By Linda Amiel Burns
The 9th annual Nightlife Awards are different than other award shows. There are no acceptance speeches and the recipient’s demonstrate why they are winners by actually performing, making this a night of pure entertainment. Scott Siegel conceived and produced the show and twenty-three journalists/critics did the voting choosing the best from NYC’s cabaret, jazz and comedy clubs. Scott Coulter directed and Tedd Firth served as Musical Director.
Photography By Barry Gordin
The Emmy winning Bruce Vilanch, writer of the Oscar show for the past 22
years, hosted the show and kept the pace lively. Past winner Billy Stritch opened with “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square” followed by Jim Caruso of Cast Party fame, who sang a very funny song called “Tone Deaf.” The wonderful Christine Ebersol sang a tender “Can’t Help Lovin’ That Man of Mine” followed by a hymnal called “I Can’t Keep From Singing.” John Pizzarelli was out of town but his wife, Jessica Molaskey and violinist Aaron Weinstein did a bang up job on Gershwin’s “Somebody Loves Me” with Tedd Firth on the piano.
There were celebrity presents such as Karen Olivo (West Side Story) and Charles Busch and Julie Halston (The Divine Sister) and those who did double duty like Karen Akers who performed “It’s All Right With Me” accompanied by Don Rebic, Allen Harris with a beautiful medley “Cottage For Sale” with “Young & Foolish, along with pianist/singer Steve Ross performing “Manhattan Madness.” Karen Oberlin, winner of Best Jazz Vocalist, sang “Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year” which was included in her Frank Loesser Centennial Tribute show that ran at The Algonquin.
One of the advantages of show like this is for audiences to get to know some of the entertainers that they might now have seen such as the MetroStar winner, Liz Lark Brown, comedian, Hannibal Burress, the comedy improv group, The Harvard Sailing Team and twin brothers, The Rescignos – all of them worthy of The Nightlife Award this year. Kudos to Scott Siegel and his team for putting this show together and honoring New York City’s best talent that perform live in clubs around town.
OUTSTANDING COMEDIAN IN A MAJOR ENGAGEMENT
OUTSTANDING CABARET VOCALIST IN A
OUTSTANDING CABARET DUO OR GROUP IN A MAJOR ENGAGEMENT
JOHN PIZZARELLI & JESSICA MOLASKEY
OUTSTANDING CABARET VOCALIST
LIZ LARK BROWN
OUTSTANDING CABARET DUO OR GROUP
OUTSTANDING CABARET COMEDY OR CHARACTERIZATION
OUTSTANDING JAZZ VOCALIST
OUTSTANDING JAZZ SOLOIST
OUTSTANDING JAZZ COMBO OR BIG BAND
OUTSTANDING COMEDY DUO OR GROUP
HARVARD SAILING TEAM
SPECIAL AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING DEBUT