Ben Vereen to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award at Broadway Beacon Awards Gala
On Monday, March 16 at their annual Broadway Beacon Awards Gala at The JW Marriot Essex House (160 Central Park South), leading NYC arts education nonprofit Inside Broadway (Executive Director, Michael Presser) will honor Tony Award-winning actor, dancer & singer Ben Vereen with a Lifetime Achievement Award (last year, stage icon Chita Rivera received the first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award). The evening will also honor John Rieman, General Manager of the JW Marriott Essex House home of the Broadway Beacon Awards which are presented to individuals in the theatre & business communities who are advocates for increasing audiences for live theatre and understand the importance of the arts in the lives of NYC students. The Cocktail Hour begins at 6pm, followed by the Awards Ceremony at 7pm. The first Broadway Beacon Award was given in 1995 to the late Carol Channing and since 1982, Inside Broadway has impacted the lives of one million NYC public school students with its one-of-a-kind theatre arts and education programs that enrich, educate & foster new generations of theatergoers.
Few entertainers today are as accomplished as Ben Vereen. He won the Tony and Drama Desk Awards for Pippin and starred in such phenomenal musicals as Jesus Christ Superstar (Tony nom.), Fosse, Hair, Jelly's Last Jam, Chicago, Wicked and I'm Not Rappaport. He is remembered for films like Sweet Charity and All That Jazz, and he became a household name in his Emmy-nominated role of Chicken George in the groundbreaking television series Roots. He has also been inducted to The Theatre Hall of Fame, the Dance Hall of Fame, and received various Emmy & Golden globe nominations. He received the BroadwayWorld Cabaret Award Best Celebrity Male Vocalist and his awards also include the Eleanor Roosevelt Humanitarian Award, several NAACP Image Awards, and he recently received the Lifetime Achievement Award from The Gold Coast International Film Festival. He is now working on his new Broadway musical Reflections, written by Joe Calarco, to be directed by Tony-nominee Josh Bergasse with music by Stephen Schwartz.
"Inside Broadway is thrilled to award theatre legend, humanitarian & educator Ben Vereen with our Lifetime Achievement Award" says Michael Presser; "Ben has contributed much to Broadway, his performances throughout his career are memorable, legendary and the kind that make people fall in love with theater. He continues to be a presence in our industry and an inspiration to young aspiring performers today and working professionals in the business. Ben has taught us that "We Have Magic To Do."
Inside Broadway, established by Michael Presser in 1982 in cooperation with The Shubert Organization, today reaches over 70,000 New York City students in over 100 public schools each year. Their programs include an annual Equity musical production that tours to schools as well as a wide range of educational programs that allow participants to interact with professionals in the field and experience theatre hands-on in the classroom. For more information on Inside Broadway, please visit www.InsideBroadway.org. Programs of Inside Broadway are funded by the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, New York City Council, New York City Department of Education, and numerous foundations and individuals.
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