Virginia's Signature Theatre has amassed a group of theatre notables to pay tribute to stage and screen legend Carol Burnett at its upcoming Stephen Sondheim Award Gala, set for May 16 at the Capital One Hall in Tysons, Virginia.
The evening will feature performances from Broadway stars Bernadette Peters and Santino Fontana, along with D.C. favorites Tracy Lynn Olivera, Nova Y. Payton, and Bobby Smith. The latter three will be accompanied by Mark G. Meadows and Jon Kalbfleisch.
As previously announced, Burnett will receive the 11th annual Stephen Sondheim Award at the ceremony, honoring the comic and musical theatre star for her career contributions to the American Musical Theatre along with interpreting, supporting, or collaborating on works by Sondheim. Burnett, who was awarded a Special Tony Award in 1969, was nominated for Tonys for her performances in Once Upon a Mattress and Moon Over Buffalo. She has also been seen on Broadway in Fade Out-Fade In, the Sondheim revue Putting It Together, Hollywood Arms, and Love Letters. She is also a 22-time Emmy Award winner and known for her television variety series The Carol Burnett Show.
The evening will also see Merrill and Mark Shugoll receive the J. Watkins Distinguished Service Award, honoring those who’ve made an extraordinary impact in the greater D.C. community through their advocacy and passion for the arts and arts education. The Shugolls are being recognized for their work with their companies Shugoll Research and Limelight Insights, which have used research to allow D.C. theatres to better serve their audiences, and more recently, make more informed decisions during the pandemic. The Shugolls also founded ArtsSpeak!, a program offered to students free of charge to foster excitement about theatre and the arts. ArtsSpeak! guests have included Lea Michele, Billy Porter, Patti LuPone, and Audra McDonald.