On Monday, April 8 at their annual Broadway Beacon Awards Gala at The JW Marriot Essex House (160 Central Park South), leading NYC arts education nonprofit Inside Broadway (Executive Director, Michael Presser) will honor Tony Award-winning Broadway icon Chita Rivera and NBC News/The Today Show’s Al Roker. Rivera will be receiving the first-everLifetime Achievement Award and the evening will also honor Tony-winning Broadway scenic designer Beowulf Boritt, (Be More Chill, Come From Away, Sunday in the Park With George), business leader Brian Tormey (President, TitleVest Insurance Company), and Patricia White (President, Theatrical Wardrobe Local 764 IATSE). The gala will feature a special performance by students from IS 278, Marine Park in Brooklyn, and will be hosted by FOX5 entertainment reporter Baruch Shemtov. Since 1982, Inside Broadway has impacted the lives of nearly one million New York City public school students with its one-of-a-kind theatre arts and education programs that enrich, educate, and foster new generations of theatergoers.
A theatrical icon and one of Broadway’s greatest triple-threat talents, Chita Rivera is one of the most nominated performers in Tony Award history having earned 10 nominations, won twice and received the 2018 Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement. A versatile actress/singer/dancer, she recently starred in The Visit, the final John Kander/Fred Ebb/Terrence McNally musical directed by John Doyle and choreographed by Graciela Daniele on Broadway, the Broadway revival of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, the Broadway and touring productions of The Dancer’s Life, a dazzling new musical celebrating her spectacular career, and the revival of the Broadway musical Nine with Antonio Banderas. She trained as a ballerina (from age nine) before receiving a scholarship to the School of American Ballet from the legendary choreographer George Balanchine. Chita’s first appearance (age 17) was as a principal dancer in Call Me Madam. Her electric performance as Anita in the original Broadway premiere of West Side Story brought her stardom, which she repeated in London. Her career is highlighted by starring roles in Bye Bye Birdie, The Rink (Tony Award), Chicago, and Kiss of the Spider Woman (Tony Award). Chita was awarded The Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama and also received the coveted Kennedy Center Honor.
The Broadway Beacon Awards are presented to individuals in the theatre community who have been advocates for increasing audiences for live theatre and understand the importance of the arts in the lives of NYC students. The evening begins at 6pm with a Cocktail Hour, followed by the Awards Presentation at 7pm. The first Broadway Beacon Award was given in 1995 to the late Carol Channing.
Inside Broadway, established by Michael Presser in 1982 in cooperation with The Shubert Organization, today reaches over 70,000 New York City students in over 100 public schools each year. Their programs include an annual Equity musical production that tours to schools as well as a wide range of educational programs that allow participants to interact with professionals in the field and experience theatre hands-on in the classroom. For more information on Inside Broadway, please visit www.InsideBroadway.org. Programs of Inside Broadway are funded by the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, New York City Council, New York City Department of Education, and numerous foundations and individuals.