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Dorothy Loudon, the Tony Award-winning actress, likes serving as master of ceremonies at the annual induction of new members into the Theater Hall of Fame. "It is sweet and civilized and kind of old-fashioned, and I figure that it is about as close as I will get to being in the Hall of Fame," she said.

This year's awards were presented at the Gershwin Theater - where the hall is housed - before a dinner at Sardi's. Chosen by the 265 members of the American Theater Critics Association, the inductees included Jane Alexander, John Guare, Lanford Wilson, Joel Grey, Barbara Cook and John Raitt; Jack Gilford, Richard Barr and Josephine Hull received posthumous awards."I look forward to doing this every year," Loudon said. "It's the cream of the crop of the theater and everyone is happy to be there and crazy about each other - I know that sounds weird.

"People outside the theater don't hear about it, but to be up on the wall in gold forever and ever and ever and not be forgotten, now that's quite something."