KAREN MASON TO RECEIVE MANHATTAN ASSOCIATION OF CABARET’S LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
The Manhattan Association of Cabarets (MAC) has announced that its 33rd MAC Awards will be held on Tuesday, March 26 at 7:00 pm at a new location, Sony Hall in New York City. The show is produced by Julie Miller and directed by Lennie Watts, with musical direction by Bobby Peaco.
In addition to the competitive awards, the MAC Board of Directors determines the honorees in special categories. This year, Karen Mason receives the Lifetime Achievement Awards, Joe Iconis receives the Board of Directors Award, Ben Cameron and his Broadway Sessions receives the Ruth Kurtzman Benefit Award, and Midnight at the Never Get receives Show of the Year. [Editor’s Note: Additional information, including ticket sales, will be available soon at www.macnyc.com]
KAREN MASON (Lifetime Achievement Award) has starred on Broadway, Off-Broadway, on television, and on recordings, and “has few peers when it comes to ripping the roof off with her amazing voice that knows no bounds!” (TheatreScene.net). She is a 12-time MAC Award winner, won the 2006 Nightlife Award for Major Female Vocalist, and has three Bistro Awards. On Broadway, she has appeared as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, Tanya in the original cast of Mamma Mia! (Drama Desk nomination), The Queen of Hearts in Wonderland, Velma von Tussel in the final Broadway company of Hairspray; “Monotony” singer and Mazeppa in Jerome Robbins’ Broadway; Rosalie in Carnival (Drama Desk nomination); and featured roles in Torch Song Trilogyand Play Me a Country Song. Karen spent more than a year on tour in the North American premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Love Never Dies playing Madame Giry. Karen won the Outer Critics Circle Award for her performance in And the World Goes ’Round, and starred Off-Broadway in her own show Karen Mason Sings Broadway, Beatles and Brian. Her highly acclaimed recordings include It’s About Time; her 2009 MAC Award-winning Right Here/ Right Now, The Sweetest of Nights, the MAC Award-winning When the Sun Comes Out; Christmas! Christmas! Christmas!, Better Days (including the 1998 Emmy Award-winning song “Hold Me“); and Not So Simply Broadway. She has been featured on the original cast recording of Wonderland, Jeffrey (Varese Sarabande), the studio cast recording of Wonderful Town (JAY Records), the original cast album of And the World Goes ’Round (RCA Victor), The Child in Me, Vol. 1 (Harbinger Records), and Lost in Boston II (Varese Sarabande). (Photo credit: Bill Westmoreland)
JOE ICONIS (Board of Directors Award) is a writer and performer. As a composer/lyricist/book writer, he has authored the musicals Be More Chill (opening on Broadway in February 2019), Broadway Bounty Hunter (Barrington Stage Company), Bloodsong of Love (Ars Nova), The Black Suits (Center Theater Group), ReWrite (Urban Stages), Theaterworks USA’s The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks and We the People, and the currently in development Hunter S. Thompson Musical (for La Jolla Playhouse) and Love in Hate Nation. The Be More Chill Original Cast Recording has been streamed over 200 million times and his other albums include Two-Player Game (with George Salazar), Things to Ruin (Original Cast Recording) and The Joe Iconis Rock and Roll Jamboree all available on Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight Records. Joe’s songs appeared on Season 2 of NBC’s “Smash.” His concert act, Joe Iconis and Family, frequently plays Feinstein’s/54 Below, The Laurie Beechman Theater, Weston Playhouse and other venues around the country. He has been nominated for two Drama Desk Awards, a Lucille Lortel Award and is the recipient of an Ed Kleban Award, a Jonathan Larson Award, ASCAP’s Richard Rogers New Horizon Award and Harold Adamson Lyric Award, a Doris Duke Grant and a MAC John Wallowitch Songwriting Award. (Photo: Stephanie Wessels)
BEN CAMERON (Ruth Kurtzman Benefit Award) is your “Broadway Buddy!” He has appeared on Broadway in the original casts of Wicked, Footloose and Aida. He has toured with Sweet Charity, Fame, Tommy, Footloose, and State Fair. Ben is the creator and host of Broadway Sessions at The Laurie Beechman Theatre, a live musical theater-themed variety show, which recently celebrated 10 years of weekly presentations. Broadway Sessions is a proud supporter of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Ben is the creator and host of the web series Dance Captain Dance Attack on BroadwayWorld.com, the hit podcast talk show The Broadway Cast in association with Playbill, Broadway Buskers outdoor concert series with the Times Square Alliance, and Broadway Sessions Beach Party on Fire Island. He is the mainstage host of Broadway Con. Ben served as host of the long-running open mic series Mostly Sondheim at The Duplex and tours the country as Emcee for Onstage NY talent competitions. Ben continues to host countless industry events and benefits, including the BC/EFA Flea Market celebrity autograph experience, Rockers on Broadway, Tony Awards Red Carpet for BroadwayWorld,and more. He is a frequent face on PBS- WNET THIRTEEN, WLIW, and NJTV, having hosted the New Year’s marathons of “Downton Abbey,” “Poldark,” “Eastenders” and “Broadway on THIRTEEN,” as well as specials featuring Heather Headley, John Legend, Chris Botti, Michael Bublé, Chicago and many more. You can hear Ben on Wednesdays spilling Broadway T on Channel Q radio. He has written and directed several solo shows for some of Broadway and cabarets top talent and has enjoyed two sold-out runs of his one man show Different Is Good. He travels the country choreographing and teaching theater and dance workshops. Ben likes you. @BenDoesBroadway, @BwaySessions, www.bencameron.nyc
MIDNIGHT AT THE NEVER GET (Sow of the Year) is “An intimate, aching chamber musical about heartbreak and bliss” (NYTimes Critic’s Pick). Midnight at The Never Get takes the form of an otherworldly cabaret where singer Trevor Copeland looks back on his relationship with a songwriter in 1960s Greenwich Village. The chronicle of a complicated romance during the burgeoning gay rights movement, Midnight is a meditation on love, politics and memory, set to a sultry American Songbook-inspired score. Following multiple hit runs, the show will return this year as a fully immersive 1960s cabaret experience, enveloping audiences in the glamour and charm of the beloved clubs from that bygone era. Sam Bolen pitched the idea that became Midnight at The Never Get to Mark Sonnenblick in Mark’s old kitchen, and has played Trevor in every incarnation from Don’t Tell Mama (Bistro Award) to the York Theater Company (NYT Critics’ Pick). Other credits include: Me and My Girl, Irma La Douce, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and more at Encores!, Pope! An Epic Musical (NYMF Award) and STREEPSHOW (The Tank). He graduated from Yale, where he was a Whiffenpoof and a Spizzwink. Max Friedman recently made his Off-Broadway directing debut with the York Theatre Company production of Midnight at The Never Get, which he previously staged at Don’t Tell Mama, NYMF, and The Provincetown Inn. He was nominated for a MAC Award in 2016 as the director of Charlie Rosen’s Broadway Big Band. He is currently making his Broadway debut as the Assistant Director of Be More Chill! Follow @maxbfriedman. Mark Sonnenblick is a composer, lyricist, and scriptwriter, although not always at the same time. His collaborations include Midnight at The Never Get (York Theater Company, NYT Critic’s Pick), Independents (“Best Production” FringeNYC, NYT Critic’s Pick), Dragons Love Tacos (TheatreworksUSA), and Twenty Minutes or Less (Washington National Opera). He has won a Jonathan Larson Grant (American Theatre Wing), a Harold Adamson Award (ASCAP), and a Bistro Award.
MAC’s mission is to advance the art and business of live entertainment. A trade association, its activities are designed to heighten public awareness of the field’s contributions and vitality, to honor its creativity, to build its current and future audiences, and to speak out as an influential voice on behalf of MAC members and the industry at large. It’s annual MAC Awards celebrate the very best in NYC cabaret, with competitive awards voted on by the active MAC members.