PHOTO CALL: Bernadette Peters, Norm Lewis, Sierra Boggess, Vanessa Williams, Zachary Levi and More Honor Alan Menken at the York
By Matthew Blank
The York Theatre Company honors Tony and Oscar-winning Broadway and film composer Alan Menken with the Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre at the 22nd Oscar Hammerstein Award Gala Dec. 9 at The Hudson Theatre.
The evening also featured the presentation of The York Theatre Company Founder’s Award to York Chairman of the Board W. David McCoy to "honor his significant long-term contributions to the theatre and his lifelong commitment to sustaining the arts."
Tony nominee Norm Lewis hosted the gala's entertainment, which was directed by Scott H. Mauro with music direction by Andrew Gerle. Performers include Vanessa Williams, Zachary Levi, Sierra Boggess, Liz Callaway, Beth Fowler, Tony winner Debbie Gravitte and composer-lyricist Stephen Schwartz with a special appearance by Alice Hammerstein Mathias.
The evening began with a reception at 6:30 PM, followed by dinner at 7:30 PM and the ceremony and entertainment at 8:30 PM.
Composer Alan Menken's theatre work includes God Bless You Mr. Rosewater, Little Shop of Horrors, Real Life Funnies, Atina: Evil Queen of The Galaxy, Kicks, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, Beauty And The Beast, A Christmas Carol, Weird Romance, King David, Der Glöckner Von Notre Dame, The Little Mermaid, Sister Act, Leap of Faith, Aladdin and Newsies. His film credits include "Little Shop of Horrors," "The Little Mermaid," "Beauty And The Beast," "Newsies," "Aladdin," "Pocahontas," "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," "Hercules," "Life With Mikey," "Lincoln," "Home On The Range," "Noel," "Enchanted," "Shaggy Dog," "Tangled" and "Mirror Mirror." His awards include eight Oscars (19 nominations), 11 Grammys (including Song of the Year), seven Golden Globes, Tony (plus four nominations), Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, New York Drama Critics, Olivier and London’s Evening Standard Award and Drama League Award.
The Oscar Hammerstein Award, named in honor of the prolific lyricist, "recognizes significant lifetime achievement in musical theatre." The award is presented at an annual gala, which benefits The York Theatre Company, and is presented with the endorsement of the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization and the Hammerstein Family. Past recipients include Stephen Sondheim, Betty Comden & Adolph Green, Harold Prince, Cy Coleman, Charles Strouse, Arthur Laurents, Jerry Herman, Stephen Schwartz, Peter Stone, David Merrick, John Kander & Fred Ebb, Terrence McNally, Cameron Mackintosh, Carol Channing, Tony Walton, Joseph Stein, George S. Irving, Jerry Bock & Sheldon Harnick, Thomas Meehan, Barbara Cook and Paul Gemignani.
Benefit Committee co-chairs are Nina Korelitz Matza and Jim Kierstead.*
The York Theatre Company is under the direction of producing artistic director James Morgan and executive director Andrew Levine.
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