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Cheers for Bebe Neuwirth, who has just been announced as the host of the 45th Annual Drama Desk Awards, to be held Sunday, May 14 (Mother's Day!!) at the F.H. LaGuardia Concert Hall at Lincoln Center. For the fifth year in a row, the star-studded ceremony will be televised live from 9 to 11 p.m. on New York 1 News.

Neuwirth won both a Drama Desk Award and a Tony Award for her role of Velma Kelly in Chicago. She has also won a Tony for Sweet Charity, two Emmy Awards (for Cheers), and an Academy Award for her direction of the short subject Dear Diary.

Drama Desk president David Sheward expressed great excitement in announcing Neuwirth as the host of this year's awards. "Last year," said Sheward, "with Bernadette Peters as the single host, the Drama Desk Awards attracted the largest TV viewing audience in its history. We are certain that this year's awards show--the first of the new millennium--will attract an even larger audience."

Nominees for the awards will be announced at a news conference on Tuesday, April 25, at the New York Friars Club. Founded in 1949, the Drama Desk is an organization of journalists, critics, and writers who cover the New York theater scene. It is the only organization that bestows awards honoring Broadway, off-Broadway, off-off-Broadway, and not-for-profit theater productions.

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