The honor, which is named for late Grammy and Academy Award-winning lyricist Ashman (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Smile), who died in 1991 due to AIDS-related complications, was presented during a special ceremony at Joe's Pub.
Chita Rivera, Sierra Boggess, Tyne Daly, Marin Mazzie Take Part in the Festivities as Terrence McNally Receives the Howard Ashman Award
Tony Award winners Tyne Daly (Mothers and Sons), Chita Rivera (Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Visit) and Jerry Mitchell (The Full Monty, Kinky Boots) were among the artists paying tribute to McNally during the GMHC event.
The 7 PM evening included songs from Ashman's musicals, including Little Shop of Horrors, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid and more, as well as songs from McNally's shows, including Ragtime, The Full Monty and Kiss of the Spider Woman.
The Ashman Award, according to GMHC, is presented to individuals "whose art and activism have profoundly affected the visibility and understanding of HIV/AIDS. The Howard Ashman award is given annually to honor theatre professionals who have made a difference in the fight to end the epidemic."
McNally is a four-time Tony Award winner for Master Class, Ragtime, Love! Valour! Compassion! and Kiss of the Spider Woman. His works also include Mothers and Sons, It's Only a Play, The Visit, The Rink, Golden Age, The Lisbon Traviata, Corpus Christi, The Ritz, Deuce, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune and Lips Together, Teeth Apart.