The Theater Hall of Fame has announced this year's annual inductees. A ceremony celebrating the eight chosen ones' contributions to the world of theatre will take place at the Gershwin Theatre on Broadway, Feb. 1, 1999.
This year's inductees are:
Alexander H. Cohen
Legendary Broadway producer Cohen has been in the business for 57 years, beginning with Angel Street in 1941. The list of names Cohen has worked with over the years reads as a virtual "Who's Who" of Broadway history. Among the shows he's produced are: Beyond the Fringe, Good Evening, The Homecoming, Sir John Gielgud in Ages of Man, Richard Burton's Hamlet, and Jerry Lewis in Hellzapoppin'. Cohen is currently starring in an on-stage memoir of his long career Off-Broadway, Star Billing.
Consummate actor Durning received the Tony Award for his role in Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. He's currently on tour co-starring with Julie Harris in The Gin Game following a run at NY's National Actors' Theatre. The tour began Oct. 27 and continues to May 1999. Durning got the Hall of Fame news in Baltimore. On Nov. 9 he won a Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Actor for the tour. Other stage credits include: Inherit the Wind, In the Boom-Boom Room, and That Championship Season.
Co-founder of the respected regional theatre, Arena Stage in Washington D.C., which Fichandler ran for 49 years -- a national record. During her tenure, Fichandler won the first-ever Tony Award given to a regional theatre.
Tom Jones & Harvey Schmidt
Composer and lyricist of the longest-running musical in the English language, The Fantasticks. Other musicals by the duo include: 110 in the Shade, I Do! I Do!, Celebration, Mirette, and Grover's Corners. Richard Kiley
Probably best known as playing Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha. Kiley won his first Tony Award for the musical Redhead and received Tony nominations for No Strings and Arthur Miller's All My Sons.
Actor, director and producer, Rabb is most renowned as founder and artistic director of the APA Theater and the APA-Phoenix, the revered classical repertory theatres of New York. He received a Tony for directing Royal Family and a Tony nomination for You Can't Take It With You. As an actor, he played major roles in all 37 of Shakespeare's plays.
Prolific, Tony winning set designer for On the Twentieth Century, other designs (most of them Tony nominees) include Jesus Christ Superstar, Dreamgirls, Jelly's Last Jam, A Chorus Line, Hair and Angels in America.
Also to be honored in this year's ceremony is long-time theatrical lawyer, Edward Colton, who will receive the Hall's annual Founders Award.
The Theatre Hall of Fame was founded in 1971 and is housed in the upper lobby of the Gershwin Theatre, where the names of the members are lettered in gold by their year of election. These eight new members will join the 372 names already enrolled.
New members of the Hall of Fame are selected each year by an electorate made up of 250 members of the American Theatre Critics Association, members of the Hall of Fame, and selected other critics and theatre historians. To be considered, a candidate must have at least five major theatre credits over a span of at least 25 years.
Limited seats for the Feb. 1, 1999 ceremony and dinner are available for $250, for reservations call (212) 307-1226.
-- By Sean McGrath