Tony Award winner Scott Wise directs and choreographs the Theatre Development Fund’s 20th Annual TDF Astaire Awards on May 18 at the Hudson Theatre in New York City. TDF's Astaire Awards were established by the Anglo-American Contemporary Dance Foundation in 1982, with the cooperation of Fred Astaire. The awards program honors Astaire and his sister, Adele, who starred with her brother in 10 Broadway musicals from 1917 to 1931. The Astaires appeared in Over the Top (1917), The Passing Show of 1918, Apple Blossoms (1919), Love Letter (1921), For Goodness Sake (1922), The Bunch and Judy (1922), Lady Be Good (1924), Funny Face (1927), Smiles (1930) and The Band Wagon(1931). Before going west to Hollywood, Fred Astaire also starred on Broadway (without Adele) in The Gay Divorcee (1932).
The annual Astaire awards’ luncheon benefits TDF, which administrates the event. The 2001 program will run from noon to 2 PM.
Director-choreographer Scott Wise not only earned a Tony Award for Jerome Robbins' Broadway but is himself a TDF Astaire Award winner for Damn Yankees. He was also nominated for a Tony for his work in State Fair.
The awards will be hosted by Tony Award winner Karen Ziemba of Contact, whose co-star in that show, Deborah Yates (The Girl In The Yellow Dress), was honored at last year’s Astaire awards. TDF trustee Norma Ketay Asnes will chair the event.
Nominees for the 20th Annual TDF Astaire Awards are scheduled to be announced on May 1. TDF honors excellence in dance in three categories: Best Choreographer, Best Female Dancer and Best Male Dancer. According to a TDF statement, the shows under consideration include A Class Act, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Bells Are Ringing, Blast!, Follies, 42nd Street, The Full Monty, Jane Eyre, The Producers, The Rocky Horror Show and Seussical.
Not-for-profit TDF was created in 1968 and serves to “identify and provide support, including financial assistance, to theatrical works of artistic merit and to encourage and enable diverse audiences to attend live theatre and dance in all their venues." TDF has recently named theatre veteran Tory Bailey as its new executive director.
For ticket information call (212) 221-0885 ext. 252.
—By Murdoch McBride