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Adagio Teas
   Features  >  LATEST NEW YORK NEWS

at B.B. King Blues Club, New York

By David Lefkowitz

Come Palm Sunday, New York's cabaret community will be putting their palms together to honor their own. The 21st Annual MAC Awards ceremony has been announced for May 1st, to be held at the B.B. King Barbecue and Grill in midtown.

Nominees for the MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabaret & Clubs) kudos will be announced March 21 at the "Lincoln Triangle" Barnes and Noble.

MAC was founded in 1983 by Curt Davis, Erv Raible and several other cabaret performers, club owners, managers, journalists and publicists "to heighten the public's awareness of cabaret as an art form," as well as to improve the overall professionalism of cabaret business practices. Last year's MAC winners included Karen Mason (for major engagement), Sonny Rollins (for jazz recording), and the Ray Jessel song, "I Think About Sex." Other MAC honorees over the years have included Michael Feinstein, Mario Cantone, Ron Poole, Natalie Douglas, Tommy Femia, Julie Wilson, Billy Stritch, Barbara Cook, Jamie deRoy, Baby Jane Dexter, Vic Damone, Judy Barnett, Ann Hampton Callaway and Joy Behar.

Longtime cabaret performer Ricky Ritzel (a 2006 winner for piano bar/restaurant/hotel lounge instrumentalist) became the MAC's latest President in November, at which time he announced changes in the voting process. Among them: the entire membership now get to vote for the final ballot in every category, and a performer needn't be a MAC member to be nominated, but the nominated performance must have taken place in a MAC-member club.

Generally a lengthy, convivial evening with many performances, the MACs is probably the most commonly recognized cabaret-award ceremony, though Back Stage Magazine's Bistro Awards are actually a year older. Bistro nominees were announced last week, with the ceremony scheduled for April 9 at the Gotham Comedy Club.


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