Bistro Awards - $10 off for All WAM Coalition Members

28th ANNUAL BISTRO AWARDS GALA Monday, March 4, 6:30 pm / Gotham Comedy Club 

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(New York City, February 25, 2013) — The 28th Annual Bistro Awards gala, set to take place on Monday, March 4, has announced some of its main presenters. Unlike most other awards show, the Bistro Awards is an evening filled with great performances from the winners – stars as well as talented newcomers – who represent a wide variety of styles from the worlds of cabaret, comedy, and jazz.Marilyn Maye, the legendary entertainer who won the 2008 Bob Harrington Lifetime Achievement Award, will present Lainie Kazan with her very own Lifetime Achievement Award. Dee Dee Bridgewater, the acclaimed vocalist and Tony Award-winning actress who won the 2012 Bistro for Outstanding Jazz Artistry, will present Maurice Hines with his honor for Enduring Artistry. Nikki Blonsky, of the film “Hairspray” and the ABC Family TV series “Huge,” will present the comedy award to Alec Mapa. Lee Summers, the award-winning actor and composer, will present the versatile singer and actress Jenifer Lewis with her award for Dazzling Return to New York Cabaret. Larry Moss, the director, acting coach and performer, will present Clint Holmes with his honor for Major Engagement. Thirteen other awards will be given out as well. The celebration will take place at Gotham Comedy Club, 208 West 23rd Street (between 7th & 8th avenues). The evening will be directed by Shellen Lubin, longtime cabaret and theatre director.  To purchase tickets, go to www.bistroawards.com. For additional information, please call 646-637-2806 or 917-239-5467.
Tony Award-nominated Ms. Kazan has entertained audiences on stage and screen and in nightclubs since the 1960s — from "Funny Girl" to "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," from Mr. Kelly's to Feinstein's at Loews Regency. Mr. Hines is a celebrated actor, dancer and choreographer who started on TV variety shows in the 1950s and went on to a Tony Award-nominated career on Broadway, is being honored for his Enduring Artistry. The evening, under the direction of Shellen Lubin, will once again be co-hosted by comedian and actor Jim David, and will feature performances from most of this year’s Bistro-winning artists.
Clint Holmes brought his bravura showmanship and powerful vocals to the Café Carlyle in a critically-acclaimed new show comparing and contrasting the music of Cole Porter and Paul Simon. Sue Raney, a leading light on the West Coast jazz scene since the 1950s and still gloriously in command of her sunny voice and trademark range, marked her first New York nightclub engagement in over 25 years, at Feinstein’s at Loews Regency.
In 2012, film, TV and stage star Jenifer Lewis performed on a New York cabaret stage for the first time in 20 years. Broadway and symphony conductor Barry Levitt, who is music director for many of nightlife's biggest names, will be honored for "Ongoing Musical Excellence," and Mx. Justin Vivian Bond, the Tony Award-nominated performance artist, for "Singular Artistry."
Two Special Awards will be presented: to Jack Kleinsinger, whose concert series "Highlights in Jazz" has been presenting major jazz performers for 41 seasons, and to Ben Rimalower, the writer and performer of the poignant and hilarious solo play "Patti Issues," which has been extended four times at the Duplex.
Alec Mapa will be honored for his comedy monologue "Baby Daddy," while Tanya Holt will be recognized for her achievements as a Vocalist and Deanna Kirk as Jazz Vocalist. Michael Hughes wins a Bistro Award for his debut New York show, "Mickey and Judy," the musical memoir that was the hit of the 2011 Toronto Fringe Festival. T. Oliver Reid is being recognized with a Bistro for Theme Show for his show "Drop Me Off in Harlem," which marked his debut at Feinstein's at Loews Regency last fall. Mary Liz McNamara, already honored by BMI for outstanding creative achievement in musical theatre, will take home the Bistro Award for Songwriter.
In addition, the Bistro Awards will honor two very special new recordings. Catherine Russell, the versatile singer whose CDs have topped both the Billboard charts and the Village Voice's Jazz Critics poll, has impressed the jazz world yet again with the 2012 album "Strictly Romancin'." Moira Danis features many genres of music to highlight the connections between friends, lovers, relatives and strangers on her new CD, "Some People's Lives."
The Ira Eaker Special Achievement Award, given to an outstanding performer on the rise, and named after Back Stage’s co-founder, co-publisher, and first cabaret critic, goes to multi-talented Liam Forde.
The gala event will be held on Monday, March 4 at Gotham Comedy Club, 208 West 23rd Street. A Champagne reception for Bistro recipients and Premium Ticket holders begins at 5 pm, followed by the awards presentation and show starting at 6:30 pm. Producer Sherry Eaker will host the annual event, along with the other members of the Bistro Awards Committee: Elizabeth Ahlfors (Cabaret Scenes, CurtainUp.com), David Finkle (Village Voice, The Huffington Post), Kevin Scott Hall (Edge Media Network, BistroAwards.com ), Rob Lester (NiteLife Exchange, Cabaret Scenes, TalkinBroadway.com), Erv Raible, executive/artistic director of the Cabaret Conference at Yale University, Roy Sander (BistroAwards.com, chairman of the Advisory Board of MAC), Robert Windeler (BistroAwards.com) and Mark Dundas Wood (SimplyShowbiz.com, BistroAwards.com). Ms. Eaker, who heads the Bistro Committee, is the former longtime Editor-in-Chief of Back Stage and the producer of the event since its inception.
The Bistro Awards are sponsored by ASCAP, with additional sponsorship from BMI, Branson B. Champagne, and Banfi Wines. General Admission tickets are $65; Premium Tickets are $100, which includes the pre-show Champagne reception and priority seating. A two-drink minimum applies to both ticket categories, and all attendees are invited to the "After Bistros" party.
A complete list of winners follows:
Lainie Kazan / Bob Harrington Lifetime Achievement Award
Maurice Hines / Enduring Artistry
Clint Holmes / Major Engagement / "This Thing Called Love: Cole Porter & Paul Simon" / Café Carlyle
Sue Raney / Major Engagement / Feinstein's at Loews Regency
Jenifer Lewis / Dazzling Return to New York Cabaret / "Black Don't Crack at 54 Below" / 54 Below
Barry Levitt / Ongoing Musical Excellence
Liam Forde / Ira Eaker Award
Highlights in Jazz / Special Award to Jack Kleinsinger / series
Ben Rimalower / Special Award / solo play / "Patti Issues" / The Duplex
Justin Vivian Bond / Singular Artistry / 54 Below
Alec Mapa / Comedy Monology / "Baby Daddy" / Laurie Beechman Theatre
Tanya Holt / Vocalist
Deanna Kirk / Jazz Vocalist
Michael Hughes / Debut / "Mickey and Judy" / The Duplex
T. Oliver Reid / Theme Show / "Drop Me Off in Harlem" / Feinstein's at Loews Regency
Mary Liz McNamara / Songwriter
Moira Danis / Recording / "Some People's Lives"
Catherine Russell / Recording / "Strictly Romancin'"

The BISTRO AWARD was established by Bob Harrington in 1985 in his “Bistro Bits” column in the trade weekly Back Stage, then under the editorship of Sherry Eaker. For the first few years, the awards were merely listed in Harrington’s column as notable performances he had seen during the calendar year. The first formal presentation of the awards was held in 1990 at Eighty Eight’s, a popular cabaret venue in the West Village. From there, the show moved on to The Ballroom in Chelsea, and then relocated to the Supper Club in the Broadway District, where it remained for many years. This year marks the sixth year at Gotham Comedy Club.
The guidelines that Harrington set up for himself to determine the first winners have become the basic philosophy behind the Bistro Awards, which recognize achievement in a wide variety of categories — from outstanding performances to outstanding contributions by members of the cabaret community. The object is not to choose the “best” of anything of the year, but to recognize and congratulate the accomplishments of those who have done something special. Accordingly, categories can easily be created from year to year as they best fit the year’s distinguished work.
Some of the Bistro’s special honorees have included Melissa Manchester, Kaye Ballard, and Dee Dee Bridgewater (2012), Dionne Warwick and Carol Channing (2011), Mitzi Gaynor and Elaine Stritch (2010), Charles Aznavour and Liza Minnelli (2009), Marilyn Maye (2008), Betty Buckley (2007), Steve Ross (2006), as well as Dame Cleo Laine and Sir John Dankworth, Bobby Short, Eartha Kitt, Barbara Cook, and many others.


Request for Submissions for 2013 WAM Coalition Collaboration Award

Women in the Arts & Media Coalition, Inc.
Time to submit
for the next Collaboration Award!
2013 Collaboration Award
Women Working with Women
The WAM Coalition is excited to send you this information on the 2013 Collaboration Award.  Now is the time for women to collaborate with other women on arts and media projects, and be rewarded for their efforts!
Please see all the submission info below, and good luck with your submission.
Frances McGarry and Amanda Cole
Collaboration Award Committee Chairs
Shellen Lubin and Avis Boone

Request for Submissions

WAM Coalition, Inc. (Women in the Arts & Media) 
will present the 2013 Collaboration Award
recognizing Women Working with Women 

The $1,000 award is designed to encourage professional women in the arts and media from different specializations to work collaboratively on the creation of a new artistic work. The aim of the award is to encourage women to work collaboratively with women of other disciplines. Each collaborative team must be comprised of female members of 
different Arts & Media associations, unions, guilds and affiliates of WAM Coalition. Eligible teams may suggest any form of creative collaboration on a new work that has had a public performance within the last two years, 2011-2013. A Public Performance can include, but is not limited to a staged reading, gallery show, concert series, etc.

Submissions will be judged on the basis of artistic excellence, diversity, and clarity. All topics and subjects will be considered. Special attention shall be given to those projects which reflect the goals of the Coalition: to advance women's work and women's issues. The team that has been selected and the honorable mentions will be invited to be recognized at an awards ceremony in New York in October 2013. Women outside of New York may send a designee to speak about their project and accept the award.

Teams of two or more women working together on the creative project may apply for the 2013 Collaboration Award on the WAM Coalition website atwww.wamcoalition.org. Applicants must be members in good standing of an organization and/or affiliate with WAM Coalition. Those organizations are: Actors' Equity Association, Dramatists Guild, League of Professional Theatre Women, New York Women in Film & Television, Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, and Writers' Guild of America, East. Affiliates: WomenArts, The Rehearsal Club, The Women's Media Center, Women Make Movies, Dancers Over 40, Professional Women Singers Association.

Deadline: The postmark deadline for the return of completed applications ismidnight 11:59 PM Tuesday, April 30, 2013. Award winners will be announced by August 2013.

Funding for the 2013 Collaboration Award has been provided in part by Sherry Eaker, Yvonne Curry, and Elsa Rael.

2011 Winners
Stefanie Zadravec (playwright - Dramatists Guild) and Daniella Topol (director - Stage Directors and Choreographers) for their collaboration on The Electric Baby. 

2008 Winners
Jennifer Gibbs, author of the play, 
The Stranger, and director, Kristin Marting. Gibbs based her play on Henrik Ibsen's The Lady From the Sea. Marting and Gibbs plan a multi-media production including film and music.

2006 Winners
Playwright Jennifer Maisel and director Wendy McClellan for the play, Birds.

Send your questions to:  collaborationawards2013@gmail.com
244 Fifth Avenue
 Suite 2932
New York, New York 10010


The Story of Maria Irene Fornes' Move to Amsterdam House


Theater World Friends Bring Ailing Playwright Closer To Home

María Irene Fornés, right, with Morgan Jenness, left, and Michelle Memran.Credit Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times
About a dozen friends and colleagues of the adventurous Cuban-born playwright and director María Irene Fornés gathered Wednesday morning near the Cathedral of St. John the Divine to await her arrival at Amsterdam House, the nursing home to which she was transferred from another facility in upstate New York. Just before 1 p.m. the small throng waved and applauded as Ms. Fornés, 82 and gaunt but seeming to enjoy the attention, was wheeled into the home.
The group then waited in a sitting room, exchanging stories and memories about the writer, while the staff determined whether she was up to having visitors.
“This is a glorious day,” said Lorraine Llamas, a playwright who studied with Ms. Fornés, and who was one of the first to arrive. “She’ll be close to her peers and students. She’ll get the support she needs here.”
Ms. Fornés has lately been the subject of a petition campaign on change.org, started by her literary agent, Morgan Jenness, and Michelle Memran, who has spent the last decade writing and directing a documentary about her, called “The Rest I Make Up.”
The petition, which more than 2,700 people have signed, argued that Ms. Fornés, who has had Alzheimer’s disease for more than a decade and has lived at nursing homes upstate since 2005, should be moved to New York so that her admirers in the theater community could visit her.
The petition argued that her nephew and guardian, David Lapinel, was withholding permission for the move unreasonably. Mr. Lapinel did not return telephone calls; Dr. Stephen Lapinel, his brother, said in an interview the charge was not accurate, contending that the family had been carefully balancing the benefits and dangers of moving the playwright. He added that the family appreciated the petition because it led many of Ms. Fornés’s friends in the theater world to visit her.
“We recognize that our aunt is a public figure,” said Dr. Lapinel, a physician who lives in Virginia, “and that a large part of her persona has to do with her public life. And we’re proud of her accomplishments. But at the same time, she’s family, and there has to be a balance of what’s public and what’s a more appropriate and private process for someone at the end of her life.”
Ms. Fornés was born in Havana in 1930, and moved to the United States when she was 14, becoming an American citizen in 1951. She began her artistic life as a painter, but after seeing a French production of Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” in Paris, her interest shifted to the theater, and particularly toward avant-garde drama, sometimes with feminist, gay, Hispanic and political themes. In 1959, she began a seven-year relationship with Susan Sontag, a tempestuous romance described in Sontag’s published journals. She never married and had no children.
Starting with “The Widow,” in 1961, she wrote 42 plays, and won nine Obie awards. Her “Manual for a Desperate Crossing” (1996) was recast as the libretto of Robert Ashley’s opera “Balseros” (1997). Her last completed work was “Letters from Cuba” (2000), which was presented as part of the Signature Theater Company’sseason-long festival of her work, an honor bestowed on Edward Albee and Horton Foote among others.
Among those welcoming Ms. Fornes was Claire Lebowitz, who is at work on a play about Pfc. Bradley Manning, who is currently on trial for allegedly leaking classified intelligence documents.
“I didn’t know her, except as a fan,” said Ms. Lebowitz. “What I find inspiring in her work is the combination of its social and political aspects and her unique voice. She was a real innovator, and confrontational at a time when it was okay to be more political than it seems to be now.”
Ching Valdez-Aran, an actress, director and aspiring playwright, met Ms. Fornés in the early 1980’s, and attended a writing workshop that she gave in the late 1990’s.
“I never had the chance to work with her as an actress,” Ms. Valdez-Aran said, “but at the workshop, I began work on two plays, and I found her very inspiring.”
After about an hour, Ms. Jenness, who had accompanied Ms. Fornés to her temporary room, told the waiting group that she was about to be moved to another with a view of the Cathedral.
“She’s smiling and singing, and happy to be here,” she said.

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