Bebe Neuwirth, Jennifer Grey, Tovah Feldshuh, Richard Thomas, Alysia Reiner, Lee Roy Reams and David Alan Basche were among the Broadway stars who helped honor Joel Grey and Harvey Weinstein at the 33rd Annual Fred & Adele Astaire Awards. Patricia Watt, the Producer of the Astaire Awards and The Douglas Watt Family Fund for the Performing Arts, as well as The Fred Astaire International Dance Studios, presented the evening. Two-Time Drama Desk Award nominated actress Christina Bianco hosted.
David Schiff, Jean Shafiroff, Countess Luann DeLesseps and Wendy Federman were honorary chairs. Choreographers Joe Lanteri and Joe Layton lent their skills. Patricia Watt and Lanteri welcomed the crowd at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in New York City. Alix Michel, Sara Johnson Kaplan, Sharon Bush and Suzette Charles were among those who attended. For the first time, the awards were live-streamed across the United States.
The Awards honor Broadway excellence in dance and feature more than an hour’s worth of Broadway’s best. The evening benefits The Douglas Watt Family Fund for the Performing Arts, a 501 (c)(3) public charity, which provides Dance/Movement Therapy services to students in NYC District 75 Public Schools.
Actor Richard Thomas discussed the legacy of Douglas Watt, the namesake of the Astaire Award’s Lifetime Achievement Award. “He always made it his business to highlight the extraordinary,” Thomas said, about the founder of the Drama Desk and Drama Critics circle as well as the Astaire Awards. “He would be thrilled that it’s being given to extraordinary song and dance man Joel Grey,” added the actor.
“Finding Neverland” choreographer and Astaire Awards nominee Mia Michaels presented the award to its producer, Weinstein. “Not only was he the father of ‘Finding Neverland,'” she said. “He was my teacher and my bad ass big brother.”
For more information, visit www.theastaireawards.org.