BOARD OF DIRECTORS 2017-18
LENNIE WATTS (President) has been an active member of the cabaret scene for over 20 years. He has achieved something unique in the annals of cabaret; he’s managed to garner awards for performing, directing, producing AND booking. The last two decades have seen him through an incredible journey down the highways and byways of both theater and cabaret. He was the creative force behind Mama Rose, The Encore and The Metropolitan Room. New York Magazine named The Metropolitan Room “The best cabaret in New York”, while under his management. Lennie has earned kudos for both performing and directing. The Village Voice called him “A One Man Cabaret Army!!” He is a much sought after teacher and director, who’s work can be seen nearly any night of the week (sometimes in multiple clubs!) He has toured nationally and internationally, and recorded his debut CD “I Want…You Want…”in 2001.
JULIE MILLER (Vice President) is a NYC based producer and general manager of theater and film, and has also practiced law in NYC for many years. For MAC, Julie has produced the annual MAC AWARDS SHOW for the past four years, and is on the production committee for MAC PRESENTS THEY WRITE THE SONGS. Among the recent feature films she has produced are the original rock musical CLEAR BLUE TUESDAY and the science fiction three-part story FADE TO WHITE. In theater, she recently produced the new musical ZAPATA at the Pershing Square Signature Center, and was general manager for the shows SLEEPOVER at The Cherry Lane Theatre, and AMIGO DUENDE at the Theater at El Museo del Barrio. Other recent production and/or general management projects include the FringeNYC production of THE HURRICANE KATRINA COMEDY FESTIVAL at the Soho Playhouse, which won the Overall Excellence of Production festival prize, as well as SHOW CHOIR THE MUSICAL at The American Theater of Actors, and the musical THE LAST STARFIGHTER at The Theater at St. Clements, for the New York Musical Theatre Festival. Julie has worked on a wide variety of productions including the DRAMA DESK AWARDS, BROADWAY UNPLUGGED, THE NIGHTLIFE AWARDS, and various series at The Town Hall, including “BROADWAY BY THE YEAR, THE BROADWAY CABARET FESTIVAL, and THE SUMMER BROADWAY FESTIVAL.” Julie is on the Board of Directors of the Prospect Theater Company in New York, for which she event produced several special-event concerts, including both FOOLS FOR LOVE and LONELY RHYMES at the Laurie Beechman Theater, and a staged reading of WITH GLEE at the Lucille Lortel Theater. She is a member of the Advisory Board of the Haym Salomon Division Of The Arts, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly and persons with disabilities through the development of innovative arts initiatives and theatrical productions. Julie is very grateful to be a part of the wonderfully supportive and talented community of cabaret, and honored to be a member of the MAC Board of Directors.
WENDY A. RUSSELL (Treasurer) A native New Yorker, Wendy has performed as a jazz and cabaret vocalist at Clubs in and around NYC including the Allen Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Hudson Theater, Don’t Tell Mama, The Duplex, The Laurie Beechman Theater, etc. Wendy is a founding member of the MAC award winning vocal group ‘Those Girls’ and was MAC nominated for her solo cabaret show, “Where Have I Been All My Life”. She’s been a featured soloist in the First Acoustics Concert Folk & Jazz series. She started her singing career, at the age of 8, as a soloist in the Riverside Church’s Children’s Antiphonal Choir and as a soloist for Holt Rinehart & Winston/Triton Records Exploring Music K-12 series of Albums. Wendy is a singer, songwriter, arranger and back-up vocalist. In addition, Wendy teaches vocal technique and performance classes, to all ages, in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Music is Joy. She is delighted to be on the MAC Board. Contact: www.iamwendyrussell.com ~ [email protected]
KIM SUTTON (Secretary) came to cabaret by way of her bucket list. Other items checked off that list included competing in several triathlons, running two Tough Mudders, completing a few Warrior Dash and Spartan Runs, cliff diving in Mexico, becoming an MMA/kickboxing fighter, and taking pole dancing classes. She’s a big believer in following her dreams, and usually can talk a few friends into joining in her endeavors! Sutton is a US Navy veteran, a successful business owner, a loving wife, and mother to two extraordinary daughters. She is an accomplished decorative painter and the president of a privately owned corporation. She is an aficionado of many genres of music, and has even been known to rap a standard or two. Sutton has studied with Barb Jungr, Lennie Watts, Marilyn Maye, Eric Michael Gillett, Lina Koutrakos and Helen Baldassare. She has performed in numerous clubs including The Duplex, Don’t Tell Mama, The Laurie Beechman Theater, and Scat Jazz Lounge. She’s performed two solo shows, Fifty Shades of Kim, and Anchors Away! for which she was awarded the 2015 Broadwayworld Award for Best Show, Female. She also is the recipient of the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs (MAC) Award for 2016 Best Performance by a Duo/Group for her show Whenever I Call You Friend, with galpal Kim Grogg.
KIM GROGG is an actress, singer, director, choreographer and teacher. She has worked on over 100 theatre productions. For the past five years, Kim has been involved in New York City cabaret. Her most recent credits include three cabaret shows: One Hit Wonder Woman, Feelin’ Groovy-Peace, Love and the 60’s and Dusty Springfield-Stay Awhile/I Only Want to Be with You. In 2011, Kim was nominated for a MAC Award in the category of Female Cabaret Debut and in 2012 was nominated in the category of Female Vocalist. Her favorite theatrical experience is a production of Wait ‘til You Get to Wabash that she directed and choreographed in her home town of Wabash, Indiana. Other theatre credits include productions of Gypsy, Hello Dolly, Pippin, Annie, The Music Man, Show Boat, Dames at Sea, Damn Yankees, Fiddler on the Roof, Big River, The Sound of Music, The Wizard of Oz, Nunsense and Menopause, the Musical. Kim is also a print model. In magazines you can find her representing Cimzia, Heinz ketchup, Liberty Mutual life insurance, Meridia, Januvia, Raptiva, Alli and many other pharmaceuticals. Kim’s career in the theatre began when her kindergarten teacher caught her singing and dancing in front of the bathroom mirror. She was supposed to be taking a nap with all the other little children. She has come a long way from kindergarten to now being a proud member of Actor’s Equity and SAG/AFTRA. She is on the Advisory Board for Wingspan Arts and proudly serves on the MAC Board of Directors.
THOMAS HONECK earned a Theatre degree from The College at Brockport and has lived in NYC for over 22 years. He has performed at the Cleveland Play House and traveled around the country playing various roles with a tour of The Teenage Ninja Turtles. Thomas is currently the Booking Manager/Technical Director at the Duplex.
JENNIE LITT is one-half of the songwriting and performing duo Alpher & Litt with her husband, composer/pianist David Alpher. A graduate of Harvard College and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Jennie was busy pursuing a career as an award-winning fiction writer when she met Alpher at The MacDowell Colony and her life took a left turn. The couple has released a live concert CD with folk legends Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, and a CD of their own original cabaret songs, Two Apples (2014). Their songs have been performed at NYC clubs from Don’t Tell Mama to 54 Below; they have appeared as a performing duo at many of NYC’s clubs as well, and as far afield as The Rockport Chamber Music Festival, The Chamber Arts Festival of Marbletown, Cleveland’s Nighttown, and Bard, Vassar, and Harvard Colleges. Alpher & Litt have co-taught cabaret performance workshops and master classes for the Boston Association of Cabaret Artists, Vassar College, The New York Singing Teachers’ Association, and The Brooklyn Cabaret Workshop, as well as privately, and are on the faculty of SummerKeys in Lubec, Maine. Jennie also directs cabaret shows. Jennie was on the Board of Directors of The Chamber Arts Festival of Marbletown from 2004-08. She and David have an elementary-aged daughter. www.litt-and-alpher.com
STEARNS MATTHEWS is a three-time MAC Award Nominee for his solo cabaret shows, this will be…(2011, Best Male Vocalist) and I Was Here (2009, Best Male Debut). Stearns studied Music Theater at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey under the tutelage of Dr. Christopher Arneson and Nova Thomas. In addition to his MAC-nominated solo shows, Stearns has presented critically acclaimed duet performances with Jeremiah Downes (2008) and Megan Candio (2009). In the summer of 2008, he placed as first runner-up in the Metropolitan Room’s first annual MetroStar Talent Challenge, despite being the youngest contestant to enter. In 2010, Stearns was one of twelve candidates selected to audition for the first annual Noel Coward Cabaret Competition, presented by the Mabel Mercer Foundation and also appeared twice in the Mabel Mercer Foundation’s Annual Cabaret Convention, held at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall. www.stearnsmatthews.com
SIDNEY MYER Cabaret Booking Manager: Don’t Tell Mama, Rose’s Turn, Panache. Performer: Cabaret, Off-Broadway, Stock, TV Commercials, Cable TV.
AMY WOLK has won 2 MAC awards for her cabaret performances, including the 2011 MAC for Musical Comedy, and the 2004 MAC Award for Best Female New York Debut for her show Different For Girls. She is also a MAC winning songwriter, for the song “The Brit Song,” co- written with William TN Hall. She also won the 2014 Bistro Award for Musical Comedy. Amy was also named one of the best in cabaret by ShowBusiness Weekly. A graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts/CAP21, Amy has appeared in shows at The Duplex, Don’t Tell Mama’s, The Metropolitan Room, the Laurie Beechamn Theatre, and Town Hall in New York, as well as at Davenport’s in Chicago. She has also appeared in many regional productions including Evil Dead (Cheryl) Schoolhouse Rock Live (Dori), Into the Woods (Rapunzel), and The Taffetas (Peggy). Her fifth solo show, Amy Wolk Sings Bette Midler’s Divine Madness was a hit in the Under the Covers series at Don’t Tell Mama, and received 4 stars in Next Magazine. Her most recent show, A Wolk on The Wild Side was named one of the best shows of the year by Broadwayworld.com. Amy is also the co-producer and host of the cabaret series Friends With Benefits, which has raised over $15,000 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. A certified New York City school teacher, Amy has a Masters degree in Education from Fordham University. She works as a freelance teacher with On Location Education as an on set tutor on films and Broadway shows. This job has given her the opportunity to meet great people, teach amazing kids, and has allowed her to eat for free at opening night parties and from craft service tables. Amy has also worked extensively on Broadway as an assistant merchandise manager for over 40 Broadway shows, including Annie Get Your Gun, Les Miserables, Gypsy, Equus, Anything Goes, and The Phantom of the Opera.
Eric Michael Gillett
Michael E. Kerker