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Stockard Channing & John Larroquette Host 2012 Drama League Awards

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The Drama League has announced that this year's 78th Annual Drama League Awards will be hosted by Tony Award winners Stockard Channing (Other Desert Cities) and John Larroquette (Gore Vidal's The Best Man). The awards ceremony is set for Friday afternoon, May 18th at the Marriott Marquis Times Square (1535 Broadway) at Noon. This year's Drama League Award Nominees will be announced Tuesday morning, April 24th at Sardi's.

"We are thrilled to have Stockard and John hosting the best party on Broadway," said Drama League Executive Director Gabriel Shanks of the announcement. "With two of New York's brightest stars at the helm, the afternoon will be a joyful and unforgettable celebration of this season's excellence."

Stockard Channing can currently be seen in the Broadway hit, Other Desert Cities. Her extensive theatre credits include Pal Joey (Tony Award nomination, Drama Desk nomination), Joe Egg (Tony Award, Drama Desk nomination), Hapgood (Drama Desk nomination), Love Letters (original cast), Woman in Mind (Drama Desk Award), The Breath of Life, The Rink, The Golden Age, They're Playing Our Song, and Little Foxes. Her work in The Lion in Winter, House of Blue Leaves (Drama Desk nomination), Four Baboons Adoring the Sun, and Six Degrees of Separation (Drama Desk nomination) earned her four Tony Award nominations. For Six Degrees... she received an Obie Award and Drama League Award for Performance of the Year, as well as an Olivier Award nomination when she performed the play in London. When she recreated her Six Degrees... role for film, she was nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe. Other film credits include Bright Young Things, Must Love Dogs, The Business of Strangers (AFI Film Award nomination), Where the Heart Is, Practical Magic, Twilight, The First Wives' Club, Smoke (SAG nomination), Moll Flanders, Heartburn, Grease (People's Choice Award), Isn't She Great?, Sparkle, and Multiple Sarcasms. In 2002, Ms. Channing won two Emmy Awards for her roles as First Lady Abby Bartlet on NBC's "The West Wing," and for the role of Judy Shepard in "The Matthew Shepard Story," for which she also received a Screen Actors Guild Award. She received a 2005 Daytime Emmy Award for her role in "Jack".

John Larroquette is currently appearing onstage in the Broadway revival of Gore Vidal's The Best Man and recently starred as J.B. Biggley in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (2011 Tony and Drama Desk Awards, Drama League Award nom.). He was previously seen in the Off-Broadway production of Oliver Parker! written by Elizabeth Meriwether. Past stage appearances include Neil Simon's Oscar and Felix: A New Look at the Odd Couple at the Geffen Playhouse and Happy Jack written by two-time BAFTA winner John Godber. Larroquette is a five-time Emmy Award-winning actor, best known as Assistant District Attorney Dan Fielding on NBC's "Night Court," which earned him four consecutive Emmy Awards for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. He also starred in the NBC comedy series "The John Larroquette Show," was a series regular on "Boston Legal" and won his fifth Emmy Award for a guest-starring role on "The Practice."

The Drama League recently announced the 2012 recipients for Distinguished Contributions and Stockard Channing & John Larroquette Host 2012 Drama League AwardsAchievements in the Theatre, as follows: eight-time Academy Award-winner, theatre and movie composer Alan Menken (Newsies, Leap of Faith, Sister Act) will receive the Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre Award in recognition of his contribution to the musical theatre; stage, television and movie star Rosie O'Donnell (Fiddler on the Roof, Suessical, Grease) will receive the Unique Contribution to the Theatre Award for her continuing efforts in promoting live theatre; and Drama League Directors Project alum Diane Paulus, the Artistic Director of The American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, Mass., the director of the Broadway production of The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess and a Tony nominee for Hair, will receive The Founders Award for Excellence in Directing (formerly named the Julia Hansen Award).

The Drama League Nominees for Distinguished Play, Distinguished Revival of a Play, Distinguished Best Musical, Distinguished Revival of a Musical, and the much coveted Distinguished Performance Award will be announced on Tuesday, April 24th at 11:00 a.m. at Sardi's and will be streamed live online at BroadwayWorld.com.

The 78th Annual Awards Ceremony and Luncheon includes cocktail reception, luncheon, and awards presentation. It will be held at the Marriott Marquis Times Square in the Broadway Ballroom (1535 Broadway) on Friday, May 18, 2012.

For more information about the Drama League Awards, please call (212) 244-9494 ext 27, or e-mail events@dramaleague.org, or visit the website at www.dramaleague.org.

First awarded in 1922 and formalized in 1935, The Drama League Awards are the oldest theatrical honors in America. They are the only major theatergoer awards chosen by audience members - specifically, by the thousands of Drama League members nationwide who attend Broadway and Off-Broadway productions.

The Drama League Awards Eligibility Committee recently determined that productions transferring from Off-Broadway to Broadway, or vice versa, in successive years are now eligible for consideration in both seasons.

The Drama League Awards honor distinguished productions, performances, and exemplary career achievements in musical theatre and directing. The first Drama League Award was presented to Katharine Cornell in 1935. Since then, the Distinguished Performance Award has been accorded to a roster of theatre legends such as Liam Neeson, Hugh Jackman, Patti LuPone, Glenn Close, Liev Schreiber, Sir John Gielgud, Harvey Fierstein, Cherry Jones, Alec Guinness, James Earl Jones, Julie Harris, Helen Hayes, Jeremy Irons, Mary-Louise Parker, Sir Ian McKellen, Bernadette Peters, and Christopher Plummer.

For more information, visit www.Dramaleague.org.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride/WM Photos

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