The nominations for the big awards will be revealed tomorrow at 8:30AM, but the Tony Awards committee has announced the winners of its Special Tony Awards today. Congratulations to Jerry Herman, Phyllis Newman, Shirley Herz and all the folks at the Signature Theatre Company in Arlington, VA.
Herman, composer of audience favorites Milk and Honey, Hello, Dolly!, Mame, and La Cage Aux Folles as well as cultist delights Dear World, Mack & Mabel and The Grand Tour, will receive the Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre.
The annual Regional Theatre Award goes to the Signature Theatre Company, as recommended by the American Theatre Critics Association. The award also includes a grant of $25,000 from Visa (who also happens to be one of the main Tony sponsors). As per the press release: “For 20 years, Signature Theatre has broadened and brightened the region’s cultural landscape with its bold productions of challenging new and established works.”
Newman is receiving the inaugural Isabelle Stevenson Award, established to honor a member of the theatre community “who has made a substantial contribution of volunteered time and effort on behalf of one or more humanitarian, social service or charitable organizations.” Newman founded the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative in 1995 and has raised $3.5 million dollars and helped 2,500 in the entertainment industry.
Herz is his year’s recipient of the Tony Honors for Excellence, given to someone in the industry ineligible for Tony recognition in established categories. She has worked as a press agent for over 200 on and off Broadway for over fifty years, starting as Rosalind Russell’s personal press rep during the run of Wonderful Town.