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Bette Midler Receives Distinguishes Achievement in Musical Theater Award

Wednesday May 17, 2017

Put on your Sunday clothes! On Friday, May 19, The Drama League will honor Grammy and Emmy Award-winning icon Bette Midler with the Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theater Award at this year's 83rd Annual Drama League Awards at the Marriott Marquis Times Square.

As one of the world's most versatile entertainers, Bette Midler is a performer who continues to defy categorization and to garner accolades across all facets of show business. She is a recording artist who has sold more than 35 million albums and won four Grammy Awards. She is a performer who has, year after year, sold out the largest venues around the world. She is a three-time Emmy, three-time Golden Globe winning and twice Academy Award-nominated actress.

She made her Broadway debut in 1967 in the original Broadway production of "Fiddler on the Roof," then went on to star in dozens of blockbuster films, creating some of the most iconic screen performances in cinematic history.

Her contributions to the musical form, on both stage and screen, are immeasurable, and include her acclaimed turn as Mama Rose in "Gypsy" and her award-winning performances in "The Rose," "Divine Madness," "For The Boys," and "Beaches," plus dozens of others.

In 2013, Midler returned to the Broadway stage, after a nearly 40-year absence, to star in the one-woman play, "I'll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers," playing the legendary Hollywood agent, wowing critics, selling out performance after performance and breaking house records at the Booth Theatre.

This season, she is back on the Broadway stage (and once again breaking box office records) starring in "Hello, Dolly!," now in previews at the Shubert Theatre. In addition to being one of the best-loved and instantly recognizable entertainers in the world, Midler is also one of New York's most generous and tireless citizens. In 1994, she started the New York Restoration Project, a non-profit organization devoted to bringing abandoned and neglected parks, gardens and open spaces in all five boroughs back to abundant life.

It was previously announced that Bill Berloni will receive the Unique Contribution to the Theater Award; Tony Award-winner Michael Greif will receive The Founders Award for Excellence in Directing.

These Special Recognition Honors are in addition to the five competitive categories. The 2017 Drama League Nominees for Outstanding Play, Outstanding Revival of a Play, Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Revival of a Musical, and the much-coveted Distinguished Performance Award were announced on Wednesday, April 19 at Sardi's and were streamed live via

First awarded in 1922 and formalized in 1935, The Drama League Awards are the oldest theatrical honors in America. The Drama League Awards recognize distinguished productions, performances, and exemplary career achievements. The first Drama League Award was presented to Katharine Cornell in 1935; since then, the Distinguished Performance Award has been accorded to a roster of theater legends such as Lin-Manuel Miranda, Chita Rivera, Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Lane, Audra McDonald, Liam Neeson, Hugh Jackman, Patti LuPone, Glenn Close, Liev Schreiber, Sir John Gielgud, Harvey Fierstein, Cherry Jones, Alec Guinness, James Earl Jones, Helen Hayes, Jeremy Irons, Mary-Louise Parker, Sir Ian McKellen, Bernadette Peters, and Christopher Plummer.

For more information about the Drama League Awards, call 212-244-9494 or visit


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