The York Theatre Company to Honor Musical Theater Legends Richard Maltby, Jr. & David Shire and Elisa Loti Stein at "29th Oscar Hammerstein Award Gala" on November 1
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 10:55 am EDT 09/16/21




New York, NY - The York Theatre Company (James Morgan, Producing Artistic Director; Evans Haile, Executive Director), dedicated to the development of new musicals and preserving musical gems from the past, will honor musical theater legends Richard Maltby, Jr. & David Shire (Baby, Big, Starting Here, Starting Now, Closer Than Ever) with the 2021 Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theater and Elisa Loti Stein with The York Theatre Company Founders' Award at the 29th Oscar Hammerstein Award Gala, to be held on Monday evening, November 1, 2021 at The Edison Ballroom(240 West 47th Street).

A cocktail reception at 6:00pm and an elegant seated dinner at 7:00pm is followed by a concert and award ceremony at 8:00 p.m. Guests with VIP tickets will have the opportunity to take photos with the honorees and enjoy other perks during the evening. Michael Unger (The York's former Associate Artistic Director and current Artistic Director of Skylight Music Theatre in Wisconsin) is set to direct the evening's celebration. Another York regular, Deniz Cordell is the music director. For additional information, pricing and reservations, please visit https://yorktheatre.org/support/oscar-hammerstein or contact Director of Development Alana Graber at agraber@yorktheatre.org.

"This celebration of two favorite people of mine-and The York's-was put on hold several times over the past year and a half," said James Morgan, Producing Artistic Director. "We are so excited that we can schedule it now in the beautiful venue for many of our OH Galas, The Edison Ballroom. We can't wait to share this spectacular evening with everyone and to witness this incredible line-up of performers honor one of the longest collaborations in musical theater history. That we are honoring another wonderful friend, Elisa Loti Stein, with the York Theatre Founders' Award, puts the icing on the cake. (All three honorees are members of The York's Honorary Board.) We hope you can join us!"

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, and is presented 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.

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, Tom Jones & Harvey Schmidt, Susan Stroman and, most recently, André De Shields.

Richard Maltby, Jr. & David Shire (2021 Oscar Hammerstein Award Recipients) have been writing together since 1958, making theirs the longest-running collaboration in musical theater history. They've written the scores for more than a dozen musicals, including Broadway's Baby (Best Musical and Score Tony nominations) and Big (Tony nomination for Best Score.) Two landmark revues played Off-Broadway: 1977's Starting Here, Starting Now (Grammy nomination) and 1989's Closer Than Ever (Outer Critics Circle Award, Best Musical and Score; The York's five-month 2012 revival won the Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best Revival). Other musicals include The Sap of Life, Love Match, How Do You Do? I Love You!, Take Flight, Sousatzka, and the forthcoming The Country Wife and Dancers at a Waterfall . Their songs have been recorded by artists ranging from Barbra Streisand and Melissa Manchester to Billy Preston and Syreeta. Maltby conceived and directed two Tony-winning Best Musicals: Ain't Misbehavin' (also Tony for Best Director) and Fosse, as well as Ring of Fire. He cowrote the lyrics for both Miss Saigon (Tony nomination for Best Score) and The Pirate Queen and the lyrics for Nick and Nora (Tony Nomination for Best Score). Shire's more than 150 film and television scores include Norma Rae (Oscar for the song "It Goes Like It Goes"), The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, All the President's Men, The Conversation, Zodiac , Return to Oz, Farewell, My Lovely, and Saturday Night Fever (two Grammy nominations.) His television scores have earned five Emmy nominations.

The York Theatre Company Founders' Award recognizes individuals who have made a significant impact on the sustainability of the company.

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, Gerald F. Fisher, Betty Cooper Wallerstein and Riki Kane Larimer.

Elisa Loti Stein (Stage name, Elisa Loti; 2021 York Theatre Company Founders' Award Recipient) won a Theatre World Award and an Obie Award for her performance in Come Share My House. Raised in Romania and Ecuador, she became fluent in four languages and performed around the world. Her career ranged from British television to singing in a French cabaret to making films in Germany and Spain to starring in films, TV, and theatre in Mexico. Favorite credits include Rhinoceros (Broadway), Hemingway's "Fifth Column" (CBS, co-star with Richard Burton), "From These Roots" (NBC, recurring role), and "Claudine" (with Dianne Carroll and James Earl Jones). Her happiest collaboration was directing and acting in her husband Joseph Stein's play Enter Laughing, which later became the musical. She is currently a practicing psychotherapist, a doting mom and grandma, and a devoted member of the York Theatre's Honorary Board.

Michael Unger (Director, 2021 Oscar Hammerstein Award Gala) is the Artistic Director of Skylight Music Theatre in Milwaukee, WI. For Skylight this season he will be directing Little Shop of Horrors and Dennis DeYoung's The Hunchback of Notre Dame. For six years, he was 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 with a local father in response to the Sandy Hook elementary school tragedy, for which he has directed a dozen productions working with over 600 area-children. Credits for The York Theatre include the Oscar Hammerstein Award Ceremonies in 2018 and 2019 honoring Susan Stroman and André De Shields, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, and the Mufti presentations of Big: The Musical, Milk and Honey, and Knickerbocker Holiday. Other directing credits include A Christmas Carol (18 years at McCarter Theatre, three years at NewArts), Two Point Oh (Off-Broadway, NYT Critics' Pick), Time Stands Still (Cape Cod Chronicle Best of 2015), My Sister in This House (Deaf West, Ovation Recommended), Grease, Crimes of the Heart, and new versions of The Happy Time and The Rink. He has directed fourteen operas, two of which are available on DVD. World premieres include Caligula (NYMF, Best of Fest), The 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 is twins Phoebe and Nathaniel.

COVID NOTE: For the safety of all, COVID policies established by the CDC and WHO will be strictly enforced. Proof of vaccination status will be required upon entry. Masks must be worn at all times. Full COVID policies can be found on the York Theatre Company website.

For additional information, please visit www.yorktheatre.org.

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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 five 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. Well over 40 cast recordings from York Theatre Company productions are now available on CD, including its acclaimed revival of Closer Than Ever (2013 Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best Revival); commercial transfers of such York premieres as The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!), Souvenir (Tony Award Nomination for actress Judy Kaye), and Jolson & Company, and revivals of Pacific Overtures and Sweeney Todd (four Tony Nominations including Best Revival) have all showcased the importance of The York and its programs. Recent York productions have included Anything Can Happen in the Theater, Forbidden Broadway: The Next Generation, Midnight at the Never Get and A Taste of Things to Come. The critically acclaimed musical Yank! received its Off-Broadway debut at The York in 2010, and subsequently to rave reviews in London-as did York's Rothschild & Sons. The hit musical Cagney received its York premiere in 2015, transferring to the Westside Theatre for over 15 months. In 2017, Desperate Measures received a total of 15 award nominations (and three wins) that included "Best Musical" from the Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, and Off-Broadway Alliance and subsequently transferred across town to New World Stages. The York is the recipient of a special Drama Desk Award for "Developing and Producing New Musicals" and, more recently, a special Outer Critics Circle Award for "50 Years of Producing New and Classic Musicals."

The York is currently producing at The Theatre at St. Jean's due to a NYC water main flood in their home of 30 years at Saint Peter's Church in January 2021. Their first mainstage production at St. Jean's, produced in association with Riki Kane Larimer and running November 24th to January 2nd, will be the world premiere of Cheek to Cheek: Irving Berlin in Hollywood.

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Twitter: @yorktheatrenyc
Link https://yorktheatre.org/support/oscar-hammerstein

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