APSS Honors Lee Roy Reams
On Sunday June 12, the stars converged at the Cutting Room to honor the great Lee Roy Reams with a Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by the nonprofit American Popular Song Society (“APSS”), with a fine presentation of songs, stories, and anecdotes about working with Mr. Reams. There were also pre-recorded and recited love letters to Lee Roy from some of the performers who could not be present at the Gala, which overlapped with the Tony Awards ceremony which was being held a mile north at Radio City Music Hall.
Despite the few absentees, a veritable Who’s Who of the Broadway and Cabaret world appeared, including past Tony Award nominees and winners such as Melissa Errico, Penny Fuller, Beth Fowler, and Karen Ziemba . . . to name just a few. (Lee Roy Reams was nominated for Best Actor in a Featured Role in 1991, for 42nd Street).
The evening kicked off promptly at 5:30 pm after a pre-show cocktail and canape schmoozefest. Led by musical director and host Michael Lavine, who was also the sole accompanist for all performers (except where indicated), singer Scott Coulter was first at the mic, performing a clever “Hello, Dolly!” (Jerry Herman) parody in the form of “Hello, Lee Roy!” Mr. Reams, seated in the center of the audience, beamed, rose to applaud every performer, and provided an endless supply of funny, often raunchy (and unprintable) bon mot responses to the stories and accolades of the performers.