The Tony Honors, according to a press statement, "recognize contributions to the field of theatre for individuals and organizations that are not eligible in any of the established Tony categories." This year's honorees included the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, Forbidden Broadway and its creator Gerard Alessandrini, Samuel (Biff) Liff and Ellen Stewart. Presenters included Tony winners Angela Lansbury, Manny Azenberg, Andre DeShields, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty.
The BMI Workshop has nurtured new musical theatre talent for over 45 years. Among the writers who were trained at the workshop include Maury Yeston, Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens.
Samuel (Biff) Liff is a senior vice president of the William Morris Agency. Throughout his lengthy career he has been an associate producer to David Merrick, the Broadway stage manager of My Fair Lady, and he currently represents such theatre icons as Jerry Herman and Chita Rivera.
Gerard Alessandrini is the creator of the long-running Off-Broadway revue Forbidden Broadway, which pokes fun at the theatre and its many stars.
Ellen Stewart is the founder/director of La MaMa E.T.C., which has presented over 2,000 productions since its launch in 1961.
At left (from top): Honoree Samuel "Biff" Liff and Chita Rivera; host Cynthia Nixon; Marian Seldes and her co-star in the upcoming Deuce, presenter Angela Lansbury; honoree Gerard Alessandrini; presenter Andre De Shields, honoree Ellen Stewart, Executive Director of The League Charlotte St. Martin; Lucy Arnaz.
Below: Doug Leeds, President of the ATW Sondra Gilman, presenters Maury Yeston and Lynn Ahrens.
photos by Aubrey Reuben