Eric Michael Gillett, Karen Mason, Maryann Lopinto, David Friedman, Anita Gillette


by: Eric J. Grimm


The 30th annual MAC Awards celebrating outstanding achievements in cabaret, comedy, and jazz took place on Tuesday, March 29th at the historic B.B. King’s Blues Club in Times Square. The best of New York’s nightlife entertainers filled the Music Room for a long but entertaining evening. Theater Pizzazz was onsite to cover the event and also take part in the ceremony.


Theater Pizzazz’s editor and founder, Sandi Durell, co-presented with WBAI’s David Kenney, the first two awards of the evening for outstanding Revue and Special Production. A major highlight of the show was the presentation of the Board of Directors Award to photographer and frequent Theater Pizzazz contributor Maryann Lopinto. Maryann’s touching and funny speech hit upon the major theme of many of the acceptance speeches: a deep appreciation for the tight-knit cabaret community. Congratulations Maryann! (and even though dressed to the nines, Maryann was still photographing all evening long, backstage and front)



The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Amanda McBroom; the Ruth Kurtzman Benefit Award to The Actors Fund: Jamie deRoy & Friends Cabaret Initiative; the Hanson Award to Sally Darling.  The evening was directed by Lennie Watts, produced by Julie Miller with Matt Baker as musical director.


Below find the list of Winners in All Categories:


Female Vocalist

Tanya Moberly

Songs I Feel Like Singing

Don’t Tell Mama


Male Vocalist

Kristoffer Lowe

You’re Getting to Be a Habit with Me
Metropolitan Room


Major Artist

Stacy Sullivan

Since You’ve Asked
Metropolitan Room


Celebrity Artist

Karen Mason

Mason at Mama’s in March; Love Secrets of the Ancient Divas; Next to Norma; Christmas! Christmas! Christmas!
Don’t Tell Mama, Rrazz Room (New Hope), Rrazz Room at the Prince (Philadelphia), Kennedy Center, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts


New York Debut – Female

Natalie Arneson

Mama Drama
The Duplex


New York Debut – Male

Charles Baran

Recipes for Disaster!
Metropolitan Room


Musical Comedy Performer


Barbara Malley

Eat! Drink! Be Merry!
Don’t Tell Mama


Molly Pope

Molly Pope Likes Your Status
The Duplex


Impersonation/Characterization/Drag Artist

Doris Dear

Doris Dear’s Gurl Talk: Unplugged; Doris Dear’s Gurl Talk: The Rumpus Room Edition
Don’t Tell Mama



Kim Grogg and Kim Sutton

Whenever I Call You Friend
Don’t Tell Mama


Major Duo/Group

Eric Comstock & Barbara Fasano

Shoulder Season; Something to Live For: The Strayhorn Centennial; others
Metropolitan Room, National Jazz Museum in Harlem, Birdland, Jazz at Kitano, others



Another Hundred People

Performed by KT Sullivan and Jeff Harnar, directed by Sondra Lee, musical direction by Jon Weber
Laurie Beechman


Recurring Series

Ricky Ritzel’s Broadway

Created and produced by Ricky Ritzel, staged by Jay Rogers and Aaron Morishita
Don’t Tell Mama, Urban Stages


Special Production

Mama’s Next Big Act

Created and hosted by Lennie Watts, produced by Limor Shekhter and Lennie Watts
Don’t Tell Mama



Bobbie Horowitz

It’s Just a Number

Metropolitan Room


Ensemble Instrumentalist

Sean Harkness



Piano Bar Instrumentalist

Nate Buccieri

Brandy’s, Don’t Tell Mama


Restaurant/Hotel Lounge Instrumentalist

Sheree Sano

Don’t Tell Mama Happy Hour


Piano Bar Singing Entertainer – Female

Jennifer Pace



Piano Bar Singing Entertainer – Male

Tommy J. Dose

Don’t Tell Mama


Musical Director

Steven Ray Watkins

Lennie Watts (Don’t Tell Mama), Tanya Moberly (Don’t Tell Mama), Eve Eaton (Don’t Tell Mama), Heather Villaescusa (Don’t Tell Mama), Wendy Russell (Don’t Tell Mama)



Lennie Watts

Kristoffer Lowe (Metropolitan Room), Eve Eaton (Don’t Tell Mama), Kim Grogg & Kim Sutton (Don’t Tell Mama), Raissa Katona Bennett & Kenneth Gartman (Laurie Beechman)


Technical Director

Collette Black

Karen Kohler, William Ludwig, and Sebastian Stert: In This Town: The Songs of Marlene Dietrich & Hildegard Knef; Wendy A. Russell: Where Have I Been All My Life?; Helen Glassman: Confessions of a Native New Yorker: Jerry Phelps: Can’t Have It All

Don’t Tell Mama


Recording (Lamott Friedman Award)

Jim Speake
Sweet Life


Major Recording

Barbara Fasano
Busy Being Free


Hold On Tight

Music by Meg Flather and John Mettam, Lyrics by Meg Flather


Comedy/Novelty Song


The Egg Nog Song

Music by Derek Gregor, Lyrics by Sam Carner


The Mermaid and The Whale

Music by Carolyn Montgomery-Forant and Jeff Cubeta, lyrics by Carolyn Montgomery-Forant


Show Of The Year

Mason at Mama’s In March

Performed by Karen Mason, musical direction by Christopher Denny, directed by Barry Kleinbort
Don’t Tell Mama

*All Photos: Maryann Lopinto