Alec Mapa will be honored for his comedy monologue "Baby Daddy," while Tanya Holt will be recognized for her achievements as a Vocalist and Deanna Kirk as Jazz Vocalist. Michael Hughes wins a Bistro Award for his debut New York show, "Mickey and Judy," the musical memoir that was the hit of the 2011 Toronto Fringe Festival. T. Oliver Reid is being recognized with a Bistro for Theme Show for his show "Drop Me Off in Harlem," which marked his debut at Feinstein's at Loews Regency last fall. Mary Liz McNamara, already honored by BMI for outstanding creative achievement in musical theatre, will take home the Bistro Award for Songwriter.
In addition, the Bistro Awards will honor two very special new recordings. Catherine Russell, the versatile singer whose CDs have topped both the Billboard charts and the Village Voice's Jazz Critics poll, has impressed the jazz world yet again with the 2012 album "Strictly Romancin'." Moira Danis features many genres of music to highlight the connections between friends, lovers, relatives and strangers on her new CD, "Some People's Lives."
The Ira Eaker Special Achievement Award, given to an outstanding performer on the rise, and named after Back Stage's co-founder, co-publisher, and first cabaret critic, goes to multi-talented Liam Forde.
The gala event will be held on Monday, March 4 at Gotham Comedy Club, 208 West 23rd Street. A Champagne reception for Bistro recipients and Premium Ticket holders begins at 5 pm, followed by the awards presentation and show starting at 6:30 pm.
Producer Sherry Eaker will host the annual event, along with the other members of the Bistro Awards Committee: Elizabeth Ahlfors (Cabaret Scenes, CurtainUp.com), David Finkle (Village Voice, The Huffington Post), Kevin Scott Hall (Edge Media Network, BistroAwards.com ), Rob Lester (NiteLife Exchange, Cabaret Scenes, TalkinBroadway.com), Erv Raible, executive/artistic director of the Cabaret Conference at Yale University, Roy Sander (BistroAwards.com, chairman of the Advisory Board of MAC), Robert Windeler (BistroAwards.com) and Mark Dundas Wood (SimplyShowbiz.com, BistroAwards.com). Ms. Eaker, who heads the Bistro Committee, is the former longtime Editor-in-Chief of Back Stage and the producer of the event since its inception.
General Admission tickets are $65; Premium Tickets are $100, which includes the pre-show Champagne reception and priority seating. A two-drink minimum applies to both ticket categories, and all attendees are invited to the "After Bistros" party.
A complete list of winners follows:
Lainie Kazan / Bob Harrington Lifetime Achievement Award
Maurice Hines / Enduring Artistry
Clint Holmes / Major Engagement / "This Thing Called Love: Cole Porter & Paul Simon" / Café Carlyle
Sue Raney / Major Engagement / Feinstein's at Loews Regency
Jenifer Lewis / Dazzling Return to New York Cabaret / "Black Don't Crack at 54 Below" / 54 Below
Barry Levitt / Ongoing Musical Excellence
Liam Forde / Ira Eaker Award
Highlights in Jazz / Special Award to Jack Kleinsinger / series
Ben Rimalower / Special Award / solo play / "Patti Issues" / The Duplex
Justin VivIan Bond / Singular Artistry / 54 Below
Alec Mapa / Comedy Monology / "Baby Daddy" / Laurie Beechman Theatre
Tanya Holt / Vocalist
Deanna Kirk / Jazz Vocalist
Michael Hughes / Debut / "Mickey and Judy" / The Duplex
T. Oliver Reid / Theme Show / "Drop Me Off in Harlem" / Feinstein's at Loews Regency
Mary Liz McNamara / Songwriter
Moira Danis / Recording / "Some People's Lives"
Catherine Russell / Recording / "Strictly Romancin'"
The BISTRO AWARD was established by Bob Harrington in 1985 in his "Bistro Bits" column in the trade weekly Back Stage, then under the editorship of Sherry Eaker. For the first few years, the awards were merely listed in Harrington's column as notable performances he had seen during the calendar year. The first formal presentation of the awards was held in 1990 at Eighty Eight's, a popular cabaret venue in the West Village. From there, the show moved on to The Ballroom in Chelsea, and then relocated to the Supper Club in the Broadway District, where it remained for many years. This year marks the sixth year at Gotham Comedy Club.
The guidelines that Harrington set up for himself to determine the first winners have become the basic philosophy behind the Bistro Awards, which recognize achievement in a wide variety of categories - from outstanding performances to outstanding contributions by members of the cabaret community. The object is not to choose the "best" of anything of the year, but to recognize and congratulate the accomplishments of those who have done something special. Accordingly, categories can easily be created from year to year as they best fit the year's distinguished work.
Some of the Bistro's special honorees have included Melissa Manchester, Kaye Ballard, and Dee Dee Bridgewater (2012), Dionne Warwick and Carol Channing (2011), Mitzi Gaynor and Elaine Stritch (2010), Charles Aznavour and Liza Minnelli (2009), Marilyn Maye (2008), Betty Buckley (2007), Steve Ross (2006), as well as Dame Cleo Laine and Sir John Dankworth, Bobby Short, Eartha Kitt, Barbara Cook, and many others.