As a result of the pandemic shutdown of the 2020 Broadway season, the Theatre World Awards – presented annually since 1944, in recognition of twelve outstanding debut performances on and off Broadway – will be different in a year with no stage debuts. Instead of the traditional ceremony, the Awards will return this Sunday, July 11, beginning at 7 pm, for a one-night virtual benefit gala celebrating past and present honorees and showcasing the heritage of the historic organization.
Directed by Tom D’Angora and Michael D’Angora, the Theatre World Awards: Special Event Celebrating 75 Years!! will honor Broadway legends André De Shields and Patti LuPone with the 8th Annual John Willis Award for Lifetime Achievement in The Theatre. And Audra McDonald will be presented with the Dorothy Loudon Special Award for Excellence in Theatre.
The star-studded event will feature performances from past Award winners Christy Altomare, Phillip Boykin, Ann Hampton Callaway, Stephanie D’Abruzzo, André De Shields, Anna Villafañe, Andrea McArdle, Bonnie Milligan, Adam Pascal, Ethan Slater, Marissa Jaret Winokur, and John Lloyd Young. In addition, there will be guest appearances by Iain Armitage, Lucie Arnaz, Hank Azaria, Alec Baldwin, Dylan Baker, Bonnie Bedelia, Ceila Keenan-Bolger, Bryan Cranston, Kristin Chenoweth, Giancarlo Esposito, Tovah Feldshuh, Harvey Fierstein, Peter Gallagher, Jackie Hoffman, Ernestine Jackson, Nathan Lane, Patti LuPone, Andrea Martin, Audra McDonald, Rob McClure, Bernadette Peters, Jerry Mitchell, Hayley Mills, Jim Parsons, Chita Rivera, Daphne Rubin-Vega, William Shatner, Brooke Shields, Cobie Smulders, John Stamos, Marisa Tomei, Jennifer Tilly, and Chandra Wilson.
Streaming exclusively on BroadwayWorld.com, the free celebration and accompanying fundraising campaign are being produced by Tom D’Angora, Michael D’Angora, and Tim Guinee, the active trio who also took the lead to help raise much needed funds for the West Bank Café, Birdland Jazz Club, The York Theatre Company, and The LAByrinth Theatre. Produced in association with the Theatre World Awards, its Board of Directors, President Dale Badway, Karen Johnston, Peter Filichia, Laura Z. Barket, and Riki Kane Larimer, Sunday’s event is also relying on the support and generosity of alumni and viewers; tax-deductible donations can be made by visiting the Go Fund Me page, with a goal of raising $100,000 for the registered non-profit organization.
For additional information about the Theatre World Awards, visit the website.