time. The event emcee was Julie Halston.
The full list of 2001 MAC Award recipients follows:
Female Vocalist: Audrey Lavine
Major Female Vocalist: Karen Mason
Male Vocalist: Scott Coulter
Major Male Vocalist: Michael Feinstein
Variety Production: Poole Party / Ron Poole
Female Comedy Performer: Nancy Witter
Male Comedy Performer: Ron Poole
Musical Comedy Performer: Jim Caruso
Major Stand-Up Comedy: Mario Cantone
Musical Theatre & Comedy Duo / Group: Indigo Rat / John-Richard Thompson
Duo / Vocal Group: The Accidentals
Jazz Performer: Natalie Douglas
Major Jazz Performer: Billy Stritch
Pop / R&B Vocals: Karen Mack
Female New York Debut: Julie Reyburn
Male New York Debut: Kane Alexander
Impersonation / Characterization: Tommy Femia / "Judy Garland Live"
Piano Bar / Lounge Entertainer: Jerry Scott
Musical Director: Christopher Denny
Director: Barry Kleinbort
Technical Director: Shawn Moninger
Recording, Various Artists: "Grateful: The Songs of John Bucchino"
Recording, Duo / Musical Group: "The Sweetest Sounds of Richard Rodgers," KT Sullivan with Larry Woodard
Recording, Solo Female: "Julie Wilson: The Cy Coleman Songbook," Julie Wilson
Recording, Solo Male: Craig Rubano "Finishing the Act"
Revue of The Year: "American Rhapsody," Mark Nadler, KT Sillivan
Song of the Year: "I Am Home," Karen Mack
Special Material of the Year: "Wicked Woman," Francesca Blumenthal
2001 Lifetime Achievement Award: Rosemary Clooney
2001 Board of Directors Award: John McDaniel
2001 Board of Directors Award: Rosie O'Donnell
2001 Peter & Millie Hanson Award: Michel Hermon
For more information about MAC, visit the official website at www.macnyc.com.
—By Murdoch McBride