Chita Rivera, Andrew Lloyd Webber set for lifetime Tonys

Chita Rivera, Andrew Lloyd Webber set for lifetime Tonys

April 24 (UPI) — Actor Chita Rivera and composer/producer Andrew Lloyd Webber have been named the 2018 recipients of Special Tony Awards for Lifetime Achievement in the Theater.

The honors are to be bestowed at the 72nd annual Tony Awards ceremony June 10 at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall.

The Tonys gala celebrates excellence on Broadway. Josh Groban and Sara Bareilles are hosting this year’s event, which will air live on CBS. Nominations in competitive categories are to be announced May 1.

“The cultural impact that Chita and Andrew have had on the international theater community and on theater education, has been immeasurable,” Heather Hitchens, president and chief executive officer of the American Theatre Wing, and Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, said in a joint statement. “They are ground-breakers, they are inspirations and we are truly honored to recognize these two incredible legends with the Tony Awards for Lifetime Achievement.”

Rivera, 85, said her interest in performing began at a young age when she trained in ballet in Washington, D.C.

“When I came to New York and auditioned for George Balanchine, who gave me a scholarship to the School of American Ballet, I could never have imagined the amazing journey I have had in the theater. I would not trade my life in the theater for anything as the theater IS life,” she said. “I am deeply honored to be recognized with the Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theater this year.”

“I am completely overwhelmed as a Brit to be honored by the Broadway community at the Tonys, particularly at the time when musicals are flying higher in their spiritual home New York than they have for two generations,” Webber, 70, said.

Congratulations are in order for seven-time Tony Award® winning composer @OfficialALW, a recipient of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award. #TonyAwards2018 #ThisIsBroadway— The Tony Awards (@TheTonyAwards) April 23, 2018