The York Theatre Co to Award Susan Stroman the 2018 Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement

The York Theatre Co to Award Susan Stroman the 2018 Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement

The York Theatre Company will honor Five-time Tony Award-winning musical theatre director/choreographer Susan Stroman (Crazy for You) with the 2018 Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre at the 27th Oscar Hammerstein Award Gala to be held on Monday evening, November 12, 2018. Venue will be announced.

The Oscar Hammerstein Award is named in honor of the legendary lyricist and librettist who helped shape American musical theatre through his collaborations with a number of different composers and writers. His contributions to such landmark musicals as Show Boat, Oklahoma!, South Pacific, and Carousel are a legacy for all time. The award was created in 1988 by Janet Hayes Walker, Founding Artistic Director of The York Theatre Company, with the endorsement of the Hammerstein family and the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization. Its purpose is to recognize significant lifetime achievement in musical theatre, and is presented at a gala evening held for the benefit of The York Theatre Company.

Susan Stroman, a five-time Tony Award winner, has been honored with Olivier, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Lucille Lortel, and a record five Astaire Awards (recently renamed the Chita Rivera Awards). She is the recipient of the George Abbott Award for Lifetime Achievement in the American Theater and a member of the Theater Hall of Fame in New York City. Her Broadway credits include The Producers (winner of a record-breaking 12 Tony Awards), The Scottsboro Boys (nominated for 12 Tony Awards and the winner of the London Evening Standard Award for Best Musical), Contact, Prince of Broadway, Bullets Over Broadway, Big Fish, Crazy For You, Show Boat, Oklahoma!, The Frogs, The Music Man, Thou Shalt Not, Steel Pier, Big, and Picnic. Off-Broadway credits include the current production of The Beast in the Jungle, Dot, Flora The Red Menace, and The Scottsboro Boys (all at The Vineyard Theatre), And the World Goes 'Round, Happiness, and The Last Two People on Earth: An Apocalyptic Vaudeville. She has directed opera, created ballets, and been represented on television and film.

"It seems highly appropriate-and high time-that we honor Susan Stroman with this year's Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Musical Theatre," stated James Morgan, York Producing Artistic Director. "Adding it to her impressive list of accolades-five Tonys, five Drama Desks, and eight Outer Critics Circle Awards, among others-just seems to make perfect sense." He went on to share, "We are delighted to welcome her to The York's family with the 27th OH Award and look forward to celebrating her-and her extraordinary career-in high style on November 12th."

The VIP Reception will begin at 6:00 p.m. followed by a concert and award ceremony at 8:00 p.m. York Associate Artistic Director Michael Unger (You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown; Big the Musical) is set to direct the evening's celebration. For additional information, pricing and reservations, please contact Director of Development Shana Farr at (212) 935-5824, ext. 214 or sfarr@yorktheatre.org.

Michael Unger is the Associate Artistic Director and Director of Education for The York Theatre Company. He is also the Producing Artistic Director of NewArts - a performing arts and character development initiative started in response to the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting, for which he had directed a dozen productions. Credits for The York include You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown, Big The Musical, Milk and Honey, and Knickerbocker Holiday. Other directing credits include: A Christmas Carol (McCarter Theatre); Two Point Oh (Off-Broadway, NYT Critics' Pick); Time Stands Still (Cape Cod Chronicle Best 2015), My Sister in this House (Deaf West - Ovation Recommended); Grease; Crimes of the Heart; new versions of The Happy Time and The Rink and fourteen operas. World premieres include Caligula (NYMF - Best of the Fest), 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and A ROCKIN' Midsummer Night's Dream (featured in the documentary film, "Midsummer in Newtown"). He is married to actress, Janet Metz; their favorite collaboration: twins, Phoebe and Nathaniel.

Past recipients of the Oscar Hammerstein Award include Stephen Sondheim, 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, Barbara Cook, Paul Gemignani, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, Angela Lansbury, Joel Grey, and, most recently, the legendary songwriting team Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones.

The York Theatre Company is the only theatre 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 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.

Recent New York premieres have included Unexpected Joy, Desperate Measures, Marry Harry, A Taste of Things to Come, and Rothschild & Sons. The critically acclaimed musical Yank!, which received its Off-Broadway debut at The York in 2010, recently opened to rave reviews in London as did York's Rothschild & Sons. The hit musical Cagney, received its York premiere in 2015 and subsequently transferred to The Westside Theatre for over 15 months. Desperate Measures, which had a three-and-a-half month extended run this past fall, recently received the "Outstanding Musical" Outer Critics Circle Award, as well as the "Best Musical" Off-Broadway Alliance Award, and garnered a total of 14 award nominations from the Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics, Drama Desk and Off-Broadway Alliance. Desperate Measures will begin an Off-Broadway engagement at New World Stages beginning May 30, 2018.

Currently at the York Theatre is the new musical Unexpected Joy, now in performance through this Sunday, May 27, 2018. Lonesome Blues, the true story of legendary bluesman Blind Lemon Jefferson, begins previews June 12th for a limited 3-week engagement through July 1st.

Photo Credit: Paul Kolnick



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