2016 BWW Cabaret Awards: Celia Berk and Sidney Myer Win Top Show Honors; Betty Buckley and Tony Yazbeck are Top Celebs

By Ashley Steves
Broadway World
January 19, 2017

The votes are in and the results are official for the fifth annual BroadwayWorld New York Cabaret Awards. More than 32,000 votes were cast this year for the excellent performers and shows in 16 categories. BroadwayWorld would like to extend congratulations to all of this year’s winners and nominees.

Celia Berk’s MANHATTAN SERENADE is the runaway winner of the award for Best Show, Female. This is the second major category win for Berk, who won in the Best Debut Show category last year for YOU CAN’T RUSH SPRING. In the Best Show, Male category, Sidney Myer’s long-awaited return to performing in LIVE AT THE LAURIE BEECHMAN THEATRE was the winner by a wide margin, besting Stearns Matthews’ ME AND THE GERSHTWINS (also at the Laurie Beechman) and Mark Nadler’s Pangea residency.

Alex Rybeck takes the award for Best Musical Director for the second year in a row for his work on Berk’s SERENADE, in addition to Corinna Sowers-Adler’s HIGH STANDARDS. The legendary Marilyn Maye is also a consecutive winner as Best Director, this time around for Minda Larsen’s MY SOUTHERN SONG at the Metropolitan Room.

For Celebrity Show, Betty Buckley and Tony Yazbeck won their respective categories. Buckley took the award for Best Show, Celebrity Female for the second year in a row with her latest STORY SONGS at Joe’s Pub, narrowly beating out Laura Benanti’s TALES FROM SOPRANO ISLE at Café Carlyle. Yazbeck’s THE FLOOR ABOVE ME (Birdland) squeaked out a win over Norm Lewis’ NORM LEWIS WISHES YOU A SWINGIN’ CHRISTMAS and Tony Danza’s STANDARDS & STORIES (both at Feinstein’s/54 Below) for Best Show, Celebrity Male.

Charlie Poveromo & The Barry Levitt Quartet are this year’s Best Debut Show winners for their run at the Metropolitan Room, narrowly beating Hanna Burke’s WHY IS EVERYONE LAUGHING?: A TRIBUTE TO MADELINE KAHN (Don’t Tell Mama). In the Best Musical Comedy or Alt Cabaret Show category, Shawn Moninger’s BECAUSE I CAN was the clear winner, as was Savannah Brown and Chase O’Donnell’s TOO BLONDES for Best Duo Show and Stacy Sullivan for A NIGHT AT THE TROUBADOUR WITH ELTON JOHN AND DAVID ACKLES for Best Tribute Show (all at the Metropolitan Room).

Voted the city’s Best Vocalists this year are Lisa Viggiano and Jeff Harnar. Ann Hampton Callaway won the Best Jazz Vocalist (Male or Female) category in a landslide, ending the four-year streak of previous winner Jane Monheit.

Jim Caruso’s CAST PARTY at Birdland won for Best Variety or Recurring Series. A winner for last’s Excellence in Hosting a Variety Show, Series or Open Mic Editor’s Choice Award, Caruso’s CAST PARTY has been a Monday night staple at Birdland for over a decade. The series narrowly beat last year’s winning series, Feinstein’s/54 Below’s 54 BELOW SINGS.