The 1999 Back Stage Bistro Awards for excellence in New York cabaret were presented Monday, Mar. 1, at 5 PM at NYC's The Supper Club. The 22 winners were announced Jan. 27 by Sherry Eaker, editor-in-chief of Back Stage newspaper, which sponsors the awards.
Eaker, and critics Roy Sander and John Hoglund made the choices and hosted the event, which was directed (as it was for the past two years) by Sara Louise Lazarus.
Comedian Jim David hosted the awards, with Julie Wilson making a special appearance to accept a special award for William Roy. Liliane Montevecchi was given the Bob Harrington Lifetime Achievement Award -- the only honor not announced until the night of the event.
Performances by Bistro winners included Heather Mac Rae singing "Surrey With The Fringe on Top" (her father was the "Carousel" film Curley), Amanda Green offering the novelty tribute to schadenfreude, "Every Time a Friend Succeeds...," trans-gender performer Shequida demonstrating the different singing styles of Jessye Norman, Kathleen Battle and Maria Callas; comments on Arab-Jewish relations from comedian Gregg Rogell, and a dissection of 1970s pop tune lyrics by Seth Rudetsky.
Eaker has written of the Bistro Awards, "The object is not to choose the `best' anything of the year, but to recognize artistic achievement and originality... An award cannot be given to an artist more than once in the same category," keeping the field open for new names. Here are the 1999 Back Stage Bistro Award winners:
Deidrie Henry & Teri Lynn Paul
Bonnie Lee Sanders
"I Love New York" (James Hindman & Ray Roderick)
"Our Life & Times" (Rick Crom)
Terri White for "Our Life & Times"
MUSICAL COMEDY PERFORMER
OUTSTANDING COMEDY PERFORMER
Steven Brinberg as Barbra Streisand
OUTSTANDING THEME SHOW
"Lance Jonathan: More About Me!" (written by & starring Peter-Michael Marino; developed & directed by Sheila Head)
"Mercer On Broadway" (Barbara Lea)
"Songs For My Father" (Heather Mac Rae)
OUTSTANDING SPECIAL MATERIAL
"Every Time a Friend Succeeds..." (by Amanda Green)
OUTSTANDING MUSICAL DIRECTION
Mary Foster Conklin ("Crazy Eyes")
Barbara Fasano ("The Girls of Summer")
William Roy for his years as musical director, arranger, performer, songwriter & accompanist.
Arthur Pomposello for the Cavalcade of Cabaret series at the Oak Room.
Remember: March is Cabaret Month!
-- By David Lefkowitz