Congratulations to choreographer and director Graciela Daniele, who will take home the 1998 "Mr. Abbott" Award for Lifetime Achievement, Nov. 9. Daniele is currently represented on Broadway by Ragtime, which she choreographed. Her other works include Chronicle of a Death Foretold, A New Brain, Zorba, The Rink and Once On This Island. The 1998 winners were announced July 7.
Named for playwright/director George Abbott, the Mr. Abbott Awards will be held 6:30 PM at NY's Copacabana Club on West 57th St. Tina Paul will direct the event, which is co-chaired by producers Margo Lion and Marty Bell (Livent). (Garth Drabinsky had been originally announced, but he, of course, is no longer with Livent.)
Also to be honored Nov. 9 are RCA Victor/BMG Classics and composers Betty Comden & Adolph Green, both recipients of the SDC's President's Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Theatre. RCA is being recognized for its recordings of more than 150 Broadway shows; Comden & Green are known for the scores to such musicals as Bells Are Ringing, Applause and The Will Rogers Follies.
Performing or presenting at the event will be Betty Buckley, David Garrison, Yvonne Marceau, Marin Mazzie, Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Bernadette Peters, Arte Phillips, Chita Rivera, Mary Testa and Chip Zien.
The Stage Directors & Choreographers Foundation was formed as a branch of the Society of Stage Directors & Choreographers but is now a separate, though connected, organization with its own board of directors. The organization was formed to foster, promote and develop "the craft and creativity of directors and choreographers." Previous Mr. Abbott winners have included Garson Kanin, Harold Prince, Bob Fosse, Mike Nichols, Agnes de Mille, Michael Bennett, Trevor Nunn, Jerry Zaks, Lloyd Richards, Gene Saks and Abbott himself. In 1997, Jerry Herman won the President's Award. For tickets ($275-500) to the Nov. 9 SDCF benefit, call (212) 302-5359.