On Feb. 20, 1997, Off-Broadway's York Theatre lost its founder and producing director, Janet Hayes Walker, age 71. In 1969 she transformed a theatre in the Church of Heavenly Rest on East 90th St. Into a haven for plays and intimate musical revivals.
Now the York will remember her with a special "Celebration Of Life," Nov. 6, 5:30 PM, at the church. Expected at the gathering are Portia Nelson, the Canterbury Choral Society, and actress and cabaret artist, Barbara Cook, who will sing.
Born in Shanghai, Walker appeared in the choruses of Damn Yankees and The Music Man on Broadway and opened the York's first show with a $50 gift from the church's rector. (Information according to the NY Times obituary, March 1, 1997).
Recent revivals at the York -- which now stages shows at the Citicorp Center on midtown's East Side -- have included No Way To Treat A Lady and Carnival. Their revival of Sweeney Todd reached Broadway's Circle In The Square Theatre. Coming up will be The Show Goes On, a revue of shows by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt, as performed by the authors.
For information on shows at the York, call (212) 935-5820. -- By David Lefkowitz