By Joseph Marzullo
04 May 2013
The awards were presented at a ceremony on May 3 at the Hudson Theatre on West 44th Street. Heeley (last represented on Broadway with The Importance of Being Earnest) received the Robert L.B. Tobin Award for Sustained Excellence in Theatrical Design. Toser received the 2013 TDF/Irene Sharaff Lifetime Achievement Award for costume design.
Costume designer Daniel Lawson received the TDF/Irene Sharaff Young Master Award and theatrical jewelry designer Lawrence Vrba received the TDF/Irene Sharaff Artisan Award.
During the ceremony, as a special memorial tribute to two-time Tony Award winner Martin Pakledinaz (who died in 2012), there was a screening of an original 15-minute film on his life, created by designer Suzy Benzinger.
Heeley, a costume and set designer for theatre, opera and ballet, was the first person to win a Tony Award for costume and scenic design for the same show (for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead).
A graduate of Brown University and Yale School of Drama, Toser has been designing costumes for professional productions for 54 years. His most successful Broadway credits include The Great White Hope (1968), Very Good Eddie (1975), Whoopee (1979) and the all-star revival of Our Town (1969) led by Henry Fonda as the stage manager. He has worked in regional theatres since the start of his career — recently at The Pioneer Theatre in Salt Lake City designing The Philadelphia Story. He has been the costume designer for the last 26 Tony Awards broadcasts and for a number of PBS specials.
Lawson, who designs for TV, including (The Good Wife), film and stage, studied costume design and theatre at Northwestern University and received his graduate degree from Rutgers University.
Vrba's theatre work includes Follies (1971) and A Little Night Music (1973) with Florence Klotz; Barnum (1980), Ballroom (1978), La Cage aux Folles (1983), Dreamgirls (1981); Flower Drum Song (2002) and more.
TDF/Irene Sharaff Award honorees are selected by the TDF Costume Collection's Advisory Committee and are presented through Theatre Development Fund's Costume Collection.