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Len Cariou, James Earl Jones and More Honor Angela Lansbury Tonight at York's 2015 Gala


The York Theatre Company honors Broadway and Hollywood legend Angela Lansbury with the 2015 Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre tonight, November 16, 2015 at Guastavino's (409 East 59th Street).

The evening's entertainment will be directed by Kurt Stamm (York's Closer Than Ever; Our Sinatra), with music direction by Andrew Gerle (York's Closer Than Ever). Special guests scheduled to appear include Broadway stars Len Cariou (Sweeney Todd), James Earl Jones (The Gin Game), Alan Menken (Aladdin), Brian Stokes Mitchell (Ragtime), Brad Oscar (Something Rotten!), singer Tom Rhoads, and Karen Ziemba (Bullets Over Broadway), with more to be announced shortly.

York's Producing Artistic Director, James Morgan, said, "We are delighted to be able to honor Ms. Lansbury. We have tried for a number of years to make this event happen, and this time, the stars-and this star-aligned, and we are over the moon. She is the personification of lifetime achievement in musical theatre, and the ceremony will be a celebration of her 90th birthday."

Angela Lansbury has enjoyed a career spanning nearly 75 years in film, stage, and television. Winner of five Tony Awards, she made her Broadway debut in 1957 in Hotel Paradiso. In 1960, she returned to Broadway in Shelagh Delaney's A Taste of Honey. In 1964, she starred in her first musical, Anyone Can Whistle, and in 1966, she triumphed as Mame, winning her first Tony. She won three more Tonys for Dear World (1968), Gypsy (1974), and Sweeney Todd (1979). After a 23-year hiatus, she returned to Broadway in 2007 in Terrence McNally's Deuce. In 2009 she won her fifth Tony Award as Madame Arcati in Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit. She also appeared as Madame Armfeldt in A Little Night Music (2010), and in Gore Vidal's The Best Man (2012). In 2013, she appeared in the acclaimed Australian tour of Alfred Uhry's Driving Miss Daisy, with James Earl Jones and Boyd Gaines, a production which was filmed for cinemas.

In March 2014 she again played Madame Arcati at London's Gielgud Theatre, for which she won the Olivier Award. Previous London appearances were in the RSC's production of Edward Albee's All Over at the Aldwych, Gypsy, and Hamlet.

She has appeared in over 60 films starting with Gaslight at age 17 (first Academy Award nomination), The Portrait of Dorian Gray (second Academy Award nomination), and The Manchurian Candidate (third Academy Award nomination). She was the voice of Mrs. Potts in Disney's Beauty and the Beast and more recently, she co-starred in Emma Thompson's Nanny McPhee and with Jim Carrey in Mr. Popper's Penguins.

From 1984 through 1996 she starred as Jessica Fletcher on Murder, She Wrote, the longest-running detective drama series in TV history, for which she won four of her six Golden Globe Awards. She is recipient of the National Medal of the Arts, the Kennedy Center Honors. In addition to her five Tonys, Olivier, and six Golden Globes, she has been nominated for eighteen Emmys and three Oscars, and in 2013 was awarded an Oscar for Lifetime Achievement in Motion Pictures. She was named a Dame of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II and was invested at Windsor Castle on April 15, 2014.

The Oscar Hammerstein Award, named for the prolific master lyricist, recognizes lifetime achievement in musical theatre. The award is presented at an annual gala which benefits the York Theatre Company, and is presented with the endorsement of the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization and the Hammerstein Family. Past recipients include Lynn Ahrens & Stephen Flaherty, Stephen Sondheim, Alan Menken, Betty Comden & Adolph Green, Harold Prince, Cy Coleman, Charles Strouse, Arthur Laurents, Jerry Herman, Stephen Schwartz, Peter Stone, David Merrick, John Kander & Fred Ebb, Terrence McNally, Cameron Mackintosh, Carol Channing, Tony Walton, Joseph Stein, George S. Irving, Jerry Bock & Sheldon Harnick, Thomas Meehan, Paul Gemignani, and Barbara Cook.

The reception begins at 6:00 p.m., followed by dinner at 7:00, with concert and award ceremony at 8:00 p.m. Benefit Committee Co-Chairs are Joan Ross Sorkin, Riki Kane Larimer, and Charlotte Rosenblatt. For additional information, pricing, and reservations, visit, - call Julie Griffith at (212) 935-5824, ext 213, or via email at jgriffith

The York Theatre Company is the only theater in New York City-and one of very few in the world-dedicated to developing and fully producing new musicals and preserving neglected, notable shows from the past. For over four decades, York's intimate, imaginative style of producing both original and classic musicals has resulted in critical acclaim and recognition from artists and audiences alike. Under the guidance of Producing Artistic Director James Morgan since 1997, the York has focused primarily on new musicals in its Mainstage Series-most of them world, American, or New York premieres-by some of the field's most esteemed creators, and has also helped launch the careers of many talented new writers. Over 35 cast recordings from York Theatre Company productions are now available on CD, including its acclaimed revival of Closer Than Ever (2013 Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best Revival), and Off-Broadway and Broadway commercial transfers to of such York premieres as The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!), Souvenir (Tony Award Nomination for actress Judy Kaye), and Jolson & Company, and revivals of Pacific Overtures and Sweeney Todd (four Tony Nominations including Best Revival) have all showcased the importance of the York and its programs. Other notable York productions include Cagney, Texas in Paris, Yank!, and Enter Laughing. Currently in the mainstage series is Rothschild & Sons, the premiere of an intimate re-imagining of Bock & Harnick's final Broadway musical, which received nine Tony Award nominations. Currently in the mainstage series is Robert Cuccioli starring in Rothschild & Sons, the premiere of an intimate re-imagining of Bock & Harnick's final Broadway musical, which received nine Tony Award nominations. For additional information, visit the website at

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