Marin Mazzie, Jason Michael Webb, and Sonny Tilders and Creature Technology Co, to Receive Special Tony Awards
The Tony Awards Administration Committee has announced that Sonny Tilders and Creature Technology Company the creators of the character/puppet "Kong" for King Kong; musical director and arranger Jason Michael Webb and the late actress and advocate Marin Mazzie; will be each be presented with a Special Tony Award for their outstanding contributions to the theatre and community.
Marin Mazzie, who passed away in September, is being honored for her advocacy and leadership within the theatre community as a brave and dedicated voice for women's health issues and organizations such as the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation.
Sonny Tilders and Creature Technology Company are being recognized for their creation of "Kong" in King Kong. The product of an extraordinary technical design, "Kong" is 20 feet tall, 2,000 pounds, comprised of 1,000 feet of electrical cable and 16 microprocessors and is operated by a team of 13 highly-skilled puppeteers.
Jason Michael Webb is being awarded for his outstanding arrangements for Choir Boy at Manhattan Theatre Club. The show features 10 songs, a combination of gospels, hymns and ballads, all of which showcase Jason's powerful arrangements.
"We are honored to recognize these three Special Tony Awards this season. These artists have demonstrated outstanding passion and dedication," said Heather Hitchens, President of the American Theatre Wing and Charlotte St. Martin, president of The Broadway League. "Sonny and Creature Technology Company's "Kong" embodies extraordinary design, technical complexities and sophisticated emotional capabilities. Jason's a capella arrangements inChoir Boy are transformative. Marin was and is a beacon of light for our community, by advocating for women's health issues."
Sonny Tilders (Creature Designer) is known for his innovative puppet and creature design across the theatrical, film and television fields. He is CEO and Creative Director of Creature Technology Company, the Australian- based team famous for bringing a level of scale, realism and sophistication of movement never before seen in live puppetry with Walking With Dinosaurs-Arena Spectacular.
When three-time Tony Award nominated actress Marin Mazzie was first diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer in 2015, she made the decision to speak publicly about her battle and dedicate herself to supporting the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation, The Actors Fund's Phyllis Newman's Women's Health Initiative, and other related organizations. During this time, while undergoing extensive radiation treatments, Marin never stopped working. She toured the country, performing alongside her husband, Jason Daniely, and starred on Broadway in Lincoln Center's revival of The King and I. Her courage and her commitment galvanized our community and served as a beacon of light for fans the world over. In September 2018, Marin's battle with cancer came to its tragic end. This Special Tony Award honors her legacy of leadership and celebrates her unwavering strength.
Jason Michael Webb is a writer, musical director, arranger, orchestrator, lecturer and a lover of music. From conducting orchestras to writing and arranging music for former President Barack Obama's 2013 inauguration ceremony, Jason has dedicated his life to using music to heal, uplift and encourage. Mr. Webb recently served as Musical Director of the gorgeous Tony- and Grammy-winning 2016 Broadway Revival of The Color Purpleand now serves as Music Director/Arranger for Cynthia Erivo. Other credits include Music Supervisor/Arranger for Disney's Frozen: Live at the Hyperion,(Anaheim); and Associate Production Music Supervisor for Pasek and Paul's The Greatest Showman. Mr. Webb has also served as Associate Musical Director of Broadway shows including Motown: The Musical, Leap of Faith, and Violet. Mr. Webb's writing can also be heard on the hit TV series "Empire" (Fox), Netflix film "Juanita" (starring Alfre Woodard), and the new South African musical "WiLDFLOWER" (NBT/Apollo Theater).
The American Theatre Wing's 73rd Annual Tony Awards, hosted by James Corden, will air on the CBS Television Network on Sunday, June 9, 2019(8:00-11:00 PM, ET/delayed PT) live from Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The Tony Awards, which honors theatre professionals for distinguished achievement on Broadway, has been broadcast on CBS since 1978.