The award-winning York Theatre Company (James Morgan, Producing Artistic Director) will honor Tony and Grammy Award winner Barbara Cook with the 20th Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre on Monday, November 21st, 2011. The evening will be hosted by multi-platinum-selling, five-time Grammy-nominated entertainer Michael Feinstein. (Earlier this year, Cook and Feinstein released a duet album, Cheek To Cheek, recorded live at Feinstein's at Loews Regency.) For more information on the gala, call 212-935-5824 x215.
Michael Feinstein, dubbed "The Ambassador of the Great American Songbook," is considered one of the premier interpreters of American standards. His 200-plus shows a year have included performances at Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl as well as the White House and Buckingham Palace. More than simply a performer, Feinstein is nationally recognized for his commitment to celebrating America's popular song and preserving its legacy for the next generation. He serves on the Library of Congress' National Recording Preservation Board, which has been asked to ensure the survival, conservation and increased public availability of America's sound recording heritage.
Barbara Cook most recently received rave reviews and a Tony Award nomination for her performance in the Roundabout Theater Company's production of Sondheim on Sondheim. Ms. Cook's recent appearances include her sold out 80th birthday celebration concerts with the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall, and critically acclaimed appearances at Feinstein's at Loews Regency. In the past few years, Ms. Cook also returned to Carnegie Hall for her sixth solo appearance and made an historic solo concert debut at New York's Metropolitan Opera House, where she became the first female solo pop singer to be presented in concert by the MET. Ms. Cook won a New York Drama Critics Circle Award and was nominated for a Drama Desk award for her concert Barbara Cook's Broadway and was nominated for Tony and Drama Desk Awards for her previous concert, Mostly Sondheim. She also received a Tony nomination for her performance in last season's Sondheim on Sondheim.
The Oscar Hammerstein Award is named in honor of the legendary lyricist who helped shape the American musical theatre through his collaborations with a number of different composers and writers. The Oscar Hammerstein Award Gala is the major fundraising event of the York Theatre Company, and is presented with the endorsement of the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization and the Hammerstein Family. Past recipients 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 and Thomas Meehan.
The York Theatre Company is the only theater 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. Over the past two seasons, York productions and artists have been nominated for a combined 19 Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League, Off Broadway Alliance, AUDELCO and Callaway Awards (and its productions of Yank! A WWII Love Story and Enter Laughing, The Musical have both been announced for Broadway). For over four decades, York's intimate, imaginative style of producing both original and neglected 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 exclusively 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. Over 35 cast recordings from York Theatre Company productions are now available on CD, and commercial transfers of such York premieres as The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!), Souvenir, Jolson & Company, and its acclaimed revivals of Sweeney Todd and Pacific Overtures have all showcased the importance of the York and its programs.