Behar is a co-host of ABC's popular morning television program The View, for which she recently received an Emmy Award nomination; her last stage appearance was in Nicky Silver's The Food Chain Off-Broadway. Jesse L. Martin (star of TV's "Law & Order") appeared in the original cast of Rent (which began at the New York Theatre Workshop before moving to Broadway) and is a co-producer of Fully Committed at the Cherry Lane Theatre.
Though the full slate of Lortel Award winners will not be announced until April 4, recipients of special honors have already been named. Jason Robards, whose legendary performances in the plays of Eugene O'Neill set a new standard, will be honored with the League's Lifetime Achievement Award at the May 1 ceremony. Also that evening, Charles Busch (Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, Red Scare on Sunset, and the current The Tale of the Allergist's Wife) and Israel Horovitz (Line, The Indian Wants The Bronx) will receive stars on the Playwrights Sidewalk in front of the Lortel Theatre.
Named for Lucille Lortel, "The Queen of Off-Broadway," The Lucille Lortel Awards were established in 1986 to honor outstanding achievement Off-Broadway. Recent recipients include Jerry Orbach, Harold Pinter, Eli Wallach, Cherry Jones, Mary Louise Parker, Jane Alexander, Jim Dale, Ed Harris, Linda Lavin, John Leguizamo, Moises Kaufman, Martin McDonagh, Paula Vogel, and Anna Deavere Smith. The awards are selected by a committee consisting of Clive Barnes (New York Post), Peter Filichia (The Star Ledger), John Heilpern (New York Observer), Charles Isherwood (Variety), Alvin Klein (The New York Times/WQXR), Michael Kuchwara (Associated Press), Ken Mandelbaum (Theater.com), Emily Nunn (The New Yorker), John Simon (New York magazine), Sam Whitehead (Time Out NY), John Willis (Theater World), and Linda Winer (Newsday).
A post-ceremony celebration will be held at the restaurant America, 9-13 East 18th Street. The awards are sponsored by The Lucille Lortel Foundation; additional support is provided by the Theatre Development Fund. TheaterMania.com and NY1 are the media sponsors for this event.