Two Lifetime Achievement awards will be given this year: one to Tony Award winning actress, television star and singer, Linda Lavin, who returned triumphantly to the cabaret stage recently at Metropolitan Room and 54 Below with her Musical Director, Billy Stritch, and husband/drummer, Steve Bakunas, in tow; the other will be presented to the powerhouse 85 year old, Marilyn Maye, who has been club-hopping to sold out crowds all over New York City since her star turn at the Mabel Mercer Foundation Cabaret Convention in 2006. Marilyn Maye has the distinction of having appeared 76 times on the Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Her recording of “Too Late Now” is included in the Smithsonian Institution’
The Board of Directors Award will be given to the Eugene O’Neill Cabaret and Performance Conference for their dedication to the art of cabaret. In addition, MAC will continue its tradition of awarding a scholarship to a teen (who will perform at the awards show!) through WINGSPAN, providing a year of after school music education.
“We’re gratified that nightclub performing is alive in New York City,” says Lennie Watts, current MAC president, “and our special honorees reflect an enduring commitment to its relevance and preservation.”
Nominees in 20 categories are voted anonymously by the general membership. Final nominees are announced in early March, but the winners are completely secret until the ballot is opened on stage at the awards gala, where several of the winners will perform after receiving their award. Award categories include Male/Female Vocalist, Celebrity Artist, Benefit Series (THE RUTH KURTZMAN AWARD), Recurring Series, Musical Director, Recording (LAMOTT FRIEDMAN RECORDING AWARD) and Major Recording among others.
The Manhattan Association of Cabarets & Clubs (MAC) was founded in 1983, primarily as an organization for cabaret owners, managers, and booking agents to meet and exchange ideas. The organization started accepting performers in 1985. MAC’s mission is to advance the art and business of live entertainment, heighten public awareness of the field’s contributions and vitality, to honor its creativity, to build its current and future audiences, and to speak out as an influential voice on behalf of MAC members and the industry at large. Members of MAC include cabaret, comedy and jazz artists and directors, technicians, management, club owners and personnel, members of the journalism and PR professions and a wide variety of supporters of live entertainment.
The MAC Awards Gala is Thursday March 27, 2014 at BB King’s Blues Club and Grill, 237 W. 42 St between 7th and 8th Avenues. Tickets start at $50.00. For additional information on MAC, to become a member, or to order tickets to the event visit the MAC website.
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