As previously announced, the May 11 event in the Grand Ballroom of the Marriott Marquis Hotel will honor Michael Mayer, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and John Kander and the late Fred Ebb with specialty awards.
Kander and Ebb, the composing duo currently represented on Broadway with the new musical Curtains (as well as the long-running Chicago revival), will be honored with The Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre Award. Mayer, director of the acclaimed new musical Spring Awakening, will receive the Julia Hansen Award for Excellence in Directing. And, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the nation's largest industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organization, will be presented with the Unique Contribution to the Theatre Award.
Gary Beach, currently on Broadway in the revival of Les Misérables, will host the annual luncheon, which will begin at noon. The event will also feature the presentation of awards for Distinguished Production of a Play, Distinguished Production of a Musical, Distinguished Revival of a Play and Distinguished Revival of a Musical. Nominations for those awards will be announced April 25.
Those scheduled to present awards include Tony Award winners Bernadette Peters, Chita Rivera, Christine Ebersole, Tony Kushner, Liev Schreiber and Audra McDonald as well as Mary Poppins' Ashley Brown and Spring Awakening's Jonathan Groff.
The Drama League Awards, according to press notes, "pay tribute to the season's best performers by honoring the nominees of The Distinguished Performance Award on a dais. The 73rd Annual Drama League Awards dais will feature approximately 60 performers from the 2006-07 Broadway and Off-Broadway season, including the honorary co-chairs." Co-chairs include Michael Cerveris, Billy Crudup, Ethan Hawke, Audra McDonald, Brian F. O'Byrne and David Hyde Pierce. Tickets for the 73rd Annual Drama League Awards Ceremony and Luncheon, priced $150-$450 (tables of ten range from $1,500-$4,500), are available by calling (212) 244-9494 ext. 5 or by visiting www.dramaleague.org.
Founded in 1916, the Drama League is an association of theatre professionals and patrons dedicated to "encouraging the finest in professional theatre and has since then developed into the theatre’s premiere service organization."
Last season, Drama League Awards were presented to Christine Ebersole (Distinguished Performance), History Boys (Distinguished Production of a Play), Jersey Boys (Distinguished Production of a Musical), Awake and Sing! (Distinguished Revival of a Play), Sweeney Todd (Distinguished Revival of a Musical), Patti LuPone (Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre), Marian Seldes (Unique Contribution to the Theatre) and Des McAnuff (The Julia Hansen Award for Excellence in Directing).