GLAAD to Honor Minnelli and Condon at Los Angeles Awards April 30

News   GLAAD to Honor Minnelli and Condon at Los Angeles Awards April 30
 
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) will honor Liza Minnelli and writer-director Bill Condon at the 16th Annual GLAAD Media Awards April 30.

The second of three GLAAD Media Awards galas will be held at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles and will include the presentation of the Vanguard Award to singer-actress Minnelli. The Award, whose previous recipients include Antonio Banderas, Shirley MacLaine, Elizabeth Taylor and Whoopi Goldberg, honors "a member of the entertainment community who has made a significant difference in promoting equal rights for LGBT people."

Bill Condon, who penned the screenplay for the Oscar-winning "Chicago" film, will be honored with the Stephen F. Kolzak Award. Kolzak devoted the last part of his life to fighting AIDS-phobia and homophobia within the entertainment industry and is given yearly to an openly gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender member of the entertainment community "for his or her work toward eliminating homophobia." Among those who have received the Stephen F. Kolzak Award are Todd Haynes, Alan Ball, Melissa Etheridge, Ellen DeGeneres and Sir Ian McKellen.

GLAAD Executive Director Joan M. Garry said in a statement, "In 1972, Liza Minnelli played Sally Bowles in 'Cabaret,' one of the first films to deal with gay and bisexual issues matter-of-factly and non-sensationally. The film took Liza's career to a new high, and she has since become one of the world's most consummate performers. But she is more than a brilliant entertainer — she is a dedicated humanitarian who has for decades has donated her time and talent to fighting AIDS. . . By living his life openly and honestly and by choosing to tell stories about gay and lesbian lives, Bill Condon has made a tremendous contribution to our community. With films like 'Kinsey' and 'Gods and Monsters,' Condon provides visibility and a voice for LGBT people."

GLAAD is dedicated to promoting fair, accurate, and inclusive representation of individuals and events in all media as a means of eliminating homophobia and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

The third and final GLAAD media event will be held June 11 at San Francisco's Westin St. Francis. For more information, visit www.glaad.org. *

Winners of the 16th Annual GLAAD Media Awards were announced March 28 at a ceremony held at New York's Marriott Marquis.

The awards, which honor "fair, accurate and inclusive" representations of gay individuals in the media, also paid tribute to Billy Crystal, currently on Broadway in 700 Sundays, and Tony Award winner Alan Cumming.

Emmy winner Crystal was honored with the Excellence in Media Award, which is given to "individuals in the media and entertainment industries who through their work have increased the visibility and understanding of the LGBT community." Former Cabaret star Cumming was given the Vito Russo Award, which is presented to "an openly lesbian, gay or bisexual member of the entertainment or media community for outstanding contributions toward eliminating homophobia."

Nominees for the 16th Annual GLAAD Media Awards were announced Jan. 19. The annual awards honor the best in journalism, film, TV and theatre. This year's nominations included three theatre-related categories: Outstanding New York Theatre: Broadway and Off Broadway; Outstanding New York Theatre: Off Off-Broadway; and Outstanding Los Angeles Theater. The winner in the latter category will be announced during an upcoming ceremony in Los Angeles April 30 at the Kodak Theatre. A third and final ceremony will be held June 11 at San Francisco's Westin St. Francis.

The Normal Heart won the GLAAD Media Award in the Outstanding New York Theater: Broadway and Off-Broadway category. The Larry Kramer play competed in a category that also included Bare: A Pop Opera, La Cage aux Folles, The Tricky Part and Where Do We Live?. The Outstanding New York Theater: Off Off-Broadway winner was Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead. Dog Sees God was featured in a category that included Bald Diva!, The Big Voice: God or Merman?, Love According to Luc and Us.

The Worth Street Theatre Company's Off-Broadway production of Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart was directed by David Esbjornson and earned a Drama Desk Award nomination for Best Revival of a Play and four Drama League noninations, including Distinguished Revival of a Play. The Kramer work was one of the first plays about the emergence of AIDS, and the anger, frustration and fear surrounding it. The recent revival featured Raul Esparza and Joanna Gleason.

Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead premiered last summer at the New York International Fringe Festival and was one of the three Fringe Excellence Awards Overall Production winners. A new play written by Bert V. Royal featuring original music by Tom Kitt, the take-off on the Charles Schulz comic strip "Peanuts" follows the story of "what happens when America’s favorite blockhead discovers that his beloved beagle has terminal rabies. A missing pen pal, an abused pianist, a pyromaniac ex girlfriend, two drunk cheerleaders, a homophobic quarterback, a burnt out Buddhist and a drama queen sister" all fill the unauthorized parody.

For the first time in the awards' history, the ceremony will be televised. LOGO, the new MTV Networks channel, will air the GLAAD Media Awards this summer at a date to be announced.

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