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According to Variety, Meryl Streep has been tapped to receive the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s annual Monte Cristo award, given each year to a legit creative singled out for distinguished contributions to the theater. Streep, who started out in theater before launching into film, has long stayed connected to the theater industry over the years, appearing in Shakespeare in the Park outings “Mother and Courage and her Children” (in 2006) and “The Seagull” (in 2001) and signing on as a presenting producer for the Broadway run of “Bridge and Tunnel” (in 2006). Last year she played Juliet opposite Kevin Kline’s Romeo in the Public Theater’s one-night-only reading of “Romeo and Juliet.” Streep will receive the Monte Cristo award — to be presented to her by actor Joe Grifasi, another O’Neill alum who was also her classmate at the Yale School of Drama — at an April 21 ceremony in Gotham. Many thanks to Glenn, Frank, Juha and Alvaro for the heads-up!