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(New York, May 9, 2006) Celebrated choreographer, director and performer, Tommy Tune, has been honored with the Distinguished Lifetime Service Award by the League of American Theatres and Producers. The award was presented to Mr. Tune at the League Awards on May 8, the kick-off event for the League’s 2006 Spring Road Conference (May 9-11).
“Tommy Tune’s contribution to Broadway has been extraordinary,” commented Jed Bernstein, President of The League of American Theatres and Producers. “Not only is he one of the preeminent dance masters of our time but he has also lit up the Great White Way with his outstanding acting, singing, directing and producing. We are delighted to honor him for his unparalleled mark on Broadway theatre.”
Tommy Tune first danced onto the Broadway stage in 1965 in the chorus of Baker Street. He has won nine Tony Awards, in four different categories, including Best Supporting Actor for Seesaw, Best Actor and Choreographer for My One and Only, Best Choreographer for A Day in Hollywood, A Night in the Ukraine, Best Director for Nine and back to back Tony Award honors for Best Choreographer and Director for Grand Hotel and The Will Rogers Follies . He also choreographed and directed The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, as well as Cloud 9 and the groundbreaking off-Broadway hit The Club. In 1991, Mr. Tune’s lifelong idol, Gwen Verdon inducted him into Broadway’s Theatre Hall of Fame and in 2003 Tommy Tune received the nation’s highest honor for artistic achievement, The National Medal of Arts. He is currently playing the title role in a touring production of Dr. Dolittle.
The League of American Theatres and Producers also presented the following awards:
Outstanding Achievement in Presenter Management (Samuel J. L’Hommedieu Award) was given to Larry Payton, President, Celebrity Attractions, for demonstrating excellence in management over the past 20 years. Mr. Payton presents Broadway series in Tulsa and Oklahoma City in Oklahoma, Springfield, Missouri, Lubbock and Amarillo in Texas and Little Rock, Arkansas.
Outstanding Achievement in Road Marketing was given to Todd Bentjen, Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Orange County Performing Arts Center, for demonstrating quantitatively successful marketing results in the touring Broadway community over the past year.
Star of Touring Broadway Award, designed to honor board members, politicians, donors and volunteers who have given support “beyond the call of duty” to promote and enrich the Broadway Series in their hometown, was given to MSU Federal Credit Union for their corporate philanthropy. They were nominated by Wharton Center for Performing Arts, Michigan State University.
Special Recognition Award 1995-2006 was given to Jed Bernstein, President of the League of American Theatres and Producers. During his 10 year tenure at The League, Mr. Bernstein, most notably, enhanced the League’s marketing and sponsorship activities and its image both in New York and throughout the United States, and recognized the importance of the American Road and its inclusion into the activities of the League. He led the reorganization of The League’s labor function, positioning it to successfully negotiate with 14 trade unions and guilds. Mr. Bernstein leads The League’s involvement in the Tony® Awards, and was one of those instrumental in spearheading Broadway’s recovery after 9/11, the industry’s most challenging time. Mr. Bernstein will be moving on to concentrate on producing and marketing projects in all areas of entertainment.
The 2006 League Awards ceremony was sponsored by Chase.
About The League of American Theatres and Producers
The League of American Theatres and Producers, Inc., founded in 1930, is the national trade organization for the Broadway industry, operating under the Live Broadway® trademark. With over 500 members, including theatre owners, operators, producers, and presenters of Broadway productions in New York and in 140 cities throughout the U.S. and Canada, the League and its members help bring Broadway to close to 30 million people annually.