Stephen Schwartz, Ur-Hedwig John Cameron Mitchell Will Receive Special Tony Awards

John Cameron Mitchell added “starred on Broadway” to the long list of credits attached to his trailblazing musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch that already included written by, co-created (with Stephen Trask), starred in the original off-Broadway production, and directed and starred in the film adaptation. In recognition of his Broadway run in the role (which opened last year with Neil Patrick Harris playing the title role of a mostly-transitioned formerly male East Berlin would-be rock star), he will be given a Special Tony Award. Mitchell’s run began January 21 and ended on Sunday in the show, which won four Tonys last June, including best musical revival.

And Wicked composer-lyricist Stephen Schwartz will receive the Isabelle Stevenson Award,  presented annually to a member of 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,” according to the announcement.

The citations were revealed today just before the Tony nominating committee went into seclusion to vote on the slate of nominees for the regular 2015 Tony Awards. Their choices will be announced with appropriate puffs of smoke, not from the Vatican but from the Paramount Hotel, on Tuesday morning. Bruce Willis and Mary-Louise Parker will do the honors, which will be telecast on CBS This Morning beginning at 8:30 A.M.

Regarding John Cameron Mitchell, a joint statement from Heather Hitchens and Charlotte St. Martin, president and executive director respectively of Tony co-producers the American Theatre Wing and the Broadway League, read, “John’s return to Hedwig and the Angry Inch is one for the history books. He…returned to Broadway to star as Hedwig this season after a series of rave performances by Neil Patrick Harris, Andrew Rannells and Michael C. Hall. This is a remarkable undertaking, and we are honored to recognize his outstanding success with this honor.” Darren Criss takes over the role on Wednesday.

Three other non-voting Tonys were announced earlier: Actor/director/choreographer Tommy Tune will receive the Tony for Lifetime Achievement; Broadway press agent Adrian Bryan-Brown will receive the  Tony Honors For Excellence in Theatre; and the Cleveland Play House will be recognized as outstanding Regional Theatre.

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