The Tony Awards Administration Committee has announced that they will present the 2017 Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre to two of the most successful General Managers in the Broadway community – Nina Lannan and Alan Wasser.
The Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre were established in 1990 and are awarded annually to institutions, individuals and/or organizations that have demonstrated extraordinary achievement in theatre, but are not eligible in any of the established Tony Award categories.
“Nina and Alan are the driving forces behind some of Broadway’s most cherished and long-running musicals, and their individual contributions to the theatrical landscape, not only on Broadway but around the world, are exemplary. We are thrilled to honor them this year,” said Heather Hitchens, President of the American Theatre Wing, and Charlotte St. Martin, President of The Broadway League, in a statement.
Nina Lannan has served as executive producer and general manager on more than 50 Broadway productions since she began as the assistant general manager on the musical Cats in 1980. Nina has the distinction of being the first woman to Chair the Broadway League, the 80-year old national trade association for the Broadway theatre industry. In 1977, after graduating from UC Berkeley, Nina's first professional job was in the stage management department at San Francisco Opera during the heyday of Kurt Adler's leadership. Nina moved to New York in 1979 and worked with the BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) Theatre Company for three months, headed by David Jones, before being hired by R. Tyler Gatchell, Jr. and Peter Neufeld at Gatchell and Neufeld, Ltd., the legendary general management office. It was the start of Nina's association with the musical Cats, which she worked on for the 18-year original run on Broadway, that marked the beginning of a cherished mentorship by the Shubert Organization's Bernard B. Jacobs and Philip J. Smith. In 1993 Nina began working with The Really Useful Company as its in-house general manager for all its productions in North and South America and in 1998 she opened her own office, Nina Lannan Associates, before founding Bespoke Theatricals with Maggie Brohn, Amy Jacobs and Devin Keudell in 2011. During her time working on Broadway, Nina has general managed dozens of shows and multiple tours including Cats, Annie Get Your Gun, Starlight Express, Sunset Boulevard, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Mamma Mia!, Dirty Dancing, The Color Purple, Legally Blonde, 9 to 5, and Billy Elliot. In addition to general management, Nina served as the executive producer of School of Rock, Motown: The Musical, and the long-running hit musical Mamma Mia! for its entire Broadway run.
Alan Wasser was the founder and chairman of Alan Wasser Associates, comprising three companies which specialized in theatrical general management, tour booking, and tour marketing across North America. A native of Portland, OR, Alan earned his bachelor’s degree at Columbia University, majoring in music composition and orchestration, and got his start in the professional theatre at Circle in the Square – first as subscription manager and later as assistant managing director. After years of gaining experience on the road with touring productions, Alan was appointed general manager of productions for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 1985. In 1986, Alan Wasser Associates general managed all of Cameron Mackintosh’s Broadway and U.S. touring productions, including Les Misérables (Broadway and three touring productions), The Phantom of the Opera (Broadway and three touring productions), Miss Saigon (Broadway and two touring productions), Five Guys Named Moe, Swan Lake, Putting It Together, Martin Guerre, and Oklahoma! With his business partners Allan Williams, Aaron Lustbader and Mark Shacket, he later formed Foresight Theatrical LLC, which offers executive producing, general managing, booking, press, and other theatrical resources for stage productions both in the United States and overseas. Broadway production have included Fosse, Seussical, Sweet Smell of Success, Hollywood Arms, All Shook Up, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Chita Rivera – The Dancer’s Life, A Chorus Line, Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me, Cry Baby the Musical, Journey’s End, Thurgood, Oleanna, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, Lysistrata Jones, and so many more. Foresight Theatrical was the General Manager for the Tony Awards® from 2009-2012. Alan was a longtime member of the Executive Committee of the League of American Theatres and Producers (now called The Broadway League), and also served on the board of Playwrights Horizons. He is an amateur composer and in 1996 released a CD, Music from Laurel Hill.
The American Theatre Wing’s 71st Annual Tony Awards, hosted by Tony and Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Spacey, will air live from Radio City Music Hall on the CBS Television Network on Sunday, June 11, 2017 (8:00-11:00 PM, ET/delayed PT). Or stream the Tony Awards live across platforms with the CBS All Access subscription service. (Live stream is available in select markets. Visit CBS.com/allaccess for details.)
The Tony Awards, which honors theatre professionals for distinguished achievement on Broadway, has been broadcast on CBS since 1978. The Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.