Baayork Lee to Receive Special Tony Award

Baayork Lee, the actor-director-choreographer who originated the role of Connie in “A Chorus Line,” will receive the 2017 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award, which honors a member of the theater industry who has made significant contributions to charitable causes.

Lee, who’s directed and choreographed productions of “A Chorus Line” all over the world, will receive the award for her work with the National Asian Artists Project and in international music-theater education around the world.

Lee is the founder of the National Asian Artists Projects, which showcases Asian-American theater artists and organizes educational initiatives and community outreach, producing stagings of classic musicals such as “Oklahoma!,” “Carousel” and “Hello, Dolly!” with all-Asian casts. Lee has also created music theater schools in Seoul and Tokyo, as well as the Theater Club at the Yung Wing Elementary School in Manhattan’s Chinatown.

Lee’s theater work also includes directing and choreographing national and international productions of “The King and I,” “Bombay Dreams” and “Jesus Christ Superstar,” among many other titles. She’s staged recent productions of “Chorus Line” in Austria, Chile and at the Hollywood Bowl in L.A.

Lee’s Tony is part of a lineup of 2017 special Tonys that also includes Tony Honors for two veteran Broadway general managers, Nina Lannan and Alan Wasser. The 71st Annual Tony Awards are set for June 11 in a ceremony to be hosted by Kevin Spacey.


Popular on Variety

More Legit

  • David-Alan-Grier-Blair-Underwood

    David Alan Grier and Blair Underwood to Star in 'A Soldier's Play' on Broadway

    David Alan Grier and Blair Underwood will star in a Broadway production of Pulitzer-Prize winning drama “A Soldier’s Play.” The play, written by Charles Fuller, is set in 1944 and follows a murder mystery centered around the death of black Sergeant Vernon C. Waters (played by Grier) who is found on a Louisiana army base. [...]

  • The Inheritance review

    'The Inheritance' Announces Broadway Cast

    After an Olivier-winning run in London, “The Inheritance” is gearing up for its Broadway debut. The two-part epic has set the cast for its transfer from the West End to the Great White Way. John Benjamin Hickey, Paul Hilton, Samuel H. Levine, Andrew Burnap and Kyle Soller are among the cast members reprising their roles [...]

  • Patrick Page, Amber Grey, Eva Noblezada,

    'Hadestown' Announces 2020 National Tour

    ‘Hadestown’, the eight-time Tony award winning Broadway musical, is set for a national tour in 2020. The show will stop in more than 30 cities including Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New Orleans, and more. The musical is a stage adaptation of the Greek myths of Orpheus and Eurydice and King Hades and his wife [...]

  • Jake Gyllenhaal

    Listen: Why Jake Gyllenhaal Is His 'Best Self' in the Theater

    Looking for the best possible version of Jake Gyllenhaal? You’ll find it onstage, according to the actor himself. Listen to this week’s podcast below: “I am my best self when I’m working in the theater,” Gyllenhaal said on the latest episode Stagecraft, Variety’s theater podcast, on which he appeared with Carrie Cracknell, the director of [...]

  • Photo: Jeremy Daniel

    'The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical' Gets Broadway Run

    “The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical” is Broadway bound. The musical adaptation of the franchise about a teenager who discovers he’s the son of Poseidon hits the Great White Way on Sept. 20 ahead of an Oct. 16 opening night. It comes on the heels of an extensive, nationwide tour that took the show [...]

  • Tom Sturridge Jake Gyllenhaal

    Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge Celebrate 'Sea Wall/A Life' With Star-Studded Opening Night

    A star-studded audience looked on as Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge returned to the stage for their double monologue performance in “Sea Wall/A Life.” Theater-goers and celebs including Anne Hathaway, Tom Hiddleston and John Mulaney gathered in Manhattan’s Hudson Theatre for opening night, celebrating a show tackling grief, birth and death through the eyes of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content