"My mother produces theatre as only a mother can: She makes each of her shows into a family. She nurtures and supports her shows . . . with a mother's outstretched arms to hug and to fiercely protect. If you're here, you probably know what I mean."
Indeed, he was preaching to the converted about Roth, who has also been tapped for a Lortel Lifetime Achievement Award for her 23 years of theatre-producing. "I guess my stars are aligning," she said, mustering a note of modesty about her new honors.
Not only were they aligning, they were twinkling all over the place in what was the glitziest caricature unveiling in recent memory. And why not? Almost everyone in the room — loving loyalists all — has been, is, or will be in her employ, starting with the current cast of Love, Loss, and What I Wore (Katie Finneran, Michele Lee, Debra Monk, Tracee Ellis Ross and Casey Wilson), its alums (Natasha Lyonne and Carol Kane), its co-author (Delia Ephron), its makeup artist and its stage manager.
Following this were contingents from Curtains (Tony-winning David Hyde Pierce, Monk, Edward Hibbert, Karen Ziemba and Jason Danieley), The Tale of the Allergist's Wife (Lee and author Charles Busch), Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Kathleen Turner and Tony-winning Bill Irwin), Wit (Judith Ivey), the forthcoming The Temperamentals (Michael Urie), Irena's Vow (Tovah Feldshuh), Inherit the Wind (director Doug Hughes), next season's The Orphans' Home Cycle (Hallie Foote and director Michael Wilson), Caroline, or Change (Tony-winning Anika Noni Rose), A Catered Affair (director John Doyle), Not a Genuine Black Man (Bob Balaban) and Anna in the Tropics (Pulitzer Prize-winning Nilo Cruz).
"I've always thought of myself as a producer who wanted to facilitate other people's dreams, and, in doing so, I’ve actually fulfilled my own," Roth admitted to the group. "My career is truly defined by the experiences that all of us have shared. Thank you for being there. Thank you for being here. Thank you for helping me get hung."
— Harry Haun