LaChanze, Lauper, Nixon, Rudd, Schwimmer and Jersey Boys to Co-Chair Drama League 5/5

By: Apr. 11, 2006
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Broadway luminaries LaChanze (The Color Purple), Cyndi Lauper (The Threepenny Opera), Cynthia Nixon (Rabbit Hole), Paul Rudd (Three Days of Rain), David Schwimmer (The Caine Munity Court-Martial) and Jersey Boys' Christian Hoff, Daniel Reichard, J. Robert Spencer and John Lloyd Young will serve as honorary co-chairs for The 72nd Annual Drama League Awards Ceremony and Luncheon on Friday, May 5, 2006 (12 p.m.) at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square. The event will be hosted by Alan Cumming (The Threepenny Opera).

Long considered the theatre season's most festive award ceremony, The Drama League Awards pays tribute to the season's best performers by including the nominees of The Distinguished Performance Award on a dais. The 72nd Annual Drama League Awards dais will feature approximately 60 stars from the 2005-2006 Broadway and Off-Broadway season, including the honorary co-chairs.

The Drama League's 3,000 members vote on four other awards in addition to The Distinguished Performance Award: Distinguished Production of a Play, Distinguished Production of a Musical, Distinguished Revival of a Play and Distinguished Revival of a Musical. Nominations for these awards will be announced on Wednesday, April 19.

Tickets for The 72nd Annual Drama League Awards Ceremony and Luncheon are now available. Tickets are $150-$450. For more information, please call The Drama League at 212-244-9494 ext. 5 or visit

In addition, The Drama League will present three annual specialty awards. This season's previously announced specialty award recipients include Patti LuPone (Sweeney Todd), who will receive the Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre Award, Des McAnuff (Jersey Boys), who will be honored with the Julia Hansen Award for Excellence in Directing, and Marian Seldes (Dedication or the Stuff of Dreams), who will receive the Unique Contribution to the Theatre Award.

Legendary theater composer Stephen Sondheim will be on-hand to present the Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre Award to Patti LuPone. Ms. LuPone is currently appearing as Mrs. Lovett in the Broadway revival of Sondheim's Sweeney Todd at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre.

Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner Aaron Sorkin will present the Julia Hansen Award for Excellence in Directing to Des McAnuff. McAnuff, currently represented on Broadway with the musical Jersey Boys, is slated to direct Sorkin's new stage drama, The Farnsworth Invention, at La Jolla Playhouse in 2007.

Award-winning playwright Terrence McNally will present the Unique Contribution to the Theatre Award to Marian Seldes. Ms. Seldes appeared in McNally's Dedication or the Stuff of Dreams at Primary Stages earlier this season.

Last season, Drama League Awards were presented to Norbert Leo Butz (Distinguished Performance), Doubt (Distinguished Production of a Play), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Distinguished Production of a Musical), Twelve Angry Men (Distinguished Revival of a Play), La Cage Aux Folles (Distinguished Revival of a Musical), The BMI Musical Theatre Workshop (Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre), The Billy Rose Theatre Collection at the NY Public Library at Lincoln Center (Unique Contribution to the Theatre) and Mike Nichols (The Julia Hansen Award for Excellence in Directing).

The first Drama League Award was presented to actress Katharine Cornell in 1935, making it the oldest National Theatre honor, predating the Tony Awards by twelve years. In recent years, the Distinguished Performance Award has been accorded to a roster of theatre legends such as RoseMary Harris, Christopher Plummer, Sir Ian McKellen, Bernadette Peters, James Earl Jones, John Lithgow, Stockard Channing, Glenn Close, Bebe Neuwirth, Cherry Jones, Mary Louise Parker, Liam Neeson and Harvey Fierstein, among others.


THE DRAMA LEAGUE was founded in 1916 as 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. The Drama League provides an unparalleled training program for emerging theatre artists through The Directors Project, which encourages and trains young talents while providing much-needed exposure and essential connections to the professional theatrical community. The Drama League's Audience Project is dedicated to building strong, passionate audiences for the American theatre, providing discounted tickets for its members to the best Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regional productions across the United States while enhancing the theatergoer's understanding and experience of live theatre through its informative panels, luncheons and discussions with leading figures in the field.