The American Theatre Wing's Tony Awards® celebration of excellence in the theatre includes recognition of winners and nominees in the 27 competitive categories. The Tony Awards® administrative committee also celebated the honorees for the four non-competitive categories which were presented at the 2009 Tony Awards Sunday, June 7th. The 2009 Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and The American Theatre Wing.
Master songsmith Jerry Herman was named as the recipient of the 2009 Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre.
There is never an evening when, somewhere in the world, the music and lyrics of Jerry Herman are not being sung by a lady in a red headdress, or a lady with a bugle, or a middle-aged man in a wig and a boa. Hello, Dolly!, Mame, and La Cage aux Folles are home to some of the most popular, most-often performed and most successful musical heroines of all time, and have given Jerry the distinction of being the only composer-lyricist in history to have had three musicals that ran more than 1,500 consecutive performances on Broadway. When Dear World opened in 1969, Jerry became the only composer-lyricist in history to have three productions running on Broadway simultaneously. His first Broadway show was Milk and Honey (1961), followed by Hello, Dolly! (1964) Mame (1966) Dear World (1969), Mack & Mabel (1974) The Grand Tour (1979), La Cage aux Folles (1983), Jerry's Girls (1985) and "Mrs. Santa Claus" (1966), a CBS TV special starring Angela Lansbury. Showtune, a revue of his life's work, is performing in regional theatres around the country and around the world. His string of awards and honors includes multiple Tonys, Grammys, Drama Desk Awards, the Johnny Mercer Award, the Richard Rodgers Award, the Oscar Hammerstein Award, the Frederick Lowe Award, the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Theatre Hall of Fame. Two of his classic songs are the emotional highlights of the hit Disney-Pixar film Wall-E. A revival of La Cage aux Folles is currently playing in London's West End, and recently won the Olivier Award for Best Revival, as well as the London Critics' Circle Theatre Award for Best Musical. Jerry Herman was the subject of the 2008 PBS documentary "Words and Music by Jerry Herman."
Produced/Shot by James Sims with Interviews by Eddie Varley.