The Manhattan Association of Cabarets (MAC) is pleased to announce the 2021 winners of the Dottie Burman and John Wallowitch songwriting awards. Each recipient receives $500.

The Burman Award finalists were: Bob Levy and Alyce Finell.

The Wallowitich Award finalists were: Alex Goldie Golden and Billy Recce.

The Burman Award Committee—Laura Davis, Bob Diamond, Kim Grogg Marin, Sidney Myer—narrowed the entries down to the three finalists.

The Wallowitch Award Committee— Frank Dain, Betsyann Faiella, Julie Miller, Wendy Russell, Lennie Watts—also narrowed the entries down to the three finalists.

Renowned music director John McDaniel was the Celebrity Judge who selected the winner from the finalists of the Burman Award; Tony nominee, MAC Board of Directors Award winner, and Wallowitch Award winner Joe Iconis was the Celebrity Judge who selected the winner from the finalists for the Wallowitch Award.

The Dottie Burman Award winners are the team of Jeff Thomson & Jordan Mann


Jeff Thomson

Jeff Thomson

Jeff Thomson and Jordan Mann are winners of the Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Award and recipients of the Dramatist Guild Fellowship. Their musicals include Trails (winner of the Stage Entertainment Development Award) and the dance/pop adaptation of Darren Stein’s cult-classic motion picture, Jawbreaker. Separately, Mr. Thomson (alongside lyricist/book-writer, Jeremy Desmon) has produced the scores to Pump Up the Volume, Nancy Drew, My Little Pony Live, Women of a Certain Age, and The Last Supper. Mr. Mann has produced a son!

The John Wallowitch Award winner is Adam Watcher

Adam Wachter

Adam Wachter‘s varied body of work includes experience as a composer, lyricist, bookwriter, music director, pianist, and educator, and the Hollywood Reporter called him a “breakout star” for his music direction (and quips) on the Disney+ series “Encore!” Adam was the recipient of the 2018 Stiles & Drewe Prize for songwriting, and his original musical Tarrytown won the 2017 San Diego Critics’ Circle Award for Best New Musical and was a top-ten finalist for the 2019 Richard Rodgers Award. Adam’s original song “3 People” was performed by Stephen Colbert, Mandy Patinkin, Anika Noni Rose, and others as a get-out-the-vote anthem in 2020. He composed the ballet “On Lincoln Square”, which premiered at the Vail Dance Festival as the choreographic debut of Tiler Peck,and wrote both the score and screenplay for the award-winning short film “Sign”, directed by Andrew Keenan-Bolger. Adam wrote the song “Feel This Fall” for CBS’s Fall 2021 TV season announcement, and he has created music for the series “Wacky Races,” “Cheat Sheet for the Voting Booth,” “The Battery’s Down,” and “Submissions Only”. His music-directing credits include the New York productions of Old Jews Telling Jokes, Carrie, Unlock’d, and Yank!, as well as shows at regional theaters throughout the U.S., including the Old Globe, Signature Theatre, Barrington Stage, Shakespeare Theatre, Bay Street, Pittsburgh CLO, The Wallis Annenberg, Weston Playhouse, and more. His Broadway keyboard credits include War Paint, Allegiance, Finding Neverland, and The Addams Family, and he has accompanied numerous top performers in concerts all over the world. Adam received a BTA from the University of Michigan (2021 “Emerging Artist” Alumni Award) and an MA from Goldsmiths, University of London, and is currently on the musical theatre faculty of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Visit to learn more.

John McDaniel is a Grammy and Emmy Award winning Music Director, Composer, Director, Arranger, Orchestrator & Producer and is an Artistic Director at the Tony Award winning Eugene

O’Neill Theater Center. Recently, John participated in a live Playbill concert event in Times Square welcoming back Broadway, featuring Brian Stokes Mitchell, Jessica Vosk, and Chuck Schumer. McDaniel produced and directed a virtual concert of Sticks & Stones, for which he is also the composer, starring Audra McDonald & Javier Muñoz. He is also a camp director of Kristin Chenoweth’s Broadway Boot Camp. John directed
Into the Woods and Hair in Concert at the historic Patchogue Theater, Sondheim Originals at 54 Below, and Piano Men at Birdland. Broadway music credits include Bonnie and Clyde (Drama Desk Nomination, Best Orchestrations), Catch Me If You Can, Brooklyn (Producer and Orchestrator), Annie Get Your Gun (Grammy Award), Taboo, Chicago, Grease, Patti LuPone on Broadway and Company – the Original Cast in Concert at Lincoln Center. On Television: “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” (two Emmy Awards and eight nominations). John has collaborated with Cab Calloway, Shirley MacLaine, George Burns, Joel Grey, Carol Burnett, Betty Buckley, Bette Midler, and has guest conducted at 15 Symphony Orchestras across America, including five concerts with his hometown St. Louis Symphony. John received a BFA in Drama from Carnegie Mellon University.

Joe Iconis is a Tony Award-nominated writer and performer. His shows include Be More Chill (with Joe Tracz; Broadway, West End), Love in Hate Nation (directed by John Simpkins; Two River Theater), Broadway Bounty Hunter (with Lance Rubin and Jason SweetTooth Williams; Barrington Stage Company and Greenwich House Theater Off-Broadway), Bloodsong of Love (Ars Nova) and the currently-in-development Untitled Unauthorized Hunter S. Thompson Musical (La Jolla Playhouse.) Joe frequently performs at Feinstein’s/54 Below and the Laurie Beechman Theater at West Bank Cafe. He is hugely inspired by Robert Altman, Dolly Parton, The Muppets, and the Family of artists he frequently surrounds himself with. @MrJoeIconis everywhere.

The Manhattan Association of Cabarets (MAC) was founded in 1983, primarily as an organization for cabaret owners, managers, and booking agents to meet and exchange ideas. The organization started accepting performers in 1985.

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.

Members of MAC include cabaret, comedy and jazz artists, directors, musical directors, technical directors, musicians, club owners, booking managers, composers, lyricists, journalists, publicists, artists’ managers, agents, and friends and supporters of live entertainment.