Two-time Tony Award winner Chita Rivera and prolific Broadway composer-producer Andrew Lloyd Webber have been selected to receive Special Tony Awards at this year’s ceremony. The honors will recognize their lifetime achievement in the theater. The Tony Awards Administration Committee unveiled the news today and the pair will be honored during the 72nd annual Tony Awards, hosted by Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban, on June 10 at Radio City Music Hall.
Rivera, a trained ballerina, broke out as Anita in West Side Story and has 10 Tony noms overall, including the wins for The Rink and Kiss of the Spider Woman. She’s starred in the likes of Bye Bye Birdie, Chicago and the original Broadway casts of Guys and Dolls, Can-Can, Seventh Heaven and Mr. Wonderful. She recently starred on Broadway in The Visit and the revivals of The Mystery of Edwin Drood and Nine.
Webber last year tied Rodgers and Hammerstein last year with a record four shows running on Broadway. His credits include Cats, Evita, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Phantom of the Opera, Sunset Boulevard and School of Rock; Phantom and School of Rock are currently on the Main Stem. The Brit has seven Tonys and seven Olivier Awards.
“The cultural impact that Chita and Andrew have had on the international theatre community and on theatre education, has been immeasurable,” said Heather Hitchens, president & CEO of the American Theatre Wing, and Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League, the Tony co-organizers. “They are groundbreakers, they are inspirations and we are truly honored to recognize these two incredible legends with the Tony Awards for Lifetime Achievement.”
The Tonys are nearing the cut-off date for this year’s awards — it’s Thursday for eligible productions. Nominations will be revealed May 1.