The York Theatre Company's 10th Annual Oscar Hammerstein Award will go to legendary producer David Merrick, the titan who brought Hello, Dolly!, 42nd Street, Gypsy and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead to Broadway.
The award will be presented as part of the nonprofit York's annual gala benefit 7:30 PM May 24 in the sanctuary of Saint Peter's Church in the Citicorp Center (Lexington at 54th Street) in New York City.
Mary Rodgers Guettel will present the award; Orson Bean (of Merrick's Subways Are For Sleeping) will host.
Merrick, who was born in 1911 and has been in declining health, is expected to attend. The eight-time Tony Award winner who brought more than 100 plays or musicals to the stage -- Carnival, Stop the World -- I Want to Get Off, Oliver! and Becket among them -- is retired and his operation is run by Natalie Lloyd. The David Merrick Arts Foundation is a nonprofit venture that nurtures new talent. Among performers expected to attend and/or sing at the benefit: Tony Roberts, Anna Maria Alberghetti, Judy Kaye, Tom Wopat, Tammy Grimes, Michael Rupert, Brian d'Arcy James, Dee Hoty, Lee Roy Reams and others.
Tickets are $100-$500. For information or reservations, call (212) 935 5820.
-- By Kenneth Jones