Tonight's the night - the town is abuzz with excitement and anticipation. Its the night of the 23rd Annual MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabarets) Awards and the show kicks off with a "Red Carpet" exercise at 6:30 pm, everyone's chance to be insulted on video. The show itself kicks off at 7:30 pm at BB KING'S BLUES CLUB (237 West 42nd Street, NYC - 212-997-4144 - ). Before MAC made the wise move to return to the cabaret-style setting, one had to hurry up and dine before the show, or wait until after the show - usually around midnight, or so. Now you can drink and dine right at your seat. I suppose that's why this year again the show is nearly a sellout. (some tickets will be available at the door).
I ran into the show's director, MAC VP Lennie Watts, on Saturday, and asked him for his prediction for tonight, which he summed up in one word: "Long." No wonder. Look thaws on the bill: in addition to presenting a lifetime achievement award to Polly Bergen, MAC will bestow the Board of Directors Award to Joey Reynolds and Myra Chanin of the JOEY REYNOLDS SHOW and Eva Swan and Vocal Ease. The TimeOut New York Special Achievement Award will go to Poor Baby Bree.
Andrea Marcovicci and Nancy Witter will co-host the show, with cabaret luminaries like John McDaniel, Klea Blackhurst, Rex Reed, Tyne Daly, Steve Ross, Julie Wilson, Karen Mason, and Marilyn Maye presenting and/or performing and entertainment by the talents of John Bucchino, Brandon Cutrell, Jamie deRoy, Tony DeSare, Jenna Esposito, Tommy Femia, The Fabulous Pink Flamingos, Eric Michael Gillett, Tanya Holt, Lina Koutrakos, Angela LaGreca, Barry Levitt, Lorinda Lisitza, Sidney Myer, Georga Osborne, Christine Pedi, Ricky Ritzel, Spider Saloff, Marcus Simeone and Anne Steele. Should be quite a night!
I'm not going to race home afterwards to get the word out on the names of the winners - a silly sort of effort I have tried in the past. Instead I just might make the rounds of three parties after the show: Jim Caruso's CAST PARTY takes place every Monday night at BIRDLAND (315 West 44th Street, NYC - 212-581-3080), Brandon Cutrell & Alyssa Umphress will host a special edition of AFTER PARTY at THE WEST BANK CAFE/LAURIE BEECHMAN THEATER (407 West 42nd Street, NYC - 212-695-6909), and DON'T TELL MAMA (343 West 46th Street, NYC - 212-757-0788) is hosting a party in their elegant new lounge, with free appetizers and $5 drink specials. They are all within 5 blocks or less of B.B.KINGS - let the evening continue until dawn's early night!