The Cabaret/MAC Awards Quiz!

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The Cabaret/MAC Awards Quiz

By Rob Lester for Cabaret Scenes

To get you in the mood for cabaret’s annual MAC Awards on Tuesday, March 28, at B.B. King in Times Square (see, I thought I’d present a tongue-in-cheek quiz featuring the names of some of the nominated shows—or something connected to them.

PART 1: Multiple Choice.
All the possible answers shown are MAC nominees (or connected to them).  

1. The experience of being at the MAC Awards show is most similar to which of these descriptions, all of which are also MAC-nominated shows?

A. Ain’t We Got Fun

B. The Gift of Love

C. Apocalypse Wow

2. Which of these is the patron saint of cabaret?

A. Liza Live!

B. Those Girls

C. The Whore Next Door

2. Michele Lee is being honored for Lifetime Achievement; which of these best  describes her career?

A. Sweet Life

B. More Than Fine

C. Because I Can

3. Which of these activities is considered the most productive way to get ahead in cabaret?  

A. Waiting  

B.  Groovin’ on a Sunday  

C. Sitting at Julie Gold’s Piano    

4. Why should those who have never won a MAC Award NOT be discouraged by how many have been won by people like Karen Mason and Ann Hampton Callaway?  

A. This Is Your Night!    

B. So Many Reasons      

C. It’s Just a Number

PART 2: True or False
All statements refer to someone or something connected to current MAC nominees. Feel free to check for details on any and all nominees and the March 28 MAC Awards show.  

1. The MAC-nominated show and CD by Natalie Douglas called Human Heart is based on her earlier career as a cardiologist performing heart transplant surgery, which also inspired the stage name of her longtime musical director Mark Hartman (and the earlier title, Human Hartman).

2. Past and current technical director nominee Collette Black is so quick on dramatic blackouts at the ends of performers’ songs that they affectionately call her Collette Blackout and fellow nominee Amando Bravi is so often cheered that he is affectionately called Armando Bravo.

3. The two ensemble instrumentalist nominees who worked with Lennie Watts on the revival of his show Manilow ‘73-’83 featuring Barry Manilow’s songs from the years 1973 to 1983 have noted that Manilow is now 73 years old and have planned with Lennie a tribute to his albums starting now and going through the next ten years so they can recycle the title, but without the apostrophes.   

4. To celebrate March Is Cabaret Month in our city, the Mayor of NYC has renamed some areas of the city: the diamond district will be renamed the Bob Diamond District; Restaurant Row will now be called Billie Roe; the former site of Off Track Betting (OTB) will be enshrined with its new name of Tom Gamblin; Carnegie Hall will now be known as William TN Hall; Broadway between 14th Street and 168th Street will be rechristened Ricky Ritzel’s Broadway; and the entire borough of Manhattan, to honor Celia Berk’s nominated CD and show, will henceforth be officially called Manhattan Serenade.

5. Life imitates art (sort of): The MAC-nominated production Midnight at the Never Get has inspired a new cabaret to open: The Never Get, which will present midnight shows featuring exclusively cabaret performers who never get a MAC Award or even a nomination and whose shared hopes include the possibility of a Hanson Award before the end of the century or being cast in Max Friedman’s next directorial endeavor.

6. New, non-musical challenges in the 2017 MetroStar Challenge will find hopeful singers finding their ways (or not) through a labyrinth-like set-up called the Sally Maze (named after MAC nominee Sally Mayes) and attempting to memorize all the patter spoken in MargOH! Channing’s new act, with this section known as the MetroStar Talent Channing.

7. Lynda Rodolitz is indeed off her rocker and Tanya Moberly does indeed sing Joni, Rickie, Ani, Amy, Kenny, and Nilsson and the blues.

8.  Despite having been given TWO assigned seats at the MAC Awards, ushers will find that Debut nominee Matt DiPasquale is Neither Here Nor There.

9. Nominee Josephine Sanges just loves women named Ann. Her tribute to Ann Hampton Callaway— To Ann, with Love—was so successful that she’s doing two sequels: one in this part of our land (Ann Landers Tribute) and below the Mason-Dixon Line, a tribute to—wait for it—of course, Ann Sothern.

Since Karen Mason and Joshua Lance Dixon are both on the MAC-nominated CD of songs by Scott Evan Davis, singer Sanges also plans a show dedicated to Mason, Dixon, and, appropriately, the aforementioned Mason-Dixon Line itself.

10. Although Mark Nadler played piano for all songs in the nominated tribute to Alan Jay Lerner, came up with the arrangements, directed the show, sang some of its songs alone and some in duet with the show’s other vocal soloist, KT Sullivan, because of busy schedules, the two have actually never actually met and did all their rehearsals separately with substitutes: Nadler rehearsing with MAC nominee Rick Skye dressed as KT while she rehearsed with another singer Nadler directed (but whom she’d also never met), Stacy Sullivan.         

PART 3: Essay Questions

Discuss the following in 50,000 words each. Again, all are related to MAC nominations.

1. Which name inspires the vision of the sweetest persona: Sally Darling or Doris Dear or Sacred Monster?   

2. Which is more shocking and why: that Mary Foster Conklin’s MAC-nominated CD Photographs does not include the MAC-nominated novelty song “Selfie” … or that all four of Those Girls have the letters N, E, and A in their names and yet have not received a grant from the N.E.A.

3. What is your main reason for attending the exciting MAC Awards on Tuesday, March 28 at BB King’s Blues Club & Grille 237 West 42 Street? Is it because you were motivated to do so after having taken this quiz and were reminded of the cabaret talent pool? Is it because you realize too many of the names above are unfamiliar and that Tuesday will be a great catch-up? Or are you working in the BB King coat-check room so it’s a coat check and a paycheck? Check out

Rob Lester

2015 is native New Yorker Rob Lester's eighth year as contributing writer, beginning by reviewing a salute to Frank Sinatra, whose recordings have played on his personal soundtrack since the womb. (His Cabaret Scenes Foundation member mom started him with her favorite; like his dad, he became an uber-avid record collector/ fan of the Great American Songbook's great singers and writers.) Soon, he was attending shows, seeking out up-and-comers and already-came-ups, still reading and listening voraciously. He also writes for and, has been cabaret-centric as awards judge, panel member/co-host, and produces benefit/tribute shows, including one for us.