Drama League to Honor Nichols, BMI, Billy Rose Collection

News   Drama League to Honor Nichols, BMI, Billy Rose Collection The Drama League will hand out three special awards at its 71st Annual Awards luncheon and ceremony — hosted by Tony Award winner Cherry Jones—on May 13 in the Marriott Marquis Hotel's Broadway Ballroom.

Director Mike Nichols (Spamalot) will be honored with the Julia Hansen Award for Excellence in Directing. The Billy Rose Theatre Collection at the NY Public Library at Lincoln Center will receive the Unique Contribution to the Theatre Award. And the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop will receive the Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre Award.

  Monty Python vet and Spamalot creator Eric Idle will present Mike Nichols with his award.  Composer Maury Yeston (Nine) will present the award for Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre and composers Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx (Avenue Q) will accept on behalf of BMI.  The award for Unique Contribution to the Theatre will be accepted on behalf of The Billy Rose Theatre Collection by Jacqueline Davis, executive director of the Performing Arts Library at Lincoln Center, and Billy Rose Theatre Collection Curator Bob Taylor.

  In other news, for the first time in the history of the awards, tickets for the ceremony will be available to the general public.  Tickets are $150 each (non-table seating).  The ticket price includes a one-year Drama League membership (an $85 value).  For tickets to The 71st Annual Drama League Awards, please call The Drama League at (212) 244-9494, ext. 5.

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Jones is a previous recipient of the League's Distinguished Performance Award. This season's awards, honoring productions both on and Off-Broadway, will be given for Distinguished Performance, Distinguished Production of a Play, Distinguished Production of a Musical, Distinguished Revival of a Play and Distinguished Revival of a Musical. Fifty stars from the 2004-2005 theatre season will be featured at the 71st Drama League ceremony. And, the annual event will be co-chaired by six theatre regulars: Lea DeLaria, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Sutton Foster, John Lithgow, Frances Sternhagen and Leslie Uggams.

Nominations will be announced April 18; the cut-off date for this year's nominations is April 13.

Last season, Drama League Awards were bestowed upon The Boy From Oz's Hugh Jackman (Distinguished Performance), I Am My Own Wife (Distinguished Production of a Play), Wicked (Distinguished Production of a Musical), Henry IV (Distinguished Revival of a Play), Assassins (Distinguished Revival of a Musical), Wonderful Town's Donna Murphy (Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre), City Center Encores! (Unique Contribution to the Theatre) and George C. Wolfe (The Julia Hansen Award for Excellence in Directing).

Proceeds from the Annual Awards Luncheon support the training programs of The Drama League Directors Project.

The Drama League is devoted to supporting and strengthening theatre in America "by broadening and stimulating the audience for quality theatre and by developing emerging talents for careers in the theatre."