ADVERTISING AT CURTAINUP
Short Term Listings
BOOKS and CDs
LETTERS TO EDITOR
The 2010 Night Life Awards
For the eighth year, Scott Siegel has offered his salute to New York 's night life at Town Hall, with what he calls an "Awards Concert"— just performances with announcements and thanks kept to a minimum. What the audience gets are some of the best live entertainment around, in cabaret, jazz and comedy, by award winners and by guest artists.
This year the show was hosted by outrageous funnyman/writer Bruce Vilanch, introducing himself as "I'm Chastity Bono". He was off from there and not surprisingly, humor wove its wacky way through the evening, including his hilarious memories of Moms Mabley. Also memorable was Tovah Feldshuh's irrepressible showmanship, spoofing Golda Meir, the former Israeli Prime Minister, garbed in a boa, decorative headdress, cigarette dangling from her mouth, belting and tossing out Jewish jokes. So the jokes were old. Tovah brought them to life, proving the adage, "Politics is not so far from entertainment."
Bassist Jay Leonhart, remembered a plane ride with Leonard Bernstein in his wry tune"Me and Lennie." Comic winnersSlovin and Allen each read a segment of a serious book that influenced him and made it funny and new.
Other standout moments included effervescent Christine Ebersole opening and closing the show with "I've Got Five Dollars " and "The Music That Makes Me Dance." Cheyenne Jackson, sang, "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" although he is certainly not singing the blues, having recently appeared in Finian's Rainbow and in cabaret with Michael Feinstein in The Power of Two. James Barbour was powerful in his rendition of " Measure of a Man." Bandleader/singer Johnny Rodgers roused the house for Act II with "The Birth of the Blues, " tying for vocalist award with Baby Jane Dexter's " Love Hurts/Not a Day Goes By. " Another tender moment came when Martin Vidnovic saluted songwriter Ervin Drake in the audience, with a beautiful rendition of Drake's song, " It Was a Very Good Year."
Kurt Elling, Sheila Jordan, Anne Steele> Nellie McKay and Gretchen Reinhagen were all notable as were power couples, John Pizzarelli- Jessica Molaskey and Eric Comstock- Barbara Fasano. There was dancing too with Noah Racey and company tapping away "On the Sunny Side of the Street. "
See the end of the production notes for the running order of the songs presented, and a list of this year's winners. To check out our features on Scott Siegel's other shows, see our omnibus pages on The Broadway by the Year series and The Broadway Unplugged series.