Len Cariou & Peter Filichia To Be Honored at 78th Annual Theatre World Awards

The awards will be held on Monday evening, June 10, 2024, beginning at 7:00 p.m.

By: Feb. 28, 2024
Len Cariou & Peter Filichia To Be Honored at 78th Annual Theatre World Awards
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The Theatre World Awards Board of Directors has announced two of the individuals to be honored at 78th Annual Theatre World Awards to be held on Monday evening, June 10, 2024 beginning at 7:00 p.m. at a Theater Venue TBA. Tony Award winner Len Cariou (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, A Little Night Music, Applause) will receive the 11th Annual John Willis Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre, while acclaimed theatre journalist Peter Filichia will receive a 2024 TWA Special Award for his quarter-century of service to the organization. The recipient of the 15th Annual Dorothy Loudon Award for Excellence in the Theater, and the 2024 Theatre World Award Honorees for Outstanding Broadway or Off-Broadway Debut Performance will be announced in early May.

Hosted annually by well-known theater journalist, Peter Filichia, the 78th Annual Theatre World Awards Ceremony will be produced by Theatre World Awards, Inc. Board of Directors/Dale Badway. The Musical Director is Michael Lavine.

Theatre World Award winner (1979) Ken Jennings who played ‘Tobias' in the original Broadway production of Sweeney Todd will perform in a musical tribute to Len Cariou.

Daniel Blum did it for 19 years. John Willis did it for 33. And soon, Peter Filichia will have done it for the 25th time,” states Dale Badway, President of Theatre World Awards. “Since 1998 – aside from the year that the pandemic stalled us all – Peter has searched through the season's Broadway and off-Broadway productions to see which performers have made significant debuts. He's then made a ballot which he's given to his committee of theater journalists, tallies their results, and then releases the names of the 12 recipients who will each receive a Theatre World Award for Outstanding Debut. He then takes the stage to emcee the ceremony in which the winners receive their prizes. Not only do we hope you'll be with us, but that you'll also give a donation to The Theatre World Awards in Peter's name.”

First presented in 1945, the prestigious Theatre World Awards, founded by John Willis, the Editor-in-Chief of both Theatre World and its companion volume, Screen World, are the oldest awards given for Outstanding Broadway and Off-Broadway Debut Performances. The Theatre World Awards are presented annually at the end of the theatre season to six actors and six actresses for their significant, reviewable, debut performances in a Broadway or Off-Broadway production. The ceremony is a private, invitation-only event followed by a party to celebrate the new honorees and welcome them to the Theatre World “family.”

In what has become a highly entertaining and often touching tradition, 12 previous winners serve as the presenters, and often relive moments from past ceremonies and share wonderful stories rarely heard at other theatrical awards. Many people feel that this is the most fun and enjoyable awards show of the Broadway season!

Previous winners who have won the prestigious Theatre World Award at the beginning of their careers include Meryl Streep, Rosemary Harris, Marlon Brando, Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Anne Bancroft, James Earl Jones, Liza Minnelli, Alan Alda, Zoe Caldwell, Christopher Walken, Alec Baldwin, Bernadette Peters, Audra McDonald, Al Pacino, Grace Kelly, Tom Hanks, Bryan Cranston, Cynthia Erivo, Danielle Brooks, Lupita Nyong'o, John Krasinski, and so many more.

The Dorothy Loudon Award for Excellence in the Theater honors an Outstanding Performance in a Broadway or Off-Broadway production. Dorothy Loudon, who had the unique talent of being able to make audiences laugh and cry, made her Broadway debut in Nowhere to Go But Up for which she received a Theatre World Award for her performance. She received a Tony Award for her incomparable performance as ‘Miss Hannigan' in Annie and went on to triumphs originating roles in Noises Off, Westside Waltz, and Michael Bennett's Ballroom.

Previous recipients of the Dorothy Loudon Award for Excellence in the Theater include Julie Benko (2023),Michael Oberholtzer (2022), Audra McDonald (2021), Hampton Fluker (2019), Ben Edelman (2018), Katrina Lenk (2017), Nicholas Barasch (2016), Leanne Cope (2015), Celia Keenan-Bolger (2014), Jonny Orsini (2013), Susan Pourfar (2012), Seth Numrich (2011), Bobby Steggert (2010), and Susan Louise O'Connor (2009). Due to the pandemic, there was no honoree in 2020.

The Dorothy Loudon Award for Excellence in the Theater is chosen by the Trustees of The Dorothy Loudon Foundation,Lionel Larner, Executive Director, together with recommendations from the Theatre World Awards Committee.

The John Willis Award is given for lifetime achievement in the theatre to honor the man who created and maintained the Theatre World tradition for 66 years, encouraging new talent in an often-challenging business. The John Willis Award is presented annually by the Theatre World Awards, Inc. Board of Directors to an individual whose lifetime achievements and personal generosity to the Theatre Community merit special recognition and acknowledgement.

Previous recipients of the John Willis Award include Brian Stokes Mitchell (2023), Harvey Fierstein (2022), André de Shields and Patti LuPone (2021), Nathan Lane (2019), Victor Garber (2018), Glenn Close (2017), Bernadette Peters (2016), Chita Rivera (2015), Christopher Plummer (2014), and Alan Alda (2013). Due to the pandemic, there was no honoree in 2020.

In 2023, Special Award Honorees were bestowed for Outstanding Swing: Marilyn Caserta (Six) and Outstanding Contribution to The Theatre World: Dale Badway (Actor, Producer, and President of the Theatre World Awards Board of Directors).

The Theatre World Awards Board encourages theater lovers to “LIKE” the Theatre World Awards fan page on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/TheatreWorldAwards/ and follow on Twitter at @TWAwards.

For additional information about the Theatre World Awards, visit www.theatreworldawards.org


Len Cariou (John Willis Award Honoree) is a distinguished member of the Theatre Hall of Fame and a three-time Tony nominee, for Applause, A Little Night Music, and for his legendary performance as Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, (Tony award-winner, Best Actor). He is a pre-eminent interpreter of the work of Stephen Sondheim. His other Broadway credits include Nightwatch, Cold Storage, Teddy & Alice, Dance a Little Closer, The Speed of Darkness, Neil Simon's The Dinner Party, and Proof. Showing his range, he toured the U.S. as Cap'n Andy in Show Boat, and as Nils Bohr in Copenhagen. In 2009 he starred in All My Sons at Dublin's The Gate Theatre, reprising the role of Joe Keller for which he had previously won raves at the Geffen Theatre in Los Angeles. The Dublin production was the longest running, highest grossing in that theatre's history. In addition, he was lauded for his performance as Richard Nixon in Frost/Nixon at the Vancouver Playhouse and Canadian Stage. His classical stage repertoire is far-ranging, encompassing the title roles in Oedipus the King, Macbeth, Cyrano, Coriolanus, and two productions of King Lear, as well as Iago, Petruchio, Prospero and others too numerous to mention. Off-Broadway, he is proud of his work in the one-man show Broadway and The Bard, produced by Amas Musical Theatre, as Ernest Hemingway in Papa, William O. Douglas in Mountain, and Joseph Stalin in Master Class. Regionally, he has starred in a multitude of productions at theatres throughout North America, including The Kennedy Center, The Mark Taper Forum, The Manitoba Theatre Centre, The Stratford Shakespeare Festivals in both Ontario and Connecticut, The Guthrie Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre and The Old Globe. He appeared in the historic 1964-65 production of Mother Courage starring Zoe Caldwell, directed by John Hirsch. Several feature films include the popular The Four Seasons, Executive Decision, Thirteen Days, and About Schmidt with Jack Nicholson, as well as Secret Window with Johnny Depp, Flags of Our Fathers, and 1408. He was awarded a Genie, Canada's Oscar, for Best Actor in the film One Man. Currently, he stars with Tom Selleck and Donnie Wahlberg on the hit CBS series "Blue Bloods." He appeared several times as Louis Tobin, a character based on Bernie Madoff on ""Damages" with Glenn Close, Lily Tomlin and Martin Short, and spent two seasons as powerhouse political appointee Judd Fitzgerald in the Showtime series “Brotherhood” with Dublin's own Fionnula Flanagan. He has guest starred on “CSI: Las Vegas,” “The Practice,” “West Wing,” “Law & Order,” “The Outer Limits,” “Swift Justice,” and “Murder She Wrote,” to name only a few. Myriad TV movies include “Surviving,” “Man in the Attic,” “Who Will Save Our Children,” “There Were Times Dear” (PBS), “Miracle on Route 880,” “Killer in the Mirror,” Hallmark Hall of Fame's “The Summer of Ben Tyler,” “Nuremberg” (TNT) and as Franklin Roosevelt in HBO's “Into the Storm.” Mr. Cariou is known for his voice-over work in commercials, books-on-tape and film, especially on The Jonestown Flood, which won an Academy Award, and as Harry Bosch in Michael Connolly's well-known novels. He has sung with the Winnipeg Symphony and the New York Philharmonic. In 2008 he directed a production of Glengarry Glen Ross (Manitoba Theatre Centre) that sold out its mid-winter run despite outside temperatures of 40 below zero. He is a former Artistic Director of the Manitoba Theatre Centre, and former Associate Director of the Guthrie Theatre. While at the Guthrie he directed The Crucible and Of Mice and Men. In addition, he directed Arlene Francis in Don't Call Back on Broadway, and off-Broadway, The Petrified Forest. He also received Best Director honors at the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton for directing James Whitmore in Death of a Salesman. His most recent stage credit is his portrayal of the titie character in the Off Broadway production of Tuesdays with Morrie.

Peter Filichia (Special Award Honoree) has written reviews and features for a daily newspaper (The Star-Ledger), a magazine (TheaterWeek), and the Internet (Playbill, Theatermania, Music Theatre International, Broadway Select, Masterworks Broadway and Kritzerland). Among the 22 books he has written, eight have involved theater: Let's Put on a Musical (1991 first edition; 2007 second edition); The Biggest Hit of the Season/The Biggest Flop of the Season (2010); Broadway Musicals' Most Valuable Players (2011); Strippers, Showgirls, and Sharks (2013); The Great Parade: The Remarkable 1963-64 Broadway Season (2015); The Book of Broadway Musicals Debates, Disputes, and Disagreements (2022), Brainteasers for Broadway Geniuses (2023), and A Show Tune for Today: 366 Songs to Brighten Your Year (to be published in 2024). He is the author of God Shows Up, a comedy-drama that ran off-Broadway in 2019. Other plays include Our Dead Classmate, produced by the Camino Real Playhouse in San Juan Capistrano, California. Games, about child bullies, has seen high school productions in all 50 states and six foreign countries. Old Comiskey Park was produced by The Forward Theatre in Madison, Wisconsin. Adam's Gifts: A New Christmas Carol was a finalist for the first Terrence McNally Award administered by the Philadelphia Theatre Company and has been seen in six states. Larry the Big-Time Broadway Producer was produced in Warrenton, Virginia in 2023. He was president of the Drama Desk Awards from 1992 through 1996, and now serves on its current nominating committee. In 2009, he was chosen to be an assessor for the National Endowment for the Arts. Since 1994, he has been an adjudicator for Dayton Playhouse's annual FutureFest. Since 1995, he has been the musical theater assessor for ASCAP's annual awards. From 1995 to 2018, he was critic-in-residence for the Cincinnati-Conservatory of Music. Since 1996, he has been the chairperson of the Theatre World Awards, whose ceremony he annually writes and emcees. Since 2009, he has been a commentator each week on Broadway Radio. He has performed his one-man show A Personal History of the American Theater in many cities and towns in New York and New Jersey, as well as in Aspen, Boston, Dayton, St. Louis and on Regent Cruise Lines.