Eileen Heckart, currently in The Waverly Gallery, won the Drama League's Distinguished Performance Award. The honor is reportedly the oldest acting award in New York theatre, and predates even the Tony Award, having first been presented in 1935. Heckart has stated that Wallery will be her last stage appearance.
The awards were announced at a May 5 luncheon in Manhattan.
Contact, the inventive Susan Stroman-John Weidman creation, has emerged as the clear favorite in this season's weak crop of musicals, already winning an Outer Critics Circle Award and a Drama Desk Award nomination.
Copenhagen has also won an Outer Critics Circle Award and a Drama Desk nomination. *
The Drama League previously announced the following award notifications:
¥ Audra McDonald received the Distinguished Achievement Award in Musical Theatre in recognition of her work as a "committed champion of new young composers for the American Theatre." McDonald's award will be presented by Marie Christine's author and composer, Michael John LaChiusa.
¥ After 31 years as producing director at the Actors Theatre in Louisville, Jon Jory took home the Unique Contribution to the Theatre award.
¥ Director and former Seattle Repertory artistic director Daniel Sullivan received the Julia Hansen Award for Excellence in Directing.
The three competitive categories ran as follows (with the winner in bold face):
DISTINGUISHED PRODUCTION OF A PLAY:
Dinner With Friends
Jar the Floor
Last Train to Nibroc
The Tale of the Allergist's Wife