Ten inductees into New York’s Theater Hall Of Fame were honored Feb. 11 at the Gershwin Theater. The new Hall Of Famers are: noted acting coach Robert Lewis, Pearl Bailey, Leland Hayward, set designer Tony Walton, Paddy Chayefsky, Hall of Fame founder Earl Blackwell, Tommy Tune, Chita Rivera, and songwriters John Kander and Fred Ebb. The Arnold Weissberger Award For Lifetime Achievement went to longtime Broadway reporter Radie Harris. Presenters included Joanne Woodward, Louis Bellson, Garson Kanin, Liza Minnelli and Gwen Verdon, while Lauren Bacall, Patricia Neal and Dom DeLuise, among others, looked on.
Producers Alexander H. Cohen and Hildy Parks are entitled to share in any subsidiary benefits from “Accomplice,” per arbitrator’s decision last week. Rupert Holmes and Norman Kurtz, author and co-producer of the flop thriller, had sought to exclude Cohen, who closed the show at the Richard Rodgers Theater last June 10, after six rotten weeks. They also wanted $25,000 in royalties. Arbitrator ordered Cohen to pay Holmes and Kurtz $4,758.50 and refused to change the prior standard agreement with Cohen and Parks.
Playwright-scriptwriter Horton Foote will receive the 1991 Alley Award during May 6 ceremonies at the Alley Theater. The award, which has previously gone to such luminaries as Arthur Miller, Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy, will be given during ceremonies that reportedly will be attended by such notables as Tommy Lee Jones, Carlin Glynn, Betty Buckley, writer-director Peter Masterson (who brought Foote’s “Trip to Bountiful” to the screen), Tess Harper (co-star of “Tender Mercies,” an Oscar-winning Foote screenplay), “American Playhouse” producer Lindsay Law and Jim Lehrer.
Theater Under the Stars executive director Frank M. Young fully expected a $500,000 deficit for the world premiere production of the Arthur Kopit-Maury Yeston musical “Phantom Of The Opera” (yet another stage adaptation of “The Phantom Of The Opera”). But the production, budgeted at $1.5 million, is now expected to come “very close” to breaking even, thanks to holdover performances – the show was skedded to end its near capacity 23-perforcnance run Feb. 16 – and larger than expected ticket sales.
Edward Albee returns to the Alley Theater for “Albee Directs Beckett,” a Feb. 20 to March 17 double bill of plays – “Krapp’s Last Tape” and “Ohio Impromptu” – by the late Samuel Beckett. Albee appeared at the Alley last season to direct a revival of his “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” that subsequently toured Lithuania and Leningrad. In conjunction with “Albee Directs Beckett,” the Alley Theatre will sponsor a March 11 forum titled “Beckett on Stage.” Participants will include New York Times critic Mel Gussow; Robert Scanion, literary manager of the American Repertory Theatre; Joanne Akalaitis, artistic associate for the New York Shakespeare Festival; Beckett scholar Ruby Cohn; and actor-director Alvin Epstein, who played Lucky in the original Broadway production of “Waiting for Godot.”
Lucy Pollak has left the Odyssey Theater Ensemble, where she had most recently served as co-producer to artistic director Ron Sossi. Pollak, Sossi and Beth Hogan have formed a development company, Chimera Entertainment, for film and tv projects. She will be replaced by Jody Roman.
Members of the new WIT advisory board include Bonnie Franklin, Teri Garr, Marilu Henner, Mari Lyn Henry, Jean Hackett, Penny Johnson Jerald, Dan Lauria, Gary S. Levine, Viveca Lindfors, Dorothy Lyman, Mary Jo Slater, Robin Strasser, Brynn Thayer, Joan Van Ark and Stephanie Zimbalist.
Richard G. Engel and Thomas E. Tucker have been appointed to the board of directors of the Orange County Performing Arts Center, filling recent vacancies. In addition, Mary L. Hornbuckle, Gary N. Babick and Robert S. Divine were appointed as ex officio members.
Ticket top for “The Phantom Of The Opera” goes to $C91 ($79) March 5, from current $C85 ($73.91). Co-producer Live Entertainment Corp. set a Canadian legit ticket top record at C$75 ($65) when the show opened at the city’s Pantages theatre in September 1989.
Not-for-profit Theatre Passe Muraille, currently $C100,000 ($86,956) in the red, had to put up its two-stage downtown playhouse as collateral for a $C350,000 ($304,347) line of bank credit.