The Theater Hall of Fame inducts eight members of the Broadway theatre community into the Hall of Fame November 14. Five-time Tony winner Susan Stroman hosts The 46th Annual Theater Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, which is presented at 7:30 PM in the North Rotunda of the Gershwin Theatre.
The 2016 inductees include actors Glenn Close, Brian Stokes Mitchell, and Phylicia Rashad; costume designer Catherine Zuber; lyricist Sir Tim Rice; playwright Marsha Norman; librettist Joe Masteroff; and producer Paul Libin.
Presenters are Debbie Allen, Roger Berlind, Lonny Price, Jordan Roth, Bartlett Sher, and Christopher Durang. The ceremony will open with a tribute to the late James M. Nederlander by Emanuel Azenberg.
Founded in 1971 by James M. Nederlander, Earl Blackwell, and Gerard Oestriecher, the Theater Hall of Fame’s primary mission is to annually honor lifetime achievement in the American theatre. To be considered for the ballot, the theatre professional must have 25 years on Broadway and five major production credits or be an Off-Broadway or regional theatre founder or pioneer. The voters are United States theatre critics and drama editors.
Last year's honorees included playwright Tony Kushner, songwriting partners Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, director Julie Taymor, director Robert Falls, actor Stacy Keach, lighting designer Ken Billington, Broadway publicist Merle Debuskey and, posthumously, actor Roger Rees.
Terry Hodge Taylor is the producer of the annual event, which is completely sold out. Visit theaterhalloffame.org.
Multiple Oscar nominee Glenn Close is a three-time Tony winner for her performances in The Real Thing, Death and the Maiden, and Sunset Boulevard. She was most recently seen on the London stage revisiting her role as Norma Desmond in a semi-staged concert production of Sunset Boulevard; she will return to Broadway in a revival of that Andrew Lloyd Webber musical later this season.
Brian Stokes Mitchell won the 2000 Tony, Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk awards for his performance as Fred Graham/Petruchio in Kiss Me, Kate, and his other Broadway credits include lead roles in Shuffle Along; King Hedley II; Ragtime; Kiss of the Spider Woman; Jelly's Last Jam; Oh, Kay!; Mail; and the City Center Encores! presentations of Do Re Mi and Carnival. Television audiences will be familiar with Mitchell's work from his roles on Trapper John, M.D., Roots, and Frasier. Mitchell is also Chairman of the Board of the Actors Fund.
Perhaps most widely recognized as Clair Huxtable from TV’s The Cosby Show, Rashad has appeared on Broadway in Into the Woods, Dreamgirls, The Wiz, Gem of the Ocean, and Cymbeline. She won her Tony for her acclaimed performance in the revival of A Raisin in the Sun. In recent years, the celebrated actress has also directed several theatrical productions.
London-born Catherine Zuber’s career includes approximately 50 Broadway shows. The revered costume designer has won Tony Awards for her designs for The King and I, The Royal Family, South Pacific, The Coast of Utopia, Awake and Sing!, and The Light in the Piazza. She has also designed for the Metropolitan Opera, numerous other opera companies and the BAM/Old Vic Bridge Project.
Britain-born Sir Tim Rice began his theatrical career collaborating with Andrew Lloyd Webber on Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Evita. The three-time Tony winner has also penned lyrics for Broadway's Chess, The Lion King, Aida and Aladdin. Rice's awards also include three Oscars as well as Grammys, Golden Globes, and 13 Ivor Novello Awards. He has been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and has a BASCA Fellowship as well as a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Marsha Norman earned the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her two-woman play, 'night, Mother. She was also honored with a Tony Award for the libretto to the 1991 musical The Secret Garden, and she also authored the books for the musicals The Color Purple, The Red Shoes, and Jason Robert Brown's The Bridges of Madison County.
Joe Masteroff's Broadway career began as the playwright of The Prescott Proposals and The Warm Peninsula, but it was his librettos for the musicals She Loves Me and Cabaret that truly secured his position in theatre history. He won his Tony for Cabaret and was also nominated for She Loves Me.
Paul Libin is Executive Vice President of Jujamcyn Theaters, which owns five Broadway houses. Prior to joining that organization in 1990, he was Producing Director of Circle in the Square for 27 years. With Ted Mann, he presented hundreds of shows at the nonprofit's house on East 50th Street. And prior to that, he was an Off-Broadway force — not just at Circle in the Square, but as a producer of various other Off-Broadway attractions. Along the way, he's put in time as a director, lighting designer, technical director, stage manager, managing director, company manager and general manager. Among his many Tony Awards are those for Kinky Boots, Clybourne Park, Hair, Proof, Death of a Salesman, Love! Valour! Compassion!, Angels in America, and Guys and Dolls In 2013 Libin was also honored with a Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement.
(Updated November 14, 2016)