The 78-year-old producer most associated with the plays and musicals of Neil Simon, including the trilogy of plays that began with Brighton Beach Memoirs, was also behind the Billy Joel-inspired dance musical Movin' Out, the 2002 revival of Private Lives, Simon's Pulitzer Prize-winning Lost in Yonkers, The Lion in Winter, Baz Luhrmann's La Boheme, Jerome Robbins' Broadway, Mark Twain Tonight! and more.
"When you look at the criteria for the Lifetime Achievement Tony Award, you'll see that it reads 'Manny Azenberg,'" Charlotte St. Martin, executive director of The Broadway League, and Heather Hitchens, executive director of the American Theatre Wing, said jointly in a statement earlier this year. "It is our absolute honor to pay tribute to the man that exemplifies the gold standard of Broadway."
Want to learn more about Manny Azenberg? He was the subject of Playbill.com's first Second Floor of Sardi's feature back in 2010, and in 2004 Playbill magazine made him the subject of its A Life in the Theatre column.
The American Theatre Wing's "Guide to Careers in the Theatre" video series also offers an illuminating, still-relevant 2001 interview with Azenberg (about the role of a Broadway producer), on the ATW website. Azenberg has produced 65 productions for Broadway, receiving 25 Tony Award nominations and 8 Tony Awards. He has produced more than 20 Neil Simon shows, including all productions from 1970 through 2009. Additional credits include Master Harold…and the boys, The Real Thing, Sunday in the Park with George, Ain't Misbehavin' and more.
The 66th Annual Tony Awards will be broadcast in a live three-hour ceremony starting at 8 PM (ET) from the Beacon Theatre on the CBS television network on June 10. Neil Patrick Harris will host.
The Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.
For more information on the Tony Awards, visit TonyAwards.com.