Thursday, April 21, 2011

Count Down to : 5 Nights from Tonight! The 26th Annual Bistro Awards are honoring HILARY KOLE, FAYE LANE, and COLLEEN McHUGH!

As those of you who follow my blogs know, this week I'm focusing on the recipients of the 26th annual Bistro Awards taking place Tuesday night at The Gotham Comedy Club. I hope you have your tickets. Over the past three days, I've written about Liz Larken Brown, Nate Buccieri, Carole J. Bufford, Carol Channing, Anthony Cochran, Tyne Daly, Kevin Doxier, Michael Feinstein,Janice Hall, Sean Harkness, Allan Harris, and Dionne Warwick...all recipients! Today, I'm going to focus on Hilary Kole, Faye Lane, and Colleen McHugh.
Some of the Bistro’s special honorees have included Mitzi Gaynor and Elaine Stritch (2010), Charles Aznavour and Liza Minnelli (2009), Marilyn Maye (2008), Betty Buckley (2007), Steve Ross (2006), as well as Dame Cleo Laine and Sir John Dankworth, Bobby Short, Eartha Kitt, Barbara Cook, and many others.
Take a look at some of the recipients from 2009:
I first heard Hilary Kole sing when we did a memorial together a few years ago and I was instantly smitten. Hilary is receiving her Bistro for her Recording
"You Are There". Vocalist Hilary Kole's current release "You Are There," (Justin Time/JVC Japan) is a compilation of piano and vocal duets with some of the greatest artists in the history of jazz piano including Dave Brubeck, the late Hank Jones and many more. It is a follow-up to her debut recording produced by John Pizzarelli, "Haunted Heart" (Justin Time) which was released to critical acclaim in April of 2009, winning the Gold Disc Award in Japan, and receiving 4 stars in Downbeat Magazine. Both recordings are testaments to Hilary's musicianship and versatility as an artist in a career that started in a slightly different vein:

After studying composition at Manhattan School of Music, Hilary began performing as a vocalist at the legendary Rainbow Room as the youngest singer ever to grace the stage. From there, she debuted at the Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel as the co-writer and star of the critically acclaimed, Off-Broadway reviews, "Our Sinatra," and "Singing Astaire." She made her concert hall debut at Lincoln Center as part of the "American Songbook Series" with Jonathan Schwartz. In June 2007, she appeared at Carnegie Hall in a Tribute to Oscar Peterson, a performance reprised in January 2008 at the Canadian Memorial to Dr. Peterson at Roy Thompson Hall alongside Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock and Nancy Wilson.
Here are some upcoming appearances after Tuesday night's Bistro Awards
Spring Japan Tour Celebrating the release of Hilary's newest CD- TBA

EVERY SUNDAY NIGHT IN MAY- Hilary will be performing at the Bemelman's Bar, Hotel Carlyle, NYC. 8:30-11:30.

May 6th- private event

May 7th- Pt. Washington, NY "A Tribute to Mel Torme" with Billy Stritch, Hilary Kole and Friends.

June 25th- Saratoga Springs, NY - Saratoga Jazz Festival.
"You Are There marks the second album on Justin Time for Hilary Kole, the New York based jazz singer (and pianist, arranger, and composer). Even though hundreds of singers are releasing what seems like hundreds of CDs these days, it's fair to say that no vocalist - in either the classic or the contemporary era - has done an album like You
Are There. This is a set of voice-and-piano duets, and though that fact by itself may call to mind Ella Fitzgerald's famous meetings with Ellis Larkins and the iconic Tony Bennett-Bill Evans collaborations, no one has done what Hilary does here: she has
teamed up with eleven different great pianists - each of them true legends of the keyboard - and recorded thirteen spontaneous piano-vocal duo tracks with these amazing musicians.
The project got underway when Hilary met the late keyboard colossus Oscar Peterson in 2005. She was, then as now, singing frequently at Birdland (then as always, "the Jazz Corner of the World," and her New York base of operations) . The
two became friends, and on one set, to her astonishment, Peterson invited her to sing
with his quartet . . ."Ms. Kole's poised, sultry ballad-singing has always been easy on the ears. But her smooth melodic lines have never been so consistently infused with literary subtext, which spells the difference between sounded pretty, and having something to say." --Stephen Holden New York Times
Contact Information for Hilary Kole

Birdland Worldwide Management
(212) 581-3080
315 W. 44th Street
New York, N.Y. 10036

North American Orchestra Bookings:
Eric Hansen
Tree Lawn Artists
PH: 215-248-LAWN (5296)
Email: Contact Tree Lawn Artists
(Content from Please visit Hilary's website and congratulations Hilary!
A little over a year ago, Faye Lane and I had breakfast and she was telling me about a concept she had for a new show. Well, folks, she followed through! She has had a very successful run at The Soho Playhouse and on Tuesday night, she will be going home for a well deserved Bistro Award and possibly a MAC Award next month for Musical Comedy
"Faye Lane's Beauty Shop Stories"
Soho Playhouse!We may know her as Faye Lane; she is a writer and performer living in New York City. But on the inside she's still Rhonda Faye Gunnels, who grew up in her mama's beauty shop in Texas. Casa Vale Beauty Salon was an old A-Frame house that was converted into a salon, with big mirrors and swivel chairs in the front room and shampoo bowls in the old back bedroom. And on the front porch? A fat little girl in a glittered-up Burger King crown, practicing her beauty queen acceptance speech and dreaming of being a star of the stage!
Praise for Faye Lane
and Beauty Shop Stories

She had them gobbling from the palm of her hand… they were howling, crying, falling in love with her.
– New York Magazine

I would go see it, by all means. It's a great show!
– Time Out New York

Endearing and soaring voiced – a real standout
– Backstage

A glorious evening of one-woman theatre that blazes it's way across the cultural highway.

Lane relates her journey with extraordinary wit, charm, and subtle power, resulting in a performance that's unforgettable.
– Hy Reviews
Faye Lane is a writer and performer who lives in the Chelsea Hotel in New York City. Her unique blending of story and song moved New York Magazine to gush, “She had them gobbling from the palm of her hand. They were howling, crying, falling in love with her."
Congratulations, Faye! I'm so proud of you! To find out more about Faye, please visit

COLLEEN McHUGH is receiving her Bistro Award for Entertainer
The Duplex
This is Colleen's year!
2011 Nightlife Award Finalist

2011 Bistro Award Winner

2011 MAC Award Nominee
In 2008, Colleen McHugh set off on a daunting project: to present a completely different cabaret show each month, for one night only, without losing her mind in the process. More than three years later, she's not only sustained the effort, she's received rave reviews along the way. The Calendar Girl Project has featured shows ranging from a musical tribute to the subtext of the color green, to an exploration of Karen and Richard Carpenter's songbook. Along the way, she's explored 'Tales of Revenge and Regret' and 'Songs of Self-Delusion.' She's tackled (not literally, mind you) Cole Porter's French connections and feted Judy Garland in honor of the anniversary of Stonewall.
You can take Colleen home with you! COLLEEN MCHUGH


All of your friends think that you've lost your mind--except for the imaginary ones. Thank goodness you have Colleen McHugh to help you. Colleen McHugh's debut album songs of self delusion is wonderfully entertaining, as well as being highly theraputic. Oh, did we mention that it was selected as an' iTunes Essential?'"Arts & Entertainment" April 12, 2002
CABARET REVIEW: 'Songs' takes you high, low in one-woman show
by Howard Reich, Tribune Arts Critic

"Delusion is a great survival technique," Chicago cabaret singer Colleen McHugh cheerfully tells her audience at the outset of her intriguing new show at Davenport's.

She then sets about proving the point, launching into an evening's worth of songs about troubled souls who revel in their self-deceptions.

By turns emotionally stark and wickedly satirical, McHugh's "Songs of Self-Delusion" proves that a night at the cabaret need not be an entirely light-hearted affair. For though McHugh shrewdly punctuates the proceedings with comic songs and casual patter, she also probes into the darker sides of the psyche.

Better yet, she does so by drawing upon a remarkably far-flung songbook, which spans material by everyone from Broadway veteran Jerry Herman to modern-day Chicago troubadour Robbie Fulks. The ingenuity with which McHugh interweaves these vignettes helps give this show its dramatic heft.

McHugh opens her homage to self-delusion, for instance, with not one song but two, merging sections of Herman's "I Don't Want to Know" with Amanda McBroom's "Dreaming." In this haunting introduction, McHugh hints at both the comic and tragic sides of the set pieces yet to come.

Somehow, she switches easily from the absurd, black humor of Jill Sobule's "Mexican Wrestler" to the dripping irony of Jim De Wan's "You Wouldn't Do That to Me," from the clever wordplay of Phillip Namanworth's "Avoid" to the self-loathing laments of Francesca Blumenthal's "The Lies of Handsome Men."

Every song makes a point, though few more searingly than Fulks' "I've Got to Tell Myself the Truth," which McHugh sings to the accompaniment of a lone guitar.

To her credit, McHugh also brings some beguiling bits of stage business to the proceedings, particularly in Herman's "A Little More Mascara" (from "La Cage Aux Folles"). As the protagonist sings the glories of heavy makeup, two attendants hand her a tiara, white gloves and other ornaments with which to mask her insecurities.

With evocative musical direction from pianist Andrew Blendermann and expert backup vocals from Allison Bazarko and [Anne Smith], McHugh has conceived a bittersweet cabaret show as original as it is meaningful.

And that doesn't happen very often.

(c) 2002 Chicago Tribune. All Rights Reserved.Go here to buy tickets:

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Richard Skipper, Associate producer of the 26th annual Bistro Awards ,

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