Andrew Lloyd Webber will be honored at the American Theatre Wing’s 2018 annual gala in September, the organization, which co-presents the Tony Awards, announced today.
“There was only one way we could follow up last year’s centennial blow-out, and that was by paying tribute to one of the great, unstoppable forces shaping both the theatrical landscape and popular culture over the past half-century: Andrew Lloyd Webber,” said Heather Hitchens, President and CEO of the American Theatre Wing.
Continued Hitchens, “We are honoring Andrew for his immeasurable artistic contributions, and also for his unwavering commitment to arts education. The work he is doing on behalf of underserved young people is absolutely vital to the future health of both our industry and our society. We all feel incredibly lucky to count him as one of our most valuable partners on this front, and the work that we’ve accomplished together is some of the most meaningful, personally satisfying work we’ve ever done.”
The gala takes places at Manhattan’s Cipriani 42nd Street on Monday, Sept. 24, and celebrates 101 years of the Wing’s support of American theater. The event will feature what the Wing called a “star-studded musical tribute” to Webber’s body of work. And that’s an extensive body: Cats, Evita, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Phantom of the Opera and Sunset Boulevard, among others.
Webber donated $1.3 million in 2016 to the American Theatre Wing, three-year grant to support theatre education opportunities for diverse and underserved young people and public schools across the U.S. The Webber Initiative has provided more than $1 million in grants and scholarships for schools to enhance theater programs and training.
Funds raised at the Gala provide support for the Wing’s programs, which include theater education, intern networks, grants, and various other theater-related endeavors. The group founded the Tony Awards, which are co-presented with The Broadway League.