BROADWAY LEGEND JOEL GREY
TO RECEIVE THE 2016 OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN AWARD
FOR LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSICAL THEATRE
THE YORK THEATRE COMPANY’S
25TH OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN AWARD GALA
TO BE HELD MONDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2016
AT THE ASIA SOCIETY
MOLLY PICKERING GROSE AND SARAH TOD SMITH
TO BE HONORED WITH THE YORK THEATRE FOUNDERS AWARD
New York, NY – (October 6 2016) – The York Theatre Company (James Morgan, Producing Artistic Director; Evans Haile, Interim Executive Director; David McCoy, Chairman of the Board), dedicated to the development of new musicals and preserving musical gems from the past, will honor legendary Oscar® and Tony® award-winner Joel Grey with the 25th Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre at 2016 Oscar Hammerstein Award Gala to be held on Monday, December 5, 2016 at The Asia Society (725 Park Avenue). The Reception featuring abundant cocktails and hors d’oeuvres begins at 6:00 p.m., followed by the concert and award ceremony beginning at 8:00p.m. For additional information, pricing and reservations, please visit www.yorktheatre.org, or call Ellen Weiss at (212) 935-5824, ext 214, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Oscar Hammerstein Award, named in honor of the master lyricist and librettist, recognizes significant lifetime achievement in musical theatre. The award is endorsed by the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization and the Hammerstein Family.
“For this Silver Anniversary presentation of the Oscar Hammerstein Award, we are thrilled to celebrate the extraordinary Joel Grey, whose artistry — for over half a century — has become an indelible part of Broadway history,” stated James Morgan, York Producing Artistic Director.
The extraordinary Joel Grey made his theatrical debut at the age of nine in the Cleveland Play House production of On Borrowed Time. Twenty years later, he made his Broadway debut in Neil Simon’s Come Blow Your Horn. Since then, he has been On and Off-Broadway in more than a dozen shows that have netted him a Tony® Award, two Drama Desk® Awards, and multiple further nominations for each, including Cabaret, George M!, Goodtime Charley, The Grand Tour, Chicago, Wicked, Anything Goes, Give Me Your Answer, Do!, and The Normal Heart, which he later co-directed on Broadway. He is currently playing Firs in the Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of The Cherry Orchard. Joel is one of only nine actors to have received the Tony® and the Oscar® for the same role, having won both as the Emcee in Cabaret. His other film credits include work with directors ranging from Robert Altman to Steven Soderbergh to Lars von Trier. In 2010, Joel was honored by the Paley Center for his TV career, which spans more than six decades and includes “Brooklyn Bridge” and “Law & Order” to “Oz” and “Grey’s Anatomy.” He is also an accomplished photographer with work in the permanent collection at the Whitney and four published monographs: “Pictures I Had to Take” “Looking Hard at Unexamined Things,” “1.3: Images From My Phone,” and “The Billboard Papers.” His memoir “Master of Ceremonies” was published in 2016. This year marks his 75th year in the theatre.
The York Theatre Company’s Founders Award recognizes individuals who have made a significant impact on the sustainability of the company. It has previously been awarded to Janet Hayes Walker, the original founding Artistic Director of The York, and more recently to its longtime Chairman of the Board, David McCoy.
The York Theatre Company will bestow the 2016 Founders Award upon Molly Pickering Grose and Sarah Tod Smith to be given at the annual gala. Both are founding Board Members of the company who have made distinguished contributions over its 47-year history.
Molly Pickering Grose was a theater major who found that female stage managers were non-existent when she graduated from college. When Janet Hayes Walker asked for help on the first production of the brand new York Players (as it was named then), she jumped at the chance. She did house management, ran lights, found props and eventually became the stage manager. When the York Theatre Company moved to its home at CitiCorp, she left the company but stayed on the Board as Secretary, and still serves in that position. She retired from the Spence School after 40 years, and has been a member of the Canterbury Choral Society (former President, now Stage Manager). She also sits on the Board of the Central Park Brass (Secretary), on her Church Building Maintenance Committee (Secretary, the Omega Ensemble (Secretary/Treasurer), and on the Boards of her co-ops in Manhattan and City Island.
Sally Smith began working with the York Theatre Company in its earliest days, with Janet Hayes Walker, Molly Pickering Grose, and James Morgan. Using carpentry skills, she had learned from her father, she built sets and later became the Theatre’s technical director for a number of years. She also sewed draperies and costumes, donated props, and generally pitched in during the York’s early shoestring life. She has for many years served on the York’s Board of Directors and helped guide the Theatre through several periods of hardship and uncertainty. She is also a member of the Cosmopolitan Club, was for decades sat on the Board of the InterSchool Orchestras of New York, and sang for almost fifty years in the Canterbury Choral society. In New York and in Chatham, Massachusetts, she raised four children and seven grandchildren who haven’t turned out half bad. She continues to be a loyal supporter of the York Theatre Company.
The 25th Oscar Hammerstein Annual Gala Benefit Committee includes Joan Ross Sorkin (Chair), with David McCoy, Victoria Cundiff, Barbara Freitag, Alan Govenar, Molly Pickering Grose, Marilyn Hausfeld, Laurence Holzman, Jim Kierstead, Riki Kane Larimer, James Morgan, Francine Pascal, Charlotte Rosenblatt, Joshua Simmons, Elisa Loti Stein, Betty Cooper Wallerstein, and Stuart Wilk.
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 Angela Lansbury, Lynn Ahrens & Stephen Flaherty, Stephen Sondheim, Betty Comden & Adolf 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, Paul Gemignani, Alan Menken, and Barbara Cook.
The York Theatre Company, now in its 47th 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).