Llana, Montalban and Mendoza Perform at 50th Annual Nathan Awards Honoring Randy Gener March 9

Cornell University, Theatre Communications Group and the Consulate General of the Philippines cordially invite media coverage for the 50th annual presentation of the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism, this country's highest award for dramatic criticism and one of the most distinguished awards in the American theatre.

This year's recipient is New York writer and editor Randy Gener. The Senior Editor of American Theatre magazine, Gener is the first Asian American writer to win the Nathan Award. He will receive his Nathan Award at a reception and ceremony from 7 to 9 p.m. on Monday, March 9 at the Philippine Consulate Center, 556 Fifth Avenue (between 45th and 46th Streets).

Broadway leading men Jose Llana ("25th Annual Putnam Valley Spelling Bee", Paolo Montalban ("Cinderella" and Roundabout's "Pacific Overtures") and Orville Mendoza ("The Romance of Magno Rubio" and Sondheim's "Road Show") will perform a new medley of songs in the style of a serenade (harana), specially arranged by composer FABIAN OBISPO. This musical performance is an excerpt from a new musical THE LONG SEASON about Philippine immigration in the U.S., with lyrics and book by Chay Yew. It will be produced in April at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, N.J.

This happy occasion will take place from 7 to 9 pm Monday March 9 at the Kalayaan Hall (Freedom Hall) of the Philippine Consulate Center, 556 Fifth Avenue in New York City (near 45th Street). Ellis Hanson, Chair of the Cornell English Department, will present the award to Gener. Hon. Cecilia Rebong, Consul General of the Philippines, will be on hand. Actors Victor Lirio and Rona Figueroa are the evening's emcees.

The Nathan Awards Committee was particularly impressed by Gener's writings in American Theatre magazine. The Committee's citation for Gener reads, "He has used that venue [America Theatre Magazine] and others to draw our attention to largely ignored voices and visions on the international theatrical scene, to the work of Filipino-American playwright Jessica Hagedorn, to a small but lively Tennessee Williams Festival in Provincetown, and to the future of theatrical criticism itself in essays that wed critical intelligence with a beat reporter's love of the telling and unruly fact. In one piece, Gener argues that, at its best, criticism is ‘a cultural asset, one of the bases on which democracy and community are built.' He fulfills that lofty goal by implicitly reminding us of how much that is excellent in theater here and abroad is ignored by a critical fraternity which, during this age of globalization, seems more parochial than ever."

The prize for the Nathan Award consists of the annual net income of half of Mr. Nathan's estate. The annual award now amounts to $10,000, making it the richest as well as one of the most distinguished in the American theater. In addition, the winner receives a trophy symbolic of the award. For a complete description of the Nathan award and its origins, visit http://www.arts.cornell.edu/english/awards/nathan/.

 

Photo Credit: Peter James Zielinski

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