Andrew Lloyd Webber and Chita Rivera will each receive a 2018 special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theater.
The lifetime achievement award is given to “honor an individual for the body of his or her work.” This is one of several non-competitive awards given out by the Tony Awards, which include the Special Tony Award, The Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award and Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre.
Rivera has won two Tony Awards for Best Leading Actress in a Musical and has additionally been nominated eight times. Lloyd Webber has won seven Tonys as both a composer and a producer.
“The cultural impact that Chita and Andrew have had on the international theatre community and on theatre education, has been immeasurable,” Heather Hitchens, president and chief executive of the American Theatre Wing and Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, said in a joint statement. “They are groundbreakers, they are inspirations and we are truly honored to recognize these two incredible legends with the Tony Awards for Lifetime Achievement.”
James Earl Jones received the special Tony last year. Sheldon Harnick and Marshall W. Mason received it in 2016 and Tommy Tune received it in 2015.
“My performing aspirations began with ballet training as a child in Washington, DC. 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 theatre,” Rivera said in the press release.
“I am completely overwhelmed as a Brit to be honoured 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,” Lloyd Webber said in the release.
Hosted by Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban, the 2018 Tony Awards will take place on June 10 at Radio City Music Hall.