From J.C. to the big time: Special Tony for Phyllis Newman

phyllisMy mom often talked of high school classmate Phyllis Newman, who will be receiving a special Tony award next month.

From the moment they met at Lincoln High School in Jersey City, Newman clearly had the song-and-dance gift — not to mention the motivation, Regina DeMarco often told me.

It was no accident that she was voted “Future Hollywood Star” at the same high school that produced Flip Wilson and several members of Kool and the Gang.

Newman, 76, who was older than my mom, will receive her latest Tony Award for her volunteer work as an advocate for women’s health.

Another Jersey City native, composer/lyricist Jerry Herman, will get a special lifetime achievement award. at the 63rd annual Tony Awards on June 7.



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