Screen legends back in their theatrical roots are the Women of Achievement for the year 2000. Women's Projects and Productions will honor both Lauren Bacall and Rudy Dee at the annual awards June 5 at Tavern-on-the-Green.
Bacall, immortalized by her screen roles opposite husband Humphrey Bogart in "The Big Sleep" and "Key Largo," has been a presence in films for the last 50 years, receiving her first Oscar nomination in 1997 for "The Mirror Has Two Faces." She returned to the New York stage this year as Lotta in Waiting in the Wings. A two time Tony Award winner for Applause and Woman of the Year, Bacall was awarded the Kennedy Center Honor in 1997.
Dee portrayed Lena Younger in the film version of Raisin in the Sun, a role she played on the stage, and has appeared in many movies from 1950's "The Jackie Robinson Story" to "Do the Right Thing," "Jungle Fever" and "Stephen King's The Stand." Other theatrical credits include Purlie Victorious (1961) and Boesman and Lena (1970). She is married to fellow actor Ossie Davis.
Actress Marlo Thomas will emcee the event. Presenters include former New York Times theatre critic Frank Rich, four-time Tony Award winner bookwriter Peter Stone, known press representative Howard J. Rubinstein and Woodie King, Jr., the founder and producing director of the New Federal Theater.
Founded in 1978 by current Artistic Director Julia Miles, Women's Projects and Playwrights is a non-profit Off-Broadway theatre dedicated to the development of new plays by women. Recent productions include Marlane Meyer's The Chemistry of Change, Joan Vail Thorne's The Exact Center of the Universe with Frances Sternhagen, Karen Hartman's Gum with Daphne Rubin-Vega and Jule Jensen's Two Headed with Lizbeth Mackay. Part of the proceeds will go towards the company's ongoing campaign for its newly acquired home, the Women's Project Theatre (formerly Theatre Four). Tickets for the benefit's dinner and entertainment are $500 and up. For further information and tickets, call (212) 838-2660.
Fleet Bank and its Women Entrepreneur's Connection is underwriting the gala. Other honorees include Lifetime Entertainment's CEO Carole Black and novelist and essayist Joan Didion.
-- By Christine Ehren