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SPOTLIGHT ON BROADWAY - CELEBRATING THE HISTORY OF NYC'S THEATRE DISTRICT - LAUNCHES DURING BROADWAY ON BROADWAY

Spotlight on BroadwayDeveloped by the Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment in Partnership with The Broadway League, SpotlightonBroadway.com Will Feature Video Documentaries about Broadway Theatres

Broadway Legends, Including Chita Rivera and Tommy Tune, to be Honored with the First Spotlight Awards


September 9, 2012 - Celebrating Broadway’s vibrant history, a new multimedia project featuring intimate profiles of the theatres and productions that make up the City’s theatre district has launched online at SpotlightonBroadway.com. Announced during the festivities of Broadway on Broadway, the annual kickoff to the theatre season in the heart of Times Square, Spotlight on Broadway includes a collection of video documentaries about Broadway’s famed theatres as well as the first annual Spotlight Awards. The Spotlight Awards recognize and honor individuals in the theatrical community who have made a significant contribution to Broadway over a 10 year period. Among the honorees to be awarded during the ceremony are: Tony Award-winning actress, singer and dancer Chita Rivera; Tony Award-winning actor, dancer, director and choreographer Tommy Tune; Tony Award-winning composer Charles Strouse, actress and project ambassador Arlene Dahl, Actors Equity president Nick Wyman, Broadway producer and manager Nina Lannan; IATSE president Matthew D. Loeb; and theatre owner and producer James M. Nederlander. Spotlight on Broadway has been developed by the Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment in partnership with The Broadway League; the video documentaries are being produced by TVGals Media, a local production company.


From left to right: Broadway League executive director Charlotte St. Martin, actress Arlene Dahl, IATSE president Matthew D. Loeb, actor/dancer/director/choreographer Tommy Tune, actress/singer/dancer Chita Rivera, composer Charles Strouse, Broadway producer and manager Nina Lannan, Media and Entertainment commissioner Katherine Oliver, and Actors Equity president Nick Wyman. Photo courtesy of Amanda Schwab/Starpix.
“The Broadway community is an important part of New York City, contributing $11 billion to the economy and supporting 86,000 local jobs,” said Commissioner Katherine Oliver, Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment. “With the launch of Spotlight on Broadway, we seek to pay tribute to the thousands of artists, actors, stagehands, producers, writers, composers, stage managers and architects who helped make Broadway what it is today.”

“The Spotlight Awards are a tribute to all those who work onstage and off, and the interactive media component is a treat for all who love the magic that happens inside a Broadway theatre!,” says Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League. “This worthwhile and impressive project, spearheaded by the Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment, is a way to preserve the history of Broadway in a modern way that will surely engage all audiences.”

The inaugural collection of video documentaries, now available to watch online at SpotlightonBroadway.com, include portraits of the Booth, the Al Hirshfeld, the Richard Rogers, the August Wilson and the Majestic Theatres. Each video chronicles the history of the theatres themselves as well as moments from some of the most celebrated productions that took place on their stages. Broadway actors, restoration architects, union members, producers, historians and others share their memories of the famed buildings and help frame the cultural significance of the Broadway district. Eventually, all 40 of Broadway’s theatres will be featured and profiled in this way.

Future plans for Spotlight on Broadway include a mobile website as well as an on-site installation in the theatre district. In addition to SpotlightonBroadway.com, the videos will also be highlighted on the NYC Channel on Taxi-TV and the City’s TV station, NYC life. NYC life (Channel 25) is available on broadcast, cable and satellite providers.


Spotlight honorees Tommy Tune, Chita Rivera and Charles Strouse celebrate during Broadway on Broadway. Photo courtesy of Amanda Schwab/Starpix.

As part of the pre-show at Broadway on Broadway on September 9, the first class of Spotlight Award winners will be honored for their significant contributions in one of the following categories: Industry Support, Actors, Behind-the-Scenes Talent and Producers. Among the honorees are:

Arlene Dahl has starred in 19 stage plays, including the Tony-award-winning Applause, Mr. Strauss Goes to Boston and Cyrano de Bergerac on Broadway, and appeared in 30 motion pictures, including The Outriders, Watch the Birdie and Ambush. She is also the author of 16 best-selling books on beauty, health and astrology and wrote an international, thrice-weekly syndicated beauty column for The Chicago Tribune-New York News Syndicate. She is also an advocate for the theatre community and has been actively working to preserve Broadway’s history for many years.

Nina Lannan’s career spans more than 50 major shows on Broadway, and includes two years as Chair of The Broadway League, the first woman to occupy that position. After working with the general management offices Gatchell & Neufeld, Ltd and The Really Useful Company, she opened her own office, Nina Lannan Associates. She has extensive experience in touring, having managed multiple tours of CATS, Mamma Mia! and Billy Elliot, among many others. Most recently on Broadway, she has managed EVITA, Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway and Clybourne Park, among others.

Matthew D. Loeb has served as International President of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) since July 31, 2008, when he was unanimously elected. He has been a member of the United Scenic Artists Local 829 since 1989, a member of Local 52 since 1996 and is a Charter Member of Local 491. He is credited with devising and implementing an organizing and bargaining strategy that laid the foundation for the chartering of numerous new locals and the addition of thousands of new members, providing them with meaningful health and retirement benefits for the first time.

James M. Nederlander is the chairman of the Nederlander Organization, which was founded in 1912 by his father David T. Nederlander. At the age of 17, Jimmy, as he is universally known, joined the family theatre business, learning the trade from the bottom up – sweeping the lobby, working as an usher and a stagehand and selling tickets in the box office. In 1964, he headed to New York and made the bold move to purchase the Palace Theatre, a vaudeville house that had gone into decline. In the decades since, his company has grown into one of the largest privately held theatre owner/operators and live entertainment producers/presenters in the world.

Chita Rivera, an accomplished and versatile actress, singer and dancer, has won two Tony Awards as Best Leading Actress in a Musical and received seven additional Tony nominations. She recently starred in the Broadway and touring productions of The Dancer’s Life. Her career is highlighted by starring roles in Bye Bye Birdie, The Rink (Tony Award), Chicago, Kiss of the Spider Woman (Tony Award), and the original Broadway casts of Guys and Dolls and Mr. Wonderful, among others. This fall, she will star in the Broadway revival of The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

Charles Strouse’s first Broadway musical was the 1960 hit Bye Bye Birdie, for which he won a Tony Award for Best Score. He next wrote All American, followed in 1964 by Golden Boy and in 1966, It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's Superman! In 1970, he won his second Tony Award for Applause. In 1977, he adapted the comic strip “Little Orphan Annie” into the musical phenomenon Annie, which garnered another Tony for Strouse, as well as two Grammys. Annie is slated to be revived on Broadway this fall.

As a director, choreographer and performer, Tommy Tune is celebrating his golden decade on the great American stage. He has received 9 Tony Awards, the National Medal of Arts, 8 Drama Desk Awards, 3 Astaire Awards and multiple lifetime achievement awards. Mr. Tune was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame by Gwen Verdon, and in 2009, he was officially designated a New York Living Landmark. He has also been honored with his own star on the legendary Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Nick Wyman has been President of Actors’ Equity Association since May 2010. For over twenty years before that, he was a member of Equity’s governing council and has served on the negotiating teams for numerous contracts: Production (several times), Off-Broadway, LORT, ANTC. For the past eight years, he has been a Trustee of the Equity-League Pension and Health Funds. He is also a Trustee of the Actors’ Fund and of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids. This season, he will appear in his sixteenth Broadway show, Rebecca the Musical. Previous Broadway shows include the original cast of The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables and Catch Me If You Can, among others.
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