John Lithgow to Host Drama League Awards; Noms Announced April 23

News   John Lithgow to Host Drama League Awards; Noms Announced April 23 Broadway's most ruthless (fictional) columnist will lord it over the elite of the New York theatre world at the 2002 Drama League Awards ceremony.

Broadway's most ruthless (fictional) columnist will lord it over the elite of the New York theatre world at the 2002 Drama League Awards ceremony.

As expected, and now finally announced, Sweet Smell of Success star John Lithgow will man the podium at the May 10 soiree at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Manhattan. Kathleen Chalfant and Marian Seldes will serve as honorary co-chairs of the event.

Nominations for the 68th Annual Drama League Awards for Distinguished Production of a Play, Distinguished Production of a Musical, and Distinguished Production of a Revival will be revealed on April 23. The winners will be announced at the ceremony, a notoriously swanky, elegant affair which also pays tribute an wide array of actors who have taken part in the current season. They are given a sumptuous lunch for their trouble.

The Drama League will also honor Julia Hansen with the Unique Contribution to Theatre Award. Hansen, president of the organization for 21 years, recently stepped down. The Distinguished Achievement Award in Musical Theatre, meanwhile, will go to Elaine Stritch, now starring on Broadway in her one-woman show, Elaine Stritch at Liberty. Stritch's other musical credits include Pal Joey, Sail Away, Company and Show Boat.

The winner of the Drama League's oldest prize, the Distinguished Performance Award, will be announced at the event. *

The Drama League Award is the nation's oldest acting honor, first presented in 1935, predating the Tony Awards by 12 years.  The Drama League's national membership votes for the performance and production awards in the days preceding the event. Proceeds from the Annual Awards Luncheon support 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.

Tickets for the event may be purchased from The Drama League by calling Greta Rothman, special events coordinator, (212) 302-2100.