By Brian Scott Lipton and Sandi Durell
The 71st Annual Theatre World Awards, honoring the year’s outstanding Broadway and Off-Broadway debuts, were held at the Lyric Theatre on Monday, June 1. Peter Filichia hosted the event, which brought out some of the biggest names on the Great White Way.
This year’s “class” of honorees, all of whom accepted in person, were Geneva Carr (“Hand to God”), Daveed Diggs (“Hamilton”), Megan Fairchild (“On the Town”), Robert Fairchild (“An American in Paris”), Collin Kelly-Sordelet (“The Last Ship”), Sydney Lucas (“Fun Home”), Karen Pittman (“Disgraced”), Benjamin Scheuer (“The Lion”), Alex Sharp (“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”), Emily Skeggs (“Fun Home”), Micah Stock (“It’s Only a Play”), and Ruth Wilson (“Constellations”).
Presenters for these awards included Matthew Broderick, Helen Carey, Michael Cerveris, Raul Esparza, Enid Graham, Jackie Hoffman, Ben Miles, Ruthie Ann Miles, Gretchen Mol, Arian Moyaed, Johnny Orsini, and Vivian Reed.
In addition, Leanne Cope of “An American in Paris” received the annual Dorothy Loudon Award, presented to her by Lionel Lardner, executive director of the Dorothy Loudon Foundation, and Dame Diana Rigg. The legendary Chita Rivera, now appearing in “The Visit,” was given the John Willis Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre by Tony Sheldon, and a special award was presented in honor of Betty Comden, the lyricist and performer who won the first Theatre World Award ever; it was accepted by her nephew, Len Comden.
Comden’s selection was also fitting since the ceremony was held at the home of the revival of “On the Town,” the 1944 musical written by Comden, Adolph Green, and Leonard Bernstein, and the evening including musical numbers from that production performed by members of the show’s cast, including 2012 Theatre World Award winner Philip Boykin, Elizabeth Stanley, and Cory Linger, Michael Rosen, and Cody Williams.
In addition, musical performances included numbers by 2012 Theatre World Award winner Josh Young (“Heaven on Their Minds”), musical director Fred Barton (“Don’t Be Anything Less Than Everything You Can Be”), and Reed, who closed the three-hour show with a powerful rendition of “Blues in the Night.”
Photos: Maryann Lopinto
Video: Sandi Durell – Interviews: Brian Lipton
On the Red Carpet: