The Nortons are 30 years old. I went to some of the very early Norton award ceremonies. I distinctly remember Ian McKellen getting his award on a bare stage at the Colonial Theatre. (It is a pretty famous moment.) I have other, jumbled, memories of other ceremonies over the years. But, like many award ceremonies, certain awards stand out. It is always gratifying when someone get recognized for a body of work. We already know that is going to happen three times tonight.
Tommy Tune will be getting a Lifetime Achievement Award. I saw his Grand Hotel during its Boston tryout at the Colonial. I also saw his Bye Bye Birdie with Ann Reinking in 1992, also at the Colonial. I remember them both well. I especially remember he and Ann Reinking dancing in primary colored costumes, doing kicks that felt like they were going to hit the top of the proscenium.
The Charlestown Working Theater is getting a special citation for “adventurous collaborations that provide unique insights into theater from around the world.” This theater is more than a building, it is an incredible part of the web of our community. The work they support, the training they provide, the companies they co-produce, the new model of business they operate under–these are just some of the reasons they deserve this citiation.
And Kate Snodgrass. I wrote about her last week in my Boston Theater Marathon post. But the marathon is just one of her many accomplishments. This 2001 StageSource Theatre Hero deserves her Sustained Excellence award, and I look forward to being in the room to add to the applause.
And so, I look forward to hearing these three speeches, and the others. Will I see you tonight at the Nortons?