Charlayne Woodard, André De Shields. Photo Credit: Ben Strothmann.
The York Theatre Company, dedicated to the development of new musicals and preserving musical gems from the past, recently honored Tony Award winner André De Shields (Hadestown) with the 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre and producer Riki Kane Larimer (Cagney) with The York Theatre Company Founders’ Award on Monday evening, November 11, 2019 at The Edison Ballroom (240 West 47th Street).
The 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award Gala was hosted by Tony-winning actor and playwright Charlayne Woodard
and included special guest appearances by John Ellison Conlee
Darius De Haas, Jeffry Denman, Dawn Driver
Kylie Kuioka, Teresa Eyring, Ron Lucas
Richard Maltby, Jr., Larry Owens, Tony Perry, Malvinna Rose, Melissa Schott, Marc Shaiman, Edward Tolve
Ben Vereen, Anita Welch
The Alumni Ensemble of The Boys and Girls Choir of Harlem, Students from Marymount College, and York Musical Theater Training Program Alum.
Featured in the program were musical numbers from the hit Broadway musicals The Wiz, Hair, Ain’t Misbehavin’, The Full Monty, and more! Michael Unger (York’s former Associate Artistic Director, recently appointed Artistic Director of Skylight Music Theatre in Wisconsin) directs the evening’s celebration under the music direction of Eric Svejcar.
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, Angela Lansbury, Joel Grey, the legendary songwriting team of Harvey Schmidt & Tom Jones, and five-time Tony Award winner Susan Stroman.
The York Theatre Company Founders’ Award recognizes individuals who have made a significant impact on the sustainability of the Company, and of the arts. Past recipients of the award include Janet Hayes Walker, the Founding Artistic Director of the York, W. David McCoy, Sarah Tod Smith, Molly Grose, Robert Goldberg, and Gerald F. Fisher.
The York Theatre Company, celebrating its 50th year, is the only company in New York, and one of the few in the world, whose 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), and Souvenir (2005-2006).