More than 20 of cabaret's brightest stars will be honored at the 25th Annual Bistro Awards which will take place on Tuesday, April 13 at Gotham Comedy Club. Legendary singer-dancer-actress Mitzi Gaynor, star of such films as South Pacific, Les Girls, Anything Goes, and a longtime headliner in Las Vegas and the nightclub circuit, making her first NY night club appearance in years in May at Feinstein's at Loews Regency, will be honored with the Bob Harrington Lifetime Achievement Award. Elaine Stritch, the uniquely sensational actress and singer and star of stage, film, and TV, will be recognized in the category of Extraordinary Cabaret Artist, noting her recent conquests of the cabaret stage.
The evening, under the direction of Eric Michael Gillett, will feature performances from most of the Bistro-winning artists and shows and will feature guest presenters singer Klea Blackhurst, comic Jim David, and actress-comedienne Marilyn Sokol.
Celebrating its Silver Anniversary of awards presentations to the cabaret community, and the first-ever award in the industry, the Bistro Awards will this year honor three individuals for their 25-plus years of artistic accomplishments: multiple-award-winning actress-singer Tovah Feldshuh, musical director-arranger and conductor Paul Trueblood, and singer-pianist-songwriter Ronny Whyte.
The ASCAP Great American Songbook Award for Outstanding Duos goes to Michael Feinstein and co-stars Cheyenne Jackson, Christine Ebersole, and David Hyde Pierce, with whom he appeared in separate shows at the cabaret venue that bears his name, Feinstein's at Loews Regency. For Outstanding Director, the BMI Award will go to Peter Napolitano, a BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop participant.
Some of the shows honored pay tribute to musical styles. Sarah Rice reflects on songs from old Hollywood (Outstanding Theme Show), the New YorK Gilbert & Sullivan Players puts a twist on operettas (Special Award), Loli Marquez-Sterling puts the accent on the Latin Big Band sound (Outstanding Entertainer), while Lee Summers delivers standards and classic R&B (Outstanding Entertainer). Singers such as Liz Callaway (Outstanding Major Engagement), Nicole Henry (Outstanding Jazz Vocalist), and Anne Steele (Outstanding Vocalist) croon various musical styles in their shows.
The Bistro Awards Committee has named two recipients in the Outstanding Recording category: Alan Cumming for his "I Bought a Blue Car Today" CD, and Julie Reyburn for her "Live at Feinstein's"recording. 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 Danielle Grabianowski.
The gala event will be held on Tuesday, April 13 at Gotham Comedy Club, 208 W. 23rd Street. A champagne reception for the Bistro recipients and Premium ticket holders begins at 5 pm, followed by the awards presentation and show starting promptly at 6:30 pm. Producer Sherry Eaker will be hosting the annual event, along with members of the Bistro Awards Committee.
The Bistro Awards Committee is comprised of Elizabeth Ahlfors (Cabaret Scenes, CurtainUp.com, and BistroAwards.com), David Finkle (Village Voice, HuffingtonPost.com, and BistroAwards.com), Rob Lester (Cabaret Scenes, NiteLifeExchange.com), Erv Raible, executive/artistic director of the Cabaret Conference at Yale University, Roy Sander (BistroAwards.com), and Sherry Eaker, formerly the Editor in Chief of Back Stage.
The Bistro Awards are sponsored by ASCAP and BMI, with additional sponsorship from Branson B. Champagne and StageBuddy.com, and media sponsorship from Back Stage.
Ticket prices are $45 general admission, $75 for premium seating, which includes a pre-show Champagne reception and preferred seating (two-drink minimum). A food menu is also available. Details and ticket information about the After Bistros party will be posted on Bistro Awards website. To purchase show tickets, go to www.bistroawards.com, or for more information, call 917-239-5467.