Attorney Seth Gelblum, vocal coach Joan Lader and costume shop proprietor Sally Ann Parsons have been named the 2016 recipients of the Tony Honors for Excellence, the special annual awards handed out in conjunction with the Tony Awards.
The Tony Honors spotlight members of the theater industry whose work doesn’t qualify them for any of the ceremony’s competitive awards, including publicists, production photographers and agents.
Attorney Gelblum (pictured, center), a partner at Loeb & Loeb and the chair of its theater department, works in stage, film and TV, with a client list that encompasses producers, directors, playwrights, composers and investors. Over a career of some 30 years, he’s represented parties involved in a slew of Broadway’s biggest productions including “The Lion King,” “Chicago,” “The Book of Mormon,” “Angels in America,” “The Producers” and “Jersey Boys.” He’s also been chairman of the board at the New Dramatists since 1999, and is a board member for the Canavan Foundation and Lawyers for Children.
As a vocal coach, Lader (pictured, left) has spent more than 30 years providing training and rehabilitation for a wide variety of Broadway performers, working with everyone from Patti LuPone to Sutton Foster to Tonya Pinkins. A frequent guest lecturer at institutions like Columbia University and the Berklee College of Music, she’s currently a consultant at New York University and also affiliated with the National Young Arts Foundation.
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Parsons (pictured, right), meanwhile, is the head of Parsons-Meares, the costume shop she founded with her husband James Meares in 1980. The company has produced costumes for prominent shows including “Cats,” “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Sunset Boulevard,” “The Lion King,” “Wicked,” “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” and “Aladdin.” Since Meares died in 2008, she’s been the sole owner of the company.
The Tony Honors will be presented at a private cocktail event to be held this year at the Diamond Horseshoe on June 6, the Monday before the June 12 Tony ceremony. Nominees in competitive categories for this year’s Tony Awards will be announced May 3.