The Broadway Association held its 84th annual luncheon at NY's Marriott Marquis Hotel on Jan. 23, but its guest of honor -- NY Mayor Rudolph W. Guiliani -- was not on hand to receive his award.
At the eleventh hour the mayor was called away to the Bronx to attend the funeral of Detective Sean Carrington, who was fatally shot during an undercover drug operation Jan. 19.
Deputy Mayor Rudy Washington accepted the award on behalf of Guiliani, and master of ceremonies Ron Silver -- the actor who is president of Actors Equity -- lightened up the mood a bit by quipping, "Now the mayor's going to have a lot of trouble getting Lion King tickets!"
This is the first year that a 'sitting mayor' has been honored by the Association -- which cited "the huge strides taken by the mayor and his administration" in helping to improve the Times Square Theatre District.
Among those in attendance were Gerald Schoenfeld of the Shubert Organization; former opera star Beverly Sills, who is chairman of the board of Lincoln Center; and New York Cultural Commissioner Schuyler Chapin. The Broadway Assocation, founded in 1911, is devoted to the cultural and economic develoment of the Broadway theatre district. A sort of "neighborhood chamber of commerce," the Association serves as a welcoming committee for area businesses and a network for the exchange of ideas. Among the organization's members are American Express, Disney Development Corp., the Shubert Organization and the Marriott Marquis Hotel.
At the helm of the Association are Thomas F. Leahy, board chairman, and Richard Basini, president.
-- By Rebecca Paller