Sheldon Harnick, the lyricist of Broadway musicals including “Fiddler on the Roof,” and Circle Repertory Company founder Marshall W. Mason will be the recipients of the 2016 Tony Awards for Life Achievement in the Theater.
Currently represented on Broadway with two well-received revivals, “Fiddler on the Roof” and “She Loves Me,” Harnick could well have a couple of shows in the race for competitive Tonys this year. He receives the annual special Tony for work that has made him one of the more recognizable names in musical theater, thanks in large part to perennial favorite “Fiddler.” He’s best known for his work with composer Jerry Bock, with whom he wrote “Fiddler,” “She Loves Me,” “Fiorello!” and “The Apple Tree,” among others. Previously he’s won two Tonys, one for “Fiorello!” and one for “Fiddler,” as well as a Pulitzer for “Fiorello!”
Mason, meanwhile, will take home the trophy for a body of work that includes a 44-year collaboration with playwright Lanford Wilson, directing Wilson plays such as “Talley’s Folly” and “Fifth of July.” For many years, Circle Rep was a significant pipeline of new American plays, and also played a role in the discovery of notable talent such as William Hurt, Kathy Bates, Christopher Reeves and Jeff Daniels.
The lifetime achievement Tonys will be presented during the 70th Annual Tony Awards telecast, set for June 12. With Harnick and Mason joining a roster of pre-announced award winners including the recipients of the 2016 Tony Honors, the nominations for the slate of competitive awards are due to be announced May 3.