Marin Mazzie & King Kong

Marin Mazzie, King Kong & more to receive 2019 Special Tony Awards

The 73rd Annual Tony Awards ceremony will be held on Sunday, June 9, 2019 at Radio City Music Hall.

Tom Millward
Tom Millward

Ahead of tomorrow's eagerly awaited Tony nominations announcement for all of this year's competitive categories, a number of Special Tony Award recipients were announced today.

The late three-time Tony-nominated actress Marin Mazzie, who sadly passed away last September after battling ovarian cancer, will receive a Special Tony Award for her outstanding contributions to the theatre and community posthumously. Ms. Mazzie was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 2017 and earned Tony Award nominations for her performances in Kiss Me, Kate in 2000, Ragtime in 1998, and Passion in 1994. She was last seen on the Broadway stage in 2016 as Anna Leonowens in Lincoln Center Theater's acclaimed revival of My Fair Lady.

Also being honored this year are Sonny Tilders and Creature Technology Company, who are the creators of the 20 feet tall, 2,000 pound puppet at the center of the Broadway premiere of King Kong, which requires a total of 13 highly-skilled puppeteers to operate at every Broadway performance.

The last Special Tony Award for "outstanding contribution" will go to musical director and arranger Jason Michael Webb, who provided the glorious arrangements that were heard this season in Manhattan Theatre Club's Broadway premiere of Choir Boy.

Heather Hitchens, President of the American Theatre Wing and Charlotte St. Martin, president of The Broadway League, released the following joint statement: "We are honored to recognize these three Special Tony Awards this season. These artists have demonstrated outstanding passion and dedication. Sonny and Creature Technology Company's "Kong" embodies extraordinary design, technical complexities and sophisticated emotional capabilities. Jason's a capella arrangements in Choir Boy are transformative. Marin was and is a beacon of light for our community, by advocating for women's health issues."

In addition, this year's Regional Theatre Tony Award will go to TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, who will also receive a grant of $25,000.

Founding Artistic Director Robert Kelley, who is launching his astonishing 50th and final season as artistic director, commented: "I am deeply honored to accept the Regional Theatre Tony Award for TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. I can think of no better way to begin TheatreWorks's 50th Anniversary Season than with this highest honor, a testament to the passion and imaginative spirit of the artists whose work has been presented on TheatreWorks's stages. There is a joy here, a warmth to the creative process that many have found inspiring. For me, that joy has been worth a lifetime. We dedicate this award to the many thousands of brilliant theatre artists and fiercely committed staff, trustees, and community supporters who have shared our work for half a century."

Finally, the four recipients of the 2019 Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre will go to Broadway Inspirational Voices (founded by Michael McElroy), Peter Entin, retired Vice President of Theatre Operations for the Shubert Organization, Joseph Blakely Forbes, Founder and President of Scenic Art Studios, Inc. and FDNY - Engine 54 / Ladder 4 / Battalion 9.

Heather Hitchens and Charlotte St. Martin commented: "We are thrilled to present the 2019 Tony Honors to such an incredible group this year - Broadway Inspirational Voices, Peter Entin, Joseph Blakely Forbes and the FDNY Engine 54, Ladder 4, Battalion 9 are the unsung heroes of our community. Their contributions to our industry are invaluable and they are each beyond deserving of this recognition."

Established in 1990, The Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre aim to reward an individual or an organization whose outstanding achievments are not eligible in any of the established Tony Award categories.

(Marin Mazzie photo by Paul Kolnik / King Kong photo by Matthew Murphy)

Originally published on

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