Actor Eli Wallach has been named the first recipient of the Edith Oliver Award for Excellence Off-Broadway. The prize will be presented as part of the 12th annual Lucille Lortel Awards on May 4 at Off-Broadway's Lucille Lortel Theatre. The trophy honors Wallach's rich array of work Off-Broadway. Wallach currently stars in the Union Square Theatre hit Visiting Mr. Green, by Jeff Baron, in which the actor plays an aged Jewish widower who forms an unlikely friendship with a young man. Wallach's other credits include Tennessee Williams' The Rose Tattoo, This Property Is Condemned and Camino Real, as well as Cafe Crown, The Price, Rhinoceros and The Typists and the Tiger.
The new award, which will be bestowed every year, was created by Lortel in honor of Edith Oliver, the longtime New Yorker theatre critic who died earlier this year at the age of 84.
-- By Robert Simonson