Robert Creighton and Christine Ebersole Join Roster of Broadway's Best to Honor Joel Grey at 25th Oscar Hammerstein Award Gala 12/5

The York Theatre Company (James Morgan, Producing Artistic Director; Evans Haile, Interim Executive Director; David McCoy, Chairman of the Board), dedicated to the development of new musicals and preserving musical gems from the past, has announced Robert Creighton (Cagney), and Christine Ebersole (Grey Gardens) will join some of Broadway's best - Carolee Carmello (Finding Neverland), Sutton Foster (Anything Goes), Bebe Neuwirth (Chicago), Rory O'Malley (The Book of Mormon), and Bernadette Peters (George M) (all subject to change) - scheduled to appear as guest performers to honor legendary Oscar® and Tony® Award-winner Joel Grey with the 25th Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre at the 2016 Oscar Hammerstein Award Gala on Monday, December 5, 2016 at The Asia Society (725 Park Avenue).

A reception featuring cocktails and abundant hors d'oeuvres begins at 6:00 p.m., followed by the award ceremony and concert beginning at 8:00 p.m. Special Show Only tickets are available at $250. For additional information, pricing and reservations, please visit www.yorktheatre.org, or call Ellen Weiss at (212) 935-5824, ext 214, or via email at eweiss@yorktheatre.org

The evening's entertainment will be directed by Denis Jones (Holiday Inn, Honeymoon in Vegas), with music direction by Rob Berman (Resident Music Director for City Center Encores!).

The Oscar Hammerstein Award, named in honor of the master lyricist and librettist, recognizes significant lifetime achievement in musical theatre. The award is endorsed by the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization and the Hammerstein Family.

"For this Silver Anniversary presentation of the Oscar Hammerstein Award, we are thrilled to celebrate the extraordinary Joel Grey, whose artistry-for over half a century-has become an indelible part of Broadway history," stated James Morgan, York Producing Artistic Director.

The extraordinary Joel Grey made his theatrical debut at the age of nine in the Cleveland Play House production of On Borrowed Time. Twenty years later, he made his Broadway debut in Neil Simon's Come Blow Your Horn. Since then, he has been on and off-Broadway in more than a dozen shows that have netted him a Tony® Award, two Drama Desk® Awards, and multiple further nominations for each, including Cabaret, George M!, Goodtime Charley, The Grand Tour,Chicago, Wicked, Anything Goes, Give Me Your Answer, Do!, and The Normal Heart, which he later co-directed on Broadway. He is currently playing Firs in the Roundabout Theatre Company's production of The Cherry Orchard. Joel is one of only nine actors to have received the Tony® and the Oscar® for the same role, having won both as the Emcee in Cabaret. His other film credits include work with directors ranging from Robert Altman to Steven Soderbergh to Lars von Trier. In 2010, Joel was honored by the Paley Center for his TV career, which spans more than six decades and runs from "Brooklyn Bridge" and "Law & Order" to "Oz" and "Grey's Anatomy." He is also an accomplished photographer with work in the Permanent Collection at the Whitney and four published monographs: Pictures I Had to Take, Looking Hard at Unexamined Things, 1.3: Images From My Phone, and The Billboard Papers. His memoir Master of Ceremonies was published in this year. 2016 marks his 75th year in the theatre.


The York Theatre Company Founders' Award recognizes individuals who have made a significant impact on the sustainability of the company. It has previously been awarded to Janet Hayes Walker, the Founding Artistic Director of the York, and more recently to its longtime Chairman of the Board, W. David McCoy.

The York Theatre Company will bestow the 2016 Founders Award upon Molly Pickering Grose and Sarah Tod Smith to be given at the annual gala. Both are founding Board Members of the company who have made distinguished contributions over its 47-year history.

Molly Pickering Grose was a theater major who found that female stage managers were non-existent when she graduated from college. When Janet Hayes Walker asked for help on the first production of the brand new York Players (as it was named then), she jumped at the chance. She did house management, ran lights, found props and eventually became the stage manager. When the York Theatre Company moved to its home at CitiCorp Center, she left the company, but stayed on the Board as Secretary, and still serves in that position. She retired from the Spence School after 40 years, and has been a member of the Canterbury Choral Society (former President, now Stage Manager). She also sits on the Board of the Central Park Brass (Secretary), on her Church Building Maintenance Committee (Secretary), the Omega Ensemble (Secretary/Treasurer), and on the boards of her co-ops in Manhattan and City Island.

Sally Smith began working with the York Theatre Company in its earliest days, with Janet Hayes Walker, Molly Pickering Grose, and James Morgan. Using carpentry skills she had learned from her father, she built sets and later became the company's technical director for many years. She sewed draperies and costumes, donated props, and generally pitched in during the York's early shoestring life. She has for many years served on the York's Board of Directors, and helped guide the theatre through several periods of hardship and uncertainty. She is also a member of the Cosmopolitan Club, was for decades on the Board of the InterSchool Orchestras of New York, and sang for almost fifty years in the Canterbury Choral society. In New York and in Chatham, Massachusetts, she raised four children and seven grandchildren who haven't turned out half bad. She continues to be a loyal supporter of the York Theatre Company.

The 25th Oscar Hammerstein Annual Gala Benefit Committee includes Joan Ross Sorkin(Chair), with David McCoy, Victoria Cundiff, Barbara Freitag, Alan Govenar, Molly Pickering Grose, Marilyn Hausfeld, Laurence Holzman, Jim Kierstead, Riki Kane Larimer, James Morgan, Francine Pascal, Charlotte Rosenblatt, Joshua Simmons, Elisa Loti Stein, Betty Cooper Wallerstein, and Stuart Wilk.

The Oscar Hammerstein 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 Stephen Sondheim, Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Harold Prince, Cy Coleman, Charles Strouse, Arthur Laurents, Jerry Herman, Stephen Schwartz, Peter Stone, David Merrick, John Kander and Fred Ebb, Terrence McNally, Sir Cameron Mackintosh, Carol Channing, Tony Walton, Joseph Stein, George S. Irving, Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, Tom Meehan, Barbara Cook, Paul Gemignani, Alan Menken, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, and Angela Lansbury.

The York Theatre Company, now in its 47th year, is the only company in New York--and one of very few in the worldwhose two-fold mission is to produce new musical works and rediscover musical gems from the past. The York's credits include more than 70 fully staged productions, more than 100 Mufti semi-staged readings, 35 cast albums, and commercial transfers that include the Broadway productions of Sweeney Todd (1989-90), Souvenir (2005-2006), and the current CAGNEY, still selling out in its ninth month at the Westside Theater with the York cast, and now extended into 2017.

Currently on the main stage at the York Theatre Company is the hit saucy new musical A Taste of Things to Come, with book, music and lyrics by Debra Barsha (Radiant Baby) and Hollye Levin (Funny Business). Making her directorial debut is Lorin Latarro (Waitress), who does double-duty as choreographer; music direction is by Gillian Berkowitz (Unexpected Joy). The four-member, all-female cast features Janet Dacal (Wonderland) as Agnes, Paige Faure(Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella) as Joan, Allison Guinn (On the Town) as Dottie, andAutumn Hurlbert (Legally Blonde, York's Tomorrow Morning) as Connie. The all-female band led by Gillian Berkowitz on keyboards includes Ann Klein (electric/acoustic guitar), Barbara Merjan (drums/percussion), and Sue Williams (upright/electric bass). Performances continue through December 11, 2016.



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