The Drama League, which announces its 2000 award winners on Friday, has a limited number of tickets available for its 66th Annual Awards Luncheon, to be held at noon on May 5 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. The sit down affair, hosted by actor Patrick Stewart, is expected to draw an estimated 500 people, many of them theatre luminaries.
Distinguished Award notifications have already gone to Audra McDonald, who will receive a prize in recognition of her work as a "committed champion of new young composers for the American Theatre." After 31 years as producing director at the Actors Theatre in Louisville, Jon Jory will take home the Unique Contribution to the Theatre award; and director and former Seattle Repertory artistic director Daniel Sullivan will receive the Julia Hansen Award for Excellence in Directing. The Drama League's Distinguished Performance Award is reportedly the oldest acting award in New York theatre, and predates even the Tony Award, having first been presented in 1935.
The Drama League said sales are going well but encouraged theatre patrons to attend because a limited number of tickets remain available.
"They will have the day of their lives," said Drama League's Pat Follert "It's a big ballroom and the dais is so long that everyone gets a good seat. We'll have 16 stars from Broadway and Off-Broadway, so anyone who has seen at least one play this season will be able to find at least one favorite face; and the stars get to speak extemporaneously, which is nice for them, because they won't have to speak from a script, for a change."
Drama League's Julia Hansen added that there were tickets available and reiterated a special offer: Playbill On-Line readers who are interested in attending the event can get a special discounted price of $150, which is $30 under the regular $180 ticket price. Hansen said those interested should call the Drama League and mention "Playbill On-Line." * As reported earlier, the Drama League has announced its nominations for the 1999-2000 season. The winners in the three categories of best play, musical and revival will be announced on May 5. Notable among the best play nominees were Last Train to Nibroc, an Off-Broadway play that had a short run, and Harley Granville Barker's Waste. Though Waste received its U.S. Premiere only this year, the work is nearly one hundred years old.
Like the Tonys, the Drama League deemed Contact was a musical, though it lacks a score and no one sings. The organization also nominated both of the musicals called The Wild Party.
The nominees run as follows:
DISTINGUISHED PRODUCTION OF A PLAY:
Dinner With Friends
Jar the Floor
Last Train to Nibroc
The Tale of the Allergist's Wife
For ticket information call (212) 302-2100.
-- By Murdoch McBride
and Robert Simonson