Bacall, Caldwell, Seldes, Atkins and Rashad Among Hall of Fame Presenters

News   Bacall, Caldwell, Seldes, Atkins and Rashad Among Hall of Fame Presenters
A stellar company of actors will present an equally stellar group of thespians with Theater Hall of Fame awards Jan. 26.
Lauren Bacall
Lauren Bacall

The annual event, scheduled for Jan. 26 at the Gershwin Theatre, will bestow awards upon Julian Beck and Judith Malina, founders of the Living Theater; costume designer Jane Greenwood; actors Kevin Kline, Patricia Neal and Vanessa Redgrave; and translator Richard Wilbur. The evening will also include the posthumous inductions of actress Madeline Kahn and librettist Peter Stone.

The distinguished list of presenters for the evening includes Lauren Bacall, Zoe Caldwell, Marian Seldes, Eileen Atkins, Harvey Lichtenstein, Gilbert Parker, Phylicia Rashad and Dana Ivey. Theatre veteran Seldes will host the 33rd Annual Theatre Hall of Fame Ceremony.

The event will also feature an award presentation to Price Berkley, who has published the Theatrical Index for 40 years. Berkley will receive the Founders Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Theater; previous recipients of that honor include James L. Nederlander, Kitty Carlisle Hart, Tom Dillon and L. Arnold Weissberger.

To be eligible for induction into the Theater Hall of Fame, theatre professionals must have, at least, "25 years on Broadway and 5 major credits or demonstrated 25 years of distinguished service to the American theatre." Inductees are voted upon by members of the American Theatre Critics Association and members of the Theater Hall of Fame.

* Redgrave won a Tony Award for her performance as Mary Tyrone in Long Day's Journey Into Night. Her other New York credits include Orpheus Descending and Vita and Virginia. Her British theatre credits are numerous. She is a member of the famed Redgrave theatre family.

Kline's theatre career began with the Juilliard school and John Houseman's Acting Company. Early highlights include On the Twentieth Century and The Pirates of Penzance. More recent efforts include Ivanov, The Seagull and this season's Henry IV.

Patricia Neal's credits include Broadway productions of Another Part of the Forest, The Children's Hour and The Miracle Worker.

Kahn, who died in 1999, appeared on Broadway in Boom Boom Room, Born Yesterday, On the Twentieth Century and The Sisters Rosensweig. She won a Tony Award for the last.

Jane Greenwood has designed costumes for dozens of shows stretching back to 1963. Her most recent credits include Morning's at Seven, Salome and Tartuffe. She has been nominated for a Tony 14 times, but has never won.

Peter Stone died April 25, 2003, after a productive career that produced the librettos to such musicals as 1776, Titanic, Two by Two and Woman of the Year.

Richard Wilbur's English translations of Moliere are considered the best available and are produced widely.

Julian Beck and Judith Malina founded The Living Theatre in 1948. Throughout its history, the couple's work preached a pacifist message through a fairly anarchist theatrical style. The group hit its stride in the 1960's, due to highly influential and popular shows such as Jack Gelber's drug addiction drama, The Connection, which featured a jazz band on stage and a film crew in the auditorium, and Kenneth Brown's The Brig, a brutal picture of life in a Marines brig in Japan. The last performance of the latter play was famously played in a locked theatre—the IRS had seized the troupe's theatre for non-payment of taxes, forcing the audience to enter by way of the windows. Since then, the company has hopscotched back and forth between New York, Europe and, for a time, Brazil. Beck died in 1984.

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