The Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation is honoring eight musical theatre writers and two organizations by slicing up $60,000 for its 2001 awards, being announced at a Feb. 8 luncheon in New York City.
The eight individuals receiving unrestricted cash gifts between $2,500-$12,500 are composer-lyricist John Bucchino (known for his cabaret songs and contributing the one-act, Lavender Girl, to 3hree); lyricist Mindi Dickstein (of the aborning Little Women) and her composer partner Daniel Messe; composer-lyricist Laurence O'Keefe (who contributed the one-act, Mice, to 3hree, and wrote songs for the upcoming Off Broadway show, Bat Boy); the brother team of Robert Reale and Willie Reale (Once Around the City, planned for spring at Second Stage); composer Scott Richards (who wrote music for the Yale Rep premiere of Cobb); and lyricist Amanda Yesnowitz (known for her cabaret songs).
Institutions receiving $5,000 each are Theatreworks/USA (New York City) and The Children's Theater Company (Minneapolis, MN).
The foundation and awards are named for the late composer lyricist who died prematurely of a misdiagnosed heart ailment in 1996 prior to the Off-Broadway opening ofRent. The show went on to win the Pulitzer Prize, the Best Musical Tony Award and has enjoyed international success.
The Feb. 8 luncheon for the Jonathan Larson Foundation Awards includes performances of works by 2000 Larson winners, including Chad Beguelin and Matthew Sklar (Rhythm Club), Jennifer Giering, David Kirshenbaum (Summer of '42) and others. — By Kenneth Jones