×

2007 Nightlife Awards

The big surprise at the 2007 Nightlife Awards was the unbilled lady in black who turned out to be a glam Liza Minnelli, lookin' good and proclaiming the event to be "the best damn party in town!" Minnelli, who presented an award to Jim Caruso, host of the Monday night "Cast Party" series at Birdland, topped a heady all-star lineup saluting the year's best in Gotham cabaret, jazz and comedy.

With:
With: Performers and presenters: Tom Anderson, Lisa Asher, Todd Barkan, Charles Busch, Ann Hampton Callaway, Jim Caruso, David Colbert, Freddie Cole, Scott Coulter, Tim Di Pasqua, Christine Ebersole, Larry Gatlin, Judy Gold, Rupert Holmes, Lorinda Lisitza, Laurel Masse, Maureen McGovern, Terrence McNally, Liza Minnelli, Jessica Molaskey, Rita Moreno, John Pizzarelli, Daniel Richard, Ben Riley's Monk Legacy Septet, Susan H. Schulman, Billy Stritch, TJ & Dave, Paula West, Tom Wopat.

The big surprise at the 2007 Nightlife Awards was the unbilled lady in black who turned out to be a glam Liza Minnelli, lookin’ good and proclaiming the event to be “the best damn party in town!” Minnelli, who presented an award to Jim Caruso, host of the Monday night “Cast Party” series at Birdland, topped a heady all-star lineup saluting the year’s best in Gotham cabaret, jazz and comedy.

The fifth annual fete, produced and hosted by Scott Siegel, is unique among awards ceremonies. Barred from making the customary “thank you” speeches hailing maiden aunts and third-grade teachers, the winners instead do what they do best: They perform.

Dan Foster staged a tight three-hour concert, with Siegel adding a few well-placed theatrical bon mots.

Terrence McNally, who balked (tongue-in-cheek) at the hefty cover charges at Cafe Carlyle and Feinstein’s at the Regency, praised the cabaret community. The playwright introduced cabaret’s first family, John Pizzarelli (“the prime interpreter of American song”) and his wife, Jessica Molaskey (“gorgeous, sexy and talented!”). Honored as outstanding cabaret vocalists, the pair will make a Cafe Carlyle debut in May. They followed a simmering bossa nova medley with a daring bit of Sondheim’s tongue-twisting declaration “(I’m Not) Getting Married Today,” sung in counterpoint by Molaskey with Pizzarelli romping to John Hendricks’ “Cloudburst.”

The Nightlife Legend honor went to Maureen McGovern, introduced by choreographer Susan Schulman as “the ultimate diva.” The singer capped the eve with a Richard Rodgers couplet of “My Favorite Things” and a regally appropriate “With a Song in My Heart.”

Freddie Cole, who took the male jazz vocal honor, offered a beautifully subtle perf. Not only posing an ardent question, Cole found a dash of seductive humor in “What Are You Afraid Of?,” from his new Hi Note CD. While several performers came out swinging, Cole proved less is more with a cunning demonstration of class and taste.

Femme jazz vocal award went to Paula West, who phrased the old operetta classic “Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise” with a keen awareness of its sweeping musical structure and stunning, picturesque lyric.

For cabaret duo, Broadway’s Christine Ebersole and piano partner Billy Stritch offered a delightful buggy ride with “Surrey With the Fringe on Top,” and Ebersole reprised the poignant query “Will You?” from “Grey Gardens.”

Composer Rupert Holmes, primed for the Broadway opening of “Curtains,” the new tuner whose book he co-authored, remembered late singers Nancy LaMott and Susannah McCorkle, who featured his composition ‘The People That You Never Get to Know” in their repertoires.

Some 30 Manhattan reviewers serve as judges for the annual affair. Additional kudos went to vocalists Lisa Asher and Scott Coulter, pianist Cedar Walton and the jazz combo Ben Riley’s Monk Legacy Septet. Demetri Martin and Sarah Silverman topped comedy honors, along with TJ & Dave.

For revue, plaques were awarded to Tom Andersen, Tim Di Pasqua and Coulter, and David Colbert received the nod for that Big Apple staple, the piano bar. Gotham’s cozy new downtown performance space, the Metropolitan Room, also was cited.

Siegel kicks off the Town Hall Broadway by the Year series Feb. 26 with the musicals of 1928.

2007 Nightlife Awards

Town Hall, 1,500 seats; $75 top

Production: Conceived, produced and hosted by Scott Siegel. Directed by Dan Foster.

Creative: Lighting, John Gordon; sound, Morph; production stage manager, Sherry Cohen. Reviewed Jan. 29, 2007.

Cast: With: Performers and presenters: Tom Anderson, Lisa Asher, Todd Barkan, Charles Busch, Ann Hampton Callaway, Jim Caruso, David Colbert, Freddie Cole, Scott Coulter, Tim Di Pasqua, Christine Ebersole, Larry Gatlin, Judy Gold, Rupert Holmes, Lorinda Lisitza, Laurel Masse, Maureen McGovern, Terrence McNally, Liza Minnelli, Jessica Molaskey, Rita Moreno, John Pizzarelli, Daniel Richard, Ben Riley's Monk Legacy Septet, Susan H. Schulman, Billy Stritch, TJ & Dave, Paula West, Tom Wopat.

More Legit

  • Because of Winn Dixie review

    Regional Theater Review: 'Because of Winn Dixie,' the Musical

    Watching the musical “Because of Winn Dixie” at Goodspeed Musicals in East Haddam, Conn., it’s hard not to think of another show that premiered in the same regional theater 43 years ago. It, too, featured a scruffy stray dog, a lonely-but-enterprising young girl and a closed-off daddy who finally opens up. But “Winn Dixie,” based [...]

  • MOSCOW MOSCOW MOSCOW MOSCOW MOSCOW MOSCOWby

    Off Broadway Review: 'Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow'

    There’s something about Anton Chekhov’s whiny sisters that invites comic sendups of “Three Sisters” like the one Halley Feiffer wrote on commission for the Williamstown Theater Festival. Transferred to MCC Theater’s new Off Broadway space and playing in the round in a black box with limited seating capacity, the crafty show feels intimate and familiar. [...]

  • the way she spoke review

    Off Broadway Review: 'The Way She Spoke' With Kate del Castillo

    Since the 1990s, scores of women in Juarez, Mexico have been mutilated, raped, and murdered at such a rate that some have called it an epidemic of femicide—killing women and girls solely because they are women. Isaac Gomez’s play “the way she spoke,” produced Off Broadway by Audible and starring Kate del Castillo, confronts the [...]

  • HBO's 'SUCCESSION

    Brian Cox Playing LBJ in Broadway Run of 'The Great Society'

    Brian Cox will play President Lyndon Johnson in the Broadway run of “The Great Society,” playwright Robert Schenkkan’s follow-up to “All the Way.” The role of Johnson, a crude, but visionary politician who used the office of the presidency to pass landmark civil rights legislation and social programs, was originally played by Bryan Cranston in [...]

  • Paul McCartney Has Penned Score for

    Paul McCartney Has Been Secretly Writing an 'It's a Wonderful Life' Musical

    The pop superstar who once released a movie and album called “Give My Regards to Broad Street” really does have designs on Broadway, after all. It was revealed Wednesday that Paul McCartney has already written a song score for a stage musical adaptation of the 1946 Frank Capra film classic “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The [...]

  • The Night of the Iguana review

    West End Review: 'The Night of the Iguana' With Clive Owen

    If Tennessee Williams is the poet laureate of lost souls, none of his characters as are off-grid as the restless travelers trying to make it through his little-seen 1961 play, “The Night of the Iguana.” Holed up in a remote Mexican homestay, its ragtag itinerants live hand-to-mouth, day by day, as they seek refuge from [...]

  • Moulin Rouge Broadway

    Listen: The Special Sauce in Broadway's 'Moulin Rouge!'

    There are songs in the new Broadway version of “Moulin Rouge!” that weren’t in Baz Luhrmann’s hit movie — but you probably know them anyway. They’re popular tunes by superstars like Beyoncé, Adele and Rihanna, released after the 2001 movie came out, and they’ll probably unleash a flood of memories and associations in every audience [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content