By Jeremy Kinser
Originally published on Advocate.com September 07 2012 12:34 PM ET
Darren Criss will present veteran producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron with Outfest's Visionary Award for their acclaimed body of work that includes the hit LGBT-inclusive musicals Chicago and Hairspray.
The annual award is handed to filmmakers in recognition of their contribution to LGBT arts and media visibility. The producing partners, who will be honored at the 8th annual Legacy Awards in Los Angeles October 13, have a lengthy resume of films with LGBT appeal, such as Chicago, Hairspray, and Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows.
“Thanks to Craig and Neil's exceptional work in movies, television and on stage, they have given a loud and clear voice to LGBT characters that reaches the widest possible audience,” says Kirsten Schaffer, Executive Director of Outfest. “We are very proud to honor two friends and longtime supporters of Outfest and are grateful for their profound impact on the LGBT community.”
"We are honored and humbled to receive the Visionary Award from an organization as important and crucial as Outfest," Zadan and Meron say in a statement released to the media. "We hope we can help spread the word that the community needs to embrace and support this outstanding group, that does so much to enrich the art and the lives of LGBT people everywhere."
The second season of their hit series Smash, will premiere this fall, as will their all-black remake of Steel Magnolias. In addition, Zadan and Meron have been enlisted to produce the 85th annual Academy Awards in February. Criss recently starred in their hit Broadway revival of the classic musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.
For more information on the awards, go to Outfest.org.