Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Seldes, Ayckbourn Will Receive Lifetime Achievement Tonys

David Hyde Pierce, A.R.T./New York, Tom Viola Also Will Be Honored

The Tony Awards® Administration Committee has announced this year’s recipients for the Lifetime Achievement Award, the Isabelle Stevenson Award and the Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre. These awards will be presented at the 2010 Tony Awards on Sunday, June 13. The 2010 Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and The American Theatre Wing.

The 2010 Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre will be presented to two outstanding individuals, playwright and director Sir Alan Ayckbourn, and Tony Award winning actress Marian Seldes.

Sir Alan has written over 74 full length plays, including the Norman Conquests, which won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play in 2009; and has directed more than 300 plays. Between 1972 and 2009, he was the artistic director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, where the majority of his work has been and continues to be premiered.

Seldes is a five-time Tony Award nominee, winning for her first nomination in 1967 for Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance. Her career spans from her Broadway debut in Medea in 1947 to her most recent performance in Deuce and includes her record breaking run in Deathtrap. From 1967 to 1991, Ms. Seldes was a faculty member of the Juilliard School of Drama, and in 2002 she began teaching at Fordham University, Lincoln Center.

The recipient of the Isabelle Stevenson Award will be Tony Award winning actor David Hyde Pierce. The Isabelle Stevenson Award recognizes an individual from the theatre community who has made a substantial contribution of volunteered time and effort on behalf of one or more humanitarian, social service or charitable organizations, regardless of whether such organizations relate to the theatre.

Pierce is being honored for his work in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. He began his support for the Alzheimer’s Association in the early 1990s, and after serving a full term on the organization's board, now serves as an honorary national board member. Over the years he has regularly visited Washington, D.C. to meet with congressional leaders to advocate for increased investment in Alzheimer's research. He also participates regularly in local Alzheimer's Association chapter events, including Memory Walk. The Alzheimer Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research.

The Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre were established in 1990 and are awarded annually to institutions, individuals and/or organizations that have demonstrated extraordinary achievement in theatre, but which are not eligible in any of the established Tony Award categories. This year’s Tony Honors will be presented to:

•The Alliance of Resident Theatres New York (A.R.T./New York) – Founded in 1972, A.R.T./New York assists its nearly 300 member theatres in managing their companies effectively so they may realize artistic visions and serve diverse audiences. Over the years, A.R.T./New York has earned a reputation as a leader in providing progressive service to its members, making the organization an expert in the needs of the Off and Off Off Broadway community.

•BH Barry – Barry, having been trained in his native England, pioneered the teaching of stage combat as part of the curriculum in US drama programs at the university and graduate level. His numerous Broadway credits range from the 1981 productions of Frankenstein and Macbeth to the 2008 production of Dividing the Estate.

•Tom Viola – Viola is the executive director of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (BC/EFA), the nation's leading industry-based not-for-profit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organization. He was the founding administrative director of Equity Fights AIDS in 1988, saw through its merger with Broadway Cares in 1992 and has been executive director of BC/EFA since 1997. Viola is being honored for his personal commitment to the fight against AIDS. BC/EFA was previously honored with a Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theatre in 1993.

The Tony Award Nominations will be announced on Tuesday, May 4. The Tony Nominations can be viewed LIVE (8:30am ET) in their entirety at Follow the Tony Awards on Twitter for real-time updates on the nominees as they are announced ( The entire announcement will be viewable on after the event as well.

The Tony Awards will be broadcast in a live three-hour ceremony from Radio City Music Hall on the CBS television network on Sunday, June 13.

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Our reviews are professional reviews written without a religious bias. At the end of them, you can find a listing of language, content or theological issues that Christians might want to know about when deciding which shows to see.

** Mature indicates that the show has posted an advisory because of content. Usually this means I would recommend no one under the age of 16 attend.

Theater Critic Lauren Yarger

Theater Critic Lauren Yarger

My Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists. Her play concept, "From Reel to Real: The Jennifer O'Neill Story" was presented as part of the League of professional Theatre Women's Julia's reading Room Series in New York in February 2018.

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Intensive and other training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run.

She was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater (the only ones you can find in the US with an added Christian perspective) at

She is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection (, an award-winning website featuring theater and arts news for the state. She is a contributing editor for She previously served as theater reviewer for the Manchester Journal-Inquirer, Connecticut theater editor for and as Connecticut and New York reviewer for American Theater Web.

She is a Co-Founder of the Connecticut Chapter of the League of Professional Theatre Women. She is a former vice preseint and voting member of The Drama Desk.

She is a freelance writer and playwright (member Dramatists Guild of America). She is a member if the The Outer Critics Circle (event manager for the annual awards ceremony), The American Theater Critics Association, The League of Professional Theatre Women and the Drama League. She served as a judge for the SDX Awards presented by the Society of Professional Journalists.

Yarger is a book reviewer for Publishers Weekly and freelances for other sites. She is a member of the National Book Critics Circle.

She also is a member of the Episcopal Actors' Guild, the NY Public Library for the Performing Arts and The O'Neill Theatre Center..

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger also worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and served for nine years as the Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. She lives with her husband in West Granby, CT. They have two adult children.


All material is copyright 2008- 2018 by Lauren Yarger. Reviews and articles may not be reprinted without permission. Contact


Key to Content Notes:

God's name taken in vain -- means God or Jesus is used in dialogue without speaking directly to or about them.

Language -- means some curse words are used. "Minor" usually means the words are not too strong or that it only occurs once or twice throughout the show.

Strong Language -- means some of the more heavy duty curse words are used.

Nudity -- means a man or woman's backside, a man's lower front or a woman's front are revealed.

Scantily clad -- means actors' private areas are technically covered, but I can see a lot of them.

Sexual Language -- means the dialogue contains sexually explicit language but there's no action.

Sexual Activity -- means a man and woman are performing sexual acts.

Adultery -- Means a married man or woman is involved sexually with someone besides their spouse. If this is depicted with sexual acts on stage, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Sex Outside of Marriage -- means a man and woman are involved sexually without being married. If this is depicted sexually on stage, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Homosexuality -- means this is in the show, but not physically depicted.

Homosexual activity -- means two persons of the same sex are embracing/kissing. If they do more than that, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Cross Dresser -- Means someone is dressing as the opposite sex. If they do more than that on stage the listing would include the corresponding "sexual activity" and/or "homosexual activity" as well.

Cross Gender -- A man is playing a female part or a woman is playing a man's part.

Suggestive Dancing -- means dancing contains sexually suggestive moves.

Derogatory (category added Fall 2012) Language or circumstances where women are referred to or treated in a negative and demeaning manner.

Other content matters such as torture, suicide or rape will be noted, with details revealed only as necessary in the review itself.

The term "throughout" added to any of the above means it happens many times throughout the show.

Reviewing Policy

I receive free seats to Broadway and Off-Broadway shows made available to all voting members of the Outer Critics Circle and The Drama Desk, the two professional critics organizations with journalists covering NY theater. Journalistically, I provide an unbiased review and am under no obligation to make positive statements. Sometimes shows do not make tickets available to reviewers. If these are shows my readers want to know about (I review all Broadway shows and pertinent Off-Broadway shows), I will purchase a ticket. If a personal friend is involved in a production, I'll let you know, but it won't influence a review. If I feel there is a conflict, I won't review their portion of the production.

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