The announcement was made Dec. 4 at the CLO Guild's annual Holiday Party at the Lemont Restaurant.
The Pink Frolic Ball will be held June 2, 2007, at the Hilton Hotel.
Established in 1988, the Richard Rodgers Award for Excellence in Musical Theater recognizes the lifetime contribution of outstanding talents in musical theatre. Pittsburgh CLO has presented the Richard Rodgers Award eight times in recent years to Mary Martin (1988), Julie Andrews (1989), Harold Prince (1991), Sir Cameron Mackintosh (1992), Stephen Sondheim (1993), Andrew Lloyd Webber (1996), Gwen Verdon (2000) and Bernadette Peters (2002).
Jones was born in the small town of Charleroi and raised in nearby Smithton, PA. Her public career began when she was crowned Miss Pittsburgh. A performance in the Miss Pennsylvania Pageant and an apprenticeship at the Pittsburgh Playhouse followed. She borrowed $160 from her father to make her way to New York City, promising to return when the money ran out. But not long after her arrival in Manhattan, she was discovered by Rodgers and Hammerstein during replacement tryouts for Broadway's South Pacific. Her credits include the movies "Oklahoma!," "Carousel," "The Music Man" and "The Courtship of Eddie's Father." She is widely known for TV's "The Partridge Family" and won a 1960 Academy Award for her portrayal of Lu Lu Bains in the film "Elmer Gantry."
"We are honored to present this award to Broadway legend Shirley Jones," stated Mr. Kaplan. "Her accomplishments on stage and on screen have helped define excellence in musical theatre. This event is especially meaningful because of Ms. Jones' close ties to the Pittsburgh region, her role as a CLO Alumnus [1953 - Lady in the Dark at Pitt Stadium; 1972 - The Shirley Jones Show at Heinz Hall; 1996 - Co-Host of the CLO 50th Anniversary Gala] and the special relationship she enjoys with The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization. We are honored to have this opportunity to recognize her outstanding talent and creativity." The 2007 event will feature dinner and dancing coupled with CLO performances honoring Jones' celebrated career. Mary Rodgers Guettel, an accomplished author, screenwriter and composer and the daughter of the late Richard Rodgers, will present the Richard Rodgers Award to Jones.
Since 1946, the Pittsburgh CLO "has been the driving force behind live musical theatre in Pittsburgh and the entire Southwestern Pennsylvania region. Pittsburgh CLO is a not-for-profit arts organization that appreciates the support of nearly 200,000 patrons each year. Its dedication to the musical theatre art form extends beyond the summer season, with such programs as the CLO Academy, the CLO Mini Stars, the Gene Kelly Awards, the Construction Center for the Arts and the CLO Cabaret."