The Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs (MAC) presented the fifth annual They Write the Songs on November 20 at the Baruch Performing Arts Center’s Engelman Recital Hall.

The evening was hosted by Grammy Award-winning songwriter Julie Gold and directed by Lennie Watts with musical direction by Tracy Stark.  Featured performances were by Lindsay Mendez (Wicked, Godspell, Everyday Rapture, Grease), Bonnie Milligan (Kinky Boots national tour), Meg Flather, Lina Koutrakos, and Carolyn Montgomery-Forant.

Featured songwriters included David Friedman (who sang “My Christmas Wish”), Alex Rybeck, Lynne Shankel, the 2016 MAC Award winners for song (Meg Flather and John Mettam), and the 2016 MAC Award winners for comedy/novelty song (Montgomery-Forant and Jeff Cubeta, and Derek Gregor and Sam Carner).

Also performing were the winners of the Dottie Burman and John Wallowitch Awards. This year’s celebrity judge was Broadway and cabaret star Karen Mason.

The Dottie Burman Award, established when MAC was bequeathed an endowment from Ms. Burman’s estate, is presented to a songwriter over 40. This year’s recipient is Peter Saxe. The John Wallowitch Award, created by the MAC Board of Directors, is presented to a songwriter under 40. This year’s recipients are the songwriting team of Chip Klose and Ben Roseberry.

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Photos: Maryann Lopinto