New York City Center’s annual Gala, held Monday, October 24th, honored business leader and philanthropist Adrienne Arsht, featured in the current issue of Haute Living New York, with the 2016 Fiorello H. LaGuardia award for distinguished service to New York City and New York City Center. The evening’s event began with a concert performance of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s 1984 musical Sunday in the Park with George. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford, the cast featured Hollywood and Broadway performers including Phylicia Rashad, Carmen Cusack, Ruthie Ann Miles, and Zachary Levi.
Following the performance, guests including Bernadette Peters, Cicely Tyson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ruth Wilson, Anna Wintour, Laura Osnes, Peter Sarsgaard, Tommy Tune, and William Ivey Long joined City Center President Arlene Shuler and event chairmen Clive Davis, Perry and Marty Granoff, Stacey and Eric Mindich, Daryl and Steven Roth, Jolyon F. Stern and Nelle Nugent, and Lisa and Richard Witten for dinner at The Plaza Hotel. The event raised $2.6 million dollars for City Center and its programs.
Philanthropist Arsht has taken a leading role promoting artistic, business, and civic growth in the three cities she calls home: New York, Washington, D.C, and Miami. She is Founding Chairman of the Adrienne Arsht Center Foundation in Miami, Florida. In 2008, she gave a $30 million contribution to Miami’s Performing Arts Center, which was renamed in her honor. Her support of the transformation of Lincoln Center’s facilities and public spaces was recognized with the dedication of the Adrienne Arsht Stage in Alice Tully Hall. In Washington, she created the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center at The Atlantic Council to focus on the role of South America in the trans-Atlantic community. Arsht is a Trustee of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She established the Adrienne Arsht Theater Fund at the Kennedy Center to support a wide variety of theater productions. Arsht is a Vice Chairman of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, an Executive Vice Chairman of the Atlantic Council. She is a member of the Trustees Council of The National Gallery of Art, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and is President of the Vice President’s Residence Foundation.
New York City Center was built in 1923 as a meeting hall for the members of the Ancient Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. Two decades later, the building was saved from the wrecking ball by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia who transformed it into Manhattan’s first performing arts center—an accessible, affordable home for the best of theater, music, and dance—calling it “the people’s theater.” Past honorees of the Fiorella H. LaGuardia Award include Doug Cramer, Bobbie and Lew Frankfort, Raymond A. Lamontagne, Patricia and Jesse Lovejoy, Stephanie and Fred Shuman, and Dolores and Clifton Wharton.
About Sunday in the Park with George:Following last summer’s celebrated Encores! Off-Center production of Little Shop of Horrors, Gyllenhaal returns to City Center to star as George in the production The musical follows painter Georges Seurat in the months leading up to the completion of his most famous painting, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. Consumed by his need to “finish the hat,” Seurat alienates the French bourgeoisie, spurns his fellow artists, and neglects his lover Dot (Annaleigh Ashford), not realizing that his actions will reverberate over the next 100 years. Mon, Oct 24 at 6pm (Gala performance); added performances Tues, Oct 25 at 7pm; Wed, Oct 26 at 2pm & 7:30pm.