Brent Barrett, Andrea McArdle, Howard McGillin, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Karen Ziemba are scheduled to perform at the St. James Theatre on July 18 at the memorial tribute for the late Broadway producer David Merrick. Entitled "A Celebration In Words & Music, A Memorial Tribute To David Merrick," the tribute starts at 11 AM and is open to the public. Judy Brown is the tribute's music director.
Scheduled to speak at the event are Clive Barnes, Mary Rodgers Guettel, Howard Kissel, Rocco Landesman, Samuel "Biff" Liff, and Jerry Orbach. Soprano Melissa Brezinsky will also present a special tribute by The Juilliard School.
One of the great Broadway showmen, Merrick's career spanned 60 years. He produced nearly 100 shows won eight Tony Awards. His non-profit arts foundation introduced new playwrights such as John Osborne, Tom Stoppard, and Brian Friel to Broadway, and also presented Shakespeare, Moliere, Brecht, and the later plays of Tennessee Williams. In 1977, the foundation was restructured to foster the development of traditional American book and character-driven musicals. That same year, the Merrick Foundation endowed the David Merrick Prizes in drama, dance, and music at Juilliard.