Chita Rivera, Tony Danza, Susan Stroman, AlBert Maysles, John Turturro, Tamara Tunie, Karen Ziemba, Melissa Errico, Lee Roy Reams, Joe Morton, Smash choreographer Josh Bergasse and Countess Luann de Lesseps are all set to be presenters at the 30th Annual Fred & Adele Astaire Awards on Monday, June 4th at 7:30pm at New York University's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. The Astaire Awards are the only awards show to honor excellence in dance and choreography on Broadway and in film and were first started in 1982 by the late Fred Astaire and the late Douglas Watt (a critic and writer for the NY Daily News and The New Yorker).
Nominees this year include Hugh Jackman, Ricky Martin, Matthew Broderick and the films The Artist and Footloose, and Liza Minnelli will be the recipient of the Douglas Watt Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Astaire Awards will also begin a new tradition, paying tribute to the career and work of a choreographer and dancer during the awards. This year they will be remembering Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon, and a few signature Bob Fosse numbers featuring current Broadway performers will be a part of the show on June 4th. This year's awards ceremony will also be dedicated to Tony and Oscar-winning producer Marty Richards, a longtime friend of the awards.
The Astaire Awards are presented each year by Ava Astaire (Fred Astaire's daughter) and Patricia Watt (the daughter of Douglas Watt). The awards also feature direction from Joe Lanteri, who is the Executive Director of the New York City Dance Alliance and also a teacher at the Juilliard School.
Each year The Astaire Awards also gives a special 'Adele Astaire Scholarship' to a young up and coming dancer, and this year they will also honor three-time Tony Award-nominated Producer Kathleen Raitt with a special award in recognition of her helping to start The Astaire Awards 30 years ago. Ms. Raitt (a former Broadway dancer and actress) is an Honorary Chair for the awards and is also currently the Director of Corporate Relations at the Nederlander Producing Company of America. The Honorary Chairs Emeritus for The Astaire Awards are Jacques Azoulay, Countess LuAnn deLesseps and Wendy Federman. The Gala Chairs are Carolyn Kendall Buchter and Alix Michel, and the Benefit Chair is Sara Johnson Kaplan.