This year The Drama League’s Gala brought together over 400 of New York City’s most influential arts supporters, celebrities, and luminaries for a black-tie evening of cocktails, dinner and the acclaimed, unforgettable one-night-only musical revue featuring dozens of stars from theater, film and television. Husband and wife producing partners,Bonnie Comley and Stewart F. Lane were the gala chairs, again, this year for the event honoring Kristen Chenoweth.
Performers who turned out to honor Chenoweth included: Nick Jonas, Academy and Tony Award-winner Joel Grey, Tony Award-winner Laura Benanti, Elaine Paige, Tony Award winner Donna Murphy, Cheyenne Jackson, Tony Award-winner Debra Monk, Andrew Lippa, Marlo Thomas, Brent Barrett, Tony Award-winner Carole Shelley, Brad Oscar, David Elder, Marni Nixon, Jason Graae, Eden Espinosa, Josh Young, Kevin Clash from “Sesame Street,” plus original and current cast members from the Broadway musical Wicked. Also joining the special guests will be Colin Bradbury, Grasan Kingsberry (On A Clear Day), announcer Bruce Barton, with a special performance by 7 actors chosen from NYC’s youth acting programs and productions.
The evening’s special all-star tribute, directed by Evan Pappas, produced by Drama League Artistic Director Roger T. Danforth, with book by Stephen Cole and musical direction by Steve Freeman, included selections from Wicked, “Glee,” You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Candide, Promises, Promises, Annie, The Music Man, Steel Pier, A New Brain, and The Apple Tree.
The annual Benefit Gala raises much-needed funds for the vital education programs of The Drama League Directors Project. Since 1984, the Benefit Gala has honored exceptional artists whose talent and passion have served as a benchmark for others. Past honorees include: Patti Lupone, Angela Landsbury, Bonnie Comley, Stewart F. Lane, Liza Minnelli, Antonio Banderas & Melanie Griffith, Betty Comden & Adolph Green and Chita Rivera, among others.
PHOTOS: Rob Rich