Reviews and Commentary by Stephen Hanks
Wow, talk about a thumbs up! I received such a positive reaction to my "2012 Best of New York Cabaret" piece posted yesterday (see that post here: http://bit.ly/UoSWul) that I thought it would be fun to add to to my original 13 "honorable mentions" list (especially since I'm battling the flu and have nothing to do except for taking meds and sitting in my jammies goofing off in front of the computer). And besides, stopping at a mere 13 was a tad arbitrary when there were so many other terrific performers and performances during the last year that could have made the cut. So, here for your holiday week reading pleasure is Part 2 of my "Best" and "Most" Honorable Mentions in Cabaret for 2012 with 21 new listings (because an even 20 would be trite). Enjoy!
Best Performance by a Band That Makes Me Sorry I Don't Know How to Swing Dance--Yet: Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks for their performance at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Rose Hall in April, and at Sofia's Downstairs (at the Edison Hotel) anytime.
Best Performance by a Blues Singer In a Group: The sensational Sari Schorr who channelled Janis Joplin and Tina Turner during the show by the Joe Louis Walker Band at B.B. King's in August.
Best Performance at the Cabaret Convention That Made Me Really Sorry I Missed Seeing Their Show: Tie--Clint Holmes (This Thing Called Love: Paul Simon and Cole Porter at Cafe Carlyle), William Blake (Echoes of Etta: Etta James Tribute Show at Birdland), and Tony DeSare (at 54 Below).
Best Performance in a Debut Show by Someone Previously Unknown to the NY Cabaret Community: Jackie Kristel in A Girl You Should Know (Director, Collette Black; Musical Director, Tracy Stark). Maybe you don't know this up-and-comer yet, but she's doing very well in the BroadwayWorld.com Awards voting for "Best Debut Show" so remember the name.
Best Performance by a Girl Group: JaLaLa's Janis Siegel (also of Manhattan Transfer), Laurel Masse (formerly of Manhattan Transfer) and Lauren Kinhan (also of New York Voices) were vocally glorious at Joe's Pub in April.