The lifetime achievement honors are one category of a handful of special Tony Awards that are doled out as part of the theater industry’s biggest night. Along with the list of competitive awards that make up the night’s main event, Tony Honors are handed out to industry figures who are not eligible in any of the competition categories, and another special award is given for outstanding commitment to humanitarian or charitable causes.
Rivera is one of Broadway’s best-loved performers, beginning her career as a dancer and making her Broadway debut in the original 1950 cast of “Guys and Dolls” before her breakout role came as Anita in the original 1957 production of “West Side Story.” Her credits also encompass noteworthy titles such as “Bye Bye Birdie,” “Chicago,” “Kiss of the Spider Woman” and “The Rink,” with later outings including 2015 musical “The Visit” and her 2005 run in own her stage bio, “Chita Rivera: A Dancer’s Life.” She won acting Tonys for “The Rink” in 1984 and “Kiss of the Spider Woman” in 1993.
Lloyd Webber, meanwhile, is one of the very few Broadway composers with a marquee name, penning the music for massive, globally popular successes like “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Evita,” “Cats” and “The Phantom of the Opera.” Thirty years into its run, “Phantom” is the longest-running show on Broadway, while Lloyd Webber’s “School of Rock” has been on the boards since 2015 and “Superstar” was recently seen in a highly publicized, well-received live broadcast on NBC. As a composer and producer, he’s won a total of seven Tonys.
The 2018 Tony Awards — hosted by Josh Groban and Sara Bareilles — are set to air live on CBS June 10, with nominations due to be announced May 1.