Drama League: Vanessa Williams and Michael Urie to host ceremony



Vanessa Williams (Sondheim on Sondheim) and her "Ugly Betty" co-star Michael Urie (The Temperamentals) will serve as co-hosts for The 76th Annual Drama League Awards Ceremony and Luncheon at 12pm (noon) on 21 May 2010 at the Grand Ballroom of the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square.

The nominations will be announced on 20 Apr 2010 at Sardi's Restaurant.

The Drama League Awards pays tribute to the season's best performers by including the nominees of The Distinguished Performance Award on a dais. The 76th Annual Drama League Awards dais will feature approximately 60-70 stars from the 2009-10 Broadway and Off-Broadway season.

In addition to The Distinguished Performance Award, The Drama League's 3,000 members vote on four other annual competitive awards: Distinguished Production of a Play, Distinguished Production of a Musical, Distinguished Revival of a Play and Distinguished Revival of a Musical.

Last season, Drama League Awards were presented to Geoffrey Rush (Distinguished Pe/rformance), God of Carnage (Distinguished Production of a Play), Billy Elliot (Distinguished Production of .[a Musical), Blithe Spirit (Distinguished Revival of a Play) and Hair (Distinguished Revival of a Musical).

The first Drama League Award was presented to actress Katharine Cornell in 1935, making it the oldest national theatre honor, predating the Tony Awards by twelve years, as well as the first audience-selected award for distinguished performance in a theatrical production.

Throughout the past 75 years, the Distinguished Performance Award has been accorded to a roster of theatre legends such as Rosemary Harris, Christopher Plummer, Sir Ian McKellen, Bernadette Peters, James Earl Jones, John Lithgow, Stockard Channing, Glenn Close, Bebe Neuwirth, Cherry Jones, Mary-Louise Parker, Liam Neeson, Harvey Fierstein, Norbert Leo Butz, Christine Ebersole and Patti LuPone, among others.

The Drama League was founded in 1916 as an association of theatre professionals and patrons dedicated to encouraging the finest in professional theatre and has since then developed into the theatre's premiere service organization.

Vanessa WilliamsMichael Urie