Herman, Herz, Newman and Signature Theatre Are 2009 Special Tony Award Winners

Tony Awards   Herman, Herz, Newman and Signature Theatre Are 2009 Special Tony Award Winners
Winners of the four non-competitive Tony Awards categories were announced May 4. Composer-lyricist Jerry Herman, Virginia's Signature Theatre, longtime press agent Shirley Herz and actress/writer Phyllis Newman will be honored at the 63rd annual Tony Awards ceremony on June 7.
Jerry Herman
Jerry Herman

Jerry Herman, whose musicals include Mame and Hello, Dolly!, is the recipient of the 2009 Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre.

Phyllis Newman will receive the first-ever Isabelle Stevenson Award, which recognizes "an individual from the theatre community for [his or her] humanitarian work." Newman founded The Phyllis Newman Women's Health Initiative of The Actors Fund of America in 1995 and has raised more than $3.5 million dollars for the organization since that time.

Signature Theatre of Arlington, VA, is the recipient of the 2009 Regional Theatre Tony Award. The Award is accompanied by a gift of $25,000 from Visa, USA. Eric Schaeffer is artistic director of the Signature.

Veteran Broadway publicist Shirley Herz will receive a Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theatre. This honor is awarded annually to "institutions, individuals and/or organizations that have demonstrated extraordinary achievement in theatre, but are not eligible in any of the established Tony Award categories."

Tony Award winners Cynthia Nixon (Rabbit Hole) and Lin-Manuel Miranda (In the Heights) will announce the nominations for the 2009 Tony Awards May 5 beginning at 8:30 AM at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. The 63rd Annual Tony Awards will be held at Radio City Music Hall June 7. CBS-TV will broadcast the event live.

For more information visit www.tonyawards.com.


One of the theatre's most celebrated composers, Jerry Herman has written the scores for such Broadway musicals as Milk and Honey; Hello, Dolly!; Mame; Dear World; Mack & Mabel; The Grand Tour and La Cage aux Folles. He also contributed songs to A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine, and revues of his work include Jerry's Girls and An Evening with Jerry Herman. The songwriter won Tony Awards for his scores for Hello, Dolly! and La Cage aux Folles.

Phyllis Newman made her Broadway debut in 1952 in the original musical comedy Wish You Were Here. She received a Tony Award for her performance in Subways Are for Sleeping and a Tony nomination for her work in Neil Simon's Broadway Bound. Her other Broadway credits include Bells Are Ringing, First Impressions, Moonbirds, The Apple Tree, On the Town, The Prisoner of Second Avenue, The Madwoman of Central Park West and Awake and Sing! She was married to the late Adolph Green; their two children are Amanda and Adam.

Shirley Herz has publicized plays by Edward Albee, Brian Friel, Frank McGuinness, Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams and Sam Shepard, among many others. She has worked on dozens of musicals, including House of Flowers, Do Re Me, 3 Penny Opera, Jerry's Girls, Legs Diamond, La Cage aux Folles, Gypsy, Peter Pan, Singing in the Rain, Fiddler on the Roof and numerous Off-Broadway productions. She has also represented many theatrical organizations and dance companies.

Signature has developed new non-musicals, but its national reputation is based on musicals, including 12 by Stephen Sondheim. The theatre has also produced Stephen Schwartz's re-worked Working, Matt Conner's Nevermore, Sklar and Beguelin's The Rhythm Club, Blaemire and Gardiner's Glory Days, Lazar and Oberacker's The Gospel According to Fishman, Dempsey and Rowe's The Fix and The Witches of Eastwick. In 2008 Signature staged a Kander and Ebb festival, which included Chita Rivera and George Hearn in The Visit.

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