Theatre News

Andrew Lloyd Webber to be given lifetime achievement award at the Tonys this year

The musical composer will be recognised alongside Chita Rivera at this year’s ceremony

Andrew Lloyd Webber
Andrew Lloyd Webber
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Chita Rivera will each be awarded a special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement this year.

Lloyd Webber, who turned 70 this year, has written hit musicals including Cats, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Phantom of the Opera and the recent School of Rock.

Rivera's work on stage and screen includes staring in Bye Bye Birdie, Chicago, Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Rink and starring as Anita in the original 1957 production of West Side Story. Rivera recently came to London to perform in the Olivier Awards, where she sang "Somewhere" to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the production debuting in London.

In June, a celebration of Lloyd Webber's music will be staged at the Royal Hospital in Chelsea, with stars including Ben Forster, Tyrone Huntley and Joe McElderry performing hits from Lloyd Webber's back catalogue.

The Tony Awards are the US theatre equivalent of the Oscars, and take place this year on 10 June, nominations will be announced on 1 May. Josh Groban and Sara Bareilles host the ceremony.

Lloyd Webber told the Tonys: "I am completely overwhelmed as a Brit to be honored 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."