by Ellis Nassour

    A.R. Gurney, Elizabeth McCann, Brian Murray, Len Cariou, Estelle Parsons and Santo Loquasto join the prestigious ranks of the Theatre Hall of Fame.

    [Photo: Aubrey Reuben]

    Eight members from the various walks of theaterland were inducted into the prestigious ranks of the Theatre Hall of Fame on January 24th. The 2004 honorees at the 34th annual presentation were actor Len Cariou, playwright A.R. Gurney, the late actor Gregory Hines, set/costume designer Santo Loquasto, producer Elizabeth McCann, actor Ian McKellen, actor Brian Murray and actress Estelle Parsons.

    Those honored from the years preceding the establishment of the THOF were playwright/ director/producer Rachel Crothers, playwright Susan Glaspell, impresario/lyricist Billy Rose and actress Diana Sands.

    The ceremony took place in the Hall of Fame rotunda of the Gershwin Theatre. Tony and Drama Desk-winning actress Marian Seldes, not only a THOF member but also a spokesperson for the Hall of Fame Dorothy Streslin Collection, was host. Ms. Seldes also paid a special tribute to the late Jerry Orbach, who had been set to host the event.

    Presenters included Kate Burton, Lynn Meadow of Manhattan Theatre Club, theatre owner/producer Jimmy Nederland Jr., Elaine Orbach and director George C. Wolfe of the Public Theatre.

    Among the Who's Who of the theater world in attendance were Edward Albee, Roger Berlind, Tandy Cronin, Michael Cumpsty, former New York City mayor David Dinkins, Sean Dugan, Dasha Epstein, Ben Gazzara, Barnard Hughes, Miss Anne Kaufman, Roberta Maxwell, Dina Merrill, Chase Miskin, James Nederlander Sr., Daryl Roth, Jordan Roth, Helen Stenborg, Frances Sternhagen, Tom Jones, Elizabeth Wilson and Karen Ziemba.

    The ceremony was followed by a gala fund-raising dinner at Sardi's Restaurant.

    To be eligible for induction into the Theatre Hall of Fame, artists must have five major credits and at least 25 years experience on Broadway or in American theater. Inductees are selected by ballot among the 350 voting members of the THOF and the American Theater Critics Association. The Theatre Hall of Fame was founded in 1971 by Earl Blackwell, James M. Nederlander and Arnold Weissberger.

    Located since 1971 in the Gershwin Theatre upper lobby, the Theatre Hall of Fame collection of memorabilia donated by inductees has just been more than doubled. The collection has been named in honor of the late socialite and arts patron Dorothy Strelsin.


    Tuesday, January 25, 2005 at 1:00 PM | Item Link

    Ellis Nassour is an international media journalist, and author of Honky Tonk Angel: The Intimate Story of Patsy Cline, which he has adapted into a musical for the stage. Visit www.patsyclinehta.com.

    He can be reached at [email protected]

    The last five columns written by Ellis Nassour:

    07/02/2010: Summer in the City: Fireworks on the Hudson Launch a Season with Plenty to Do and See

    06/13/2010: The 64th Annual Tony Awards Celebrating Broadway Achievement

    06/10/2010: Tony Honoree Marian Seldes: Grand Duse of the American Theater

    06/08/2010: Starry, Starry Nights [Hopefully] with the Bard; Broadway by the Year Celebrates 10th Anniversary; Old Flames Reignite [Onstage]; Summer in and Out of the City; Stars Rally for Dancers; Cast CDs and Re-releases; New to DVD

    05/21/2010: Patti LuPone Hosts Sunday's Drama Desk Awards; A Starry, Starry Season; Tovah Feldshuh, Sherman Brothers Honored; Broadway By the Year Season Finale

    For a listing of all features written by Ellis, click here.