John Kander and Fred Ebb will be celebrated by their friends and colleagues June 5 when the songwriting team accepts the 11th Annual Oscar Hammerstein Award, administered by the York Theatre Company.
The presentation is a gala benefit for Off-Broadway's York, which is known for its intimate musical theatre productions. Best Featured Actress (Musical) Tony Award-winner Karen Ziemba, of Contact and Kander and Ebb's And the World Goes Round and Steel Pier, will present the Hammerstein Award and perform, as well.
At 7 PM at the Gramercy Theatre, Richard Sabellico directs a concert of Broadway stars singing the work of composer Kander and lyricist Ebb, who penned Cabaret, Chicago, Zorba, The Rink, The Happy Time, Steel Pier, 70, Girls, 70, Kiss of the Spider Woman and the upcoming Angela Lansbury vehicle, The Visit.
Scheduled to perform are Michael Berresse, cast members from Broadway's current Cabaret, Olympia Dukakis, Lea DeLaria, Wally Harper, Barbara Cook, George S. Irving, Sherie Rene Scott, Louis Zorich, Ann Reinking, Jane Connell, Robert Cuccioli, John McDaniel, Christiane Noll, Valerie Wright, Bruce Vilanch, Carole Shelley and more.
Mario Cantone hosts. Joseph Stein, Susan Stroman, Scott Ellis, George Furth and others will give spoken tributes. The Oscar Hammerstein Award commemorates lifetime achievement in the musical theatre and was created in 1988 by York founding artistic director Janet Hayes Walker. Past honorees include Stephen Sondheim, Harold Prince, Peter Stone, Jerry Herman, David Merrick and Cy Coleman.
The concert is 7 PM June 5 at the Gramercy Theatre, 127 E. 23rd St. A post-concert champagne supper will be held at the National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South. Tickets to the concert and dinner range $300-$1000. Show-only tickets are $125.
For information, call (212) 935-5820.
-- By Kenneth Jones