Thank you for JOining us at the 2012 Gala!
Honoring the theatrical achievements of award-winning playwright Terrence McNally, a full house attended Westport Country Playhouse’s annual fundraising gala, “The Full McNally: A Celebration of the Writing and Works of Terrence McNally,” on Monday evening, September 24.
McNally, winner of Tony Awards for his plays “Love! Valour! Compassion!” and “Master Class,” and his books for the musicals “Ragtime” and “Kiss of the Spiderwoman,” was honored with a gift from Westport Country Playhouse, presented by playwright Chad Beguelin, who recently premiered his new play “Harbor” at the Playhouse, and is a two-time Tony Award nominee for scripting the Broadway musical “The Wedding Singer.”
Surprise guest was Nathan Lane, whose professional association with McNally includes roles in “The Lisbon Traviata” (Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel awards); “Bad Habits”; “Lips Together, Teeth Apart”; “Love! Valour! Compassion!” (Obie, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards); “Dedication or the Stuff of Dreams” (Drama Desk nomination); and the film version of “Frankie and Johnny.”
Hosting the event to honor McNally were actors Tyne Daly and Richard Thomas, who have appeared in McNally plays; Daly in “Master Class” and Thomas in “Unusual Acts of Devotion” and “The Stendhal Syndrome.”
Taking the stage to perform music and scenes from McNally’s works were Malcolm Gets (Westport Country Playhouse’s “Finian’s Rainbow,” Tony Award nominee for Broadway’s “Amour”);
John Glover (four McNally plays, including “Love! Valour! Compassion!” for which he won a Tony Award);
Derek Klena (“Carrie,” “Dogfight,” television’s “American Idol”);
Marin Mazzie (Westport Country Playhouse’s “The World Goes Round,” Tony Award nominee for Broadway’s “Ragtime”);
Lindsay Mendez (Broadway’s “Grease,” 2011 revival of “Godspell”);
Sean Palmer (Broadway’s “The Little Mermaid,” “Saturday Night Fever,” “Fosse”);
and Camille Zamora (opera, recital, and concert performances).
The ensemble included Cicily Daniels, Kurt Fromen, Stephanie Gibson, Dannette Holden, Adam Jepsen, Nick Kepley, Aaron J. Libby, Ariel Reid, T. Oliver Reid, Luke Sauer, and Cody Williams, with backup singers Ally Bonino, Brandon Contreras, Richard Crandle, and Maggie McNeil.
Yet the Gala is much more than a spectacular show! It is the Playhouse’s most important fundraising event of the year, with proceeds accounting for 25% of the Playhouse’s annual contributed income. Generous Benefactors and Patrons started the evening with a cocktail party, joined by special guests and celebrated artists.
Playhouse Managing Director Michael Ross, co-chair Robin Stonehill, Honoree Terrence McNally, Co-chairs Katia and John Friend, and Artistic Director Mark Lamos were among the first to walk the red carpet and join the party. (Missing from the photo was co-chair Carlyn Stonehill.)
Mark and Michael were soon joined by Playhouse Trustee James Earl Jones, Elaine Plummer, Cecilia Hart, Playhouse Trustee Christopher Plummer, Playhouse Artistic Advisor Annie Keefe, and Flynn Jones.
Mr. Plummer stopped to chat with Artist Circle Member James Naughton on the way in.
After the show, guests returned to the tent for dinner...
... and a silent auction featuring dozens of unique and one-of-a-kind items, each donated by generous community members.
Joining them was Nathan Lane, who stopped to adjust Jack O'Brien's bow tie as Joanna Gleason looked on.
Playhouse Trustee Ann Sheffer took a break from dinner to chat with Richard Thomas, Nathan Lane, Tyne Daly, and Terrence McNally.
A Gala at the Playhouse is always an exciting and unique affair, and you won't want to miss the party in 2013! For more information or to receive a printed invitation, please contact Associate Director of Development Kathryn Gloor at firstname.lastname@example.org or (203) 227-5137 x122.
Special sponsorship opportunities are available for corporate supporters. If your company would like to participate in this unforgettable evening, please contact Institutional Giving Manager Laura Silence at email@example.com or (203) 227-5137 x134.
On behalf of the many artists, actors, students, educators, and community members who will benefit from the gala this year: THANK YOU!
Above photos taken by Katheen O'Rourke unless otherwise noted. For more images of this spectacular evening, visit Helen Klisser During's gallery on flickr.