|This past Monday night, New York City Center honored Walter Bobbie, Kathleen Marshall and Jack Viertel in a benefit celebration hosted by Christopher Fitzgerald at The Plaza.
Highlights from City Center’s acclaimed Encores! series were recreated by a star-studded cast that will include Jason Danieley, Christopher Fitzgerald, Marin Mazzie, James Naughton, Bebe Neuwirth and Emily Skinner, accompanied by members of the Encores! Orchestra under the musical direction of Rob Berman.
The benefit will help fund New York City Center’s artistic and education programs.
|Bobbie, Marshall and Viertel, past and present artistic directors of City Center’s Tony Award-winning Encores! series, have helped make Encores! the acclaimed and enduring success it is today.
Co-chairs of the evening were Sherry and Stephen Jacobs, Monica and Raymond A. Lamontagne, Patricia W. and Jesse Robert Lovejoy and Stephanie and Fred Shuman.
New York City Center (Arlene Shuler, President and CEO) has played a defining role in the cultural life of the city for more than 60 years. It was Manhattan’s first performing arts center, dedicated by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia in 1943 with a mission to make the best in music, theater and dance accessible to all audiences.
|Today, City Center is home to many distinguished companies, including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Paul Taylor Dance Company and Manhattan Theatre Club; a roster of renowned national and international visiting artists; and its own critically acclaimed and popular programs.
The Tony-honored Encores! musical theater series, now in its 18th season, has been hailed as “one of the very best reasons to be alive in New York.” Dance has been integral to the theater’s mission from the start, and dance programs, including the annual Fall for Dance Festival and a partnership with London’s Sadler’s Wells Theatre, remain central to City Center’s identity.
|Also on Monday night, Julie Andrews and her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton were honored at the “Stars of Stony Brook Gala 2011” at Pier 60, Chelsea Piers.|
|The Stars of Stony Brook Gala was created in 2000 to increase its scholarship funding while honoring the brightest stars of Stony Brook. To date, the Gala has netted more than $20 million for scholarships.|
|Also over at the Wollman Rink in Central Park on Monday night, Figure Skating in Harlem held its 7th annual Skating with the Stars gala honoring Olympic Gold Medalist Sarah Hughes, Macy’s Chairman and CEO Terry Lundgren, and author and World Figure Skating Judge Tina Lundgren.
The evening raised critically-needed funds for Figure Skating in Harlem’s (FSH) innovative and empowering youth development program.
|Melania and Donald Trump and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit star (and FSH Board Chair Emerita) Tamara Tunie served as this year’s Honorary Chairs; Maria Cuomo Cole and Kenneth Cole and Ann and Andrew Tisch are Gala Co-Chairs. The Gala’s Celebrity Benefit Committee included Phylicia Rashad, Anika Noni Rose, Rhonda Ross, Sherri Shepherd, and others.
Throughout the evening, guests had the opportunity to skate side by side with Sarah Hughes and many more Olympic champions including Evan Lysacek, Dorothy Hamill, Sasha Cohen, Johnny Weir, Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto, Meryl Davis and Charlie White(2010 Olympic Silver Medalists and 2011 US Champions), Jeremy Abbott, Alissa Czisny (2011 US Women’s Figure Skating Champion),Todd Eldredge, Rachael Flatt, Emily Hughes, Mirai Nagasu, Ryan Bradley, Adam Rippon, Tim Goebel, JoJo Starbuck, and Joannie Rochette.
|Since its establishment in 1997, Figure Skating in Harlem has transformed the lives of over one thousand New York City girls, helping them to grow in confidence, leadership, and academic success. Through its unique programming, FSH empowers young girls by combining educational, artistic, and fitness opportunities through the discipline of skating. As always, the proceeds from this year’s gala are vital. FSH is constantly growing to meet the needs of the girls it serves and has set its sights on expanding to a new Leading Edge Skating and Education Center of their own.
|Internationally celebrated Dancer and Actress Bebe Neuwirth, along with her mother, Sydney Neuwirth, opened a Two Woman Exhibition of their Art at Chelsea’s Rogue Space Gallery. Bebe showcased her colorful photographs, while Sydney displayed beautiful watercolors of Ballerinas. Bebe had both modeled and inspired many in the collection.
After years of Physical Therapy, arthroscopic surgery, excruciating pain, and the emotional distress of neither being able to dance nor wanting others to know about her “embarrassing” condition, she recognized that injured dancers needed a service specifically for their needs. This worthwhile institution is open to any and all professional dancers.
The Actors Fund was founded on June 8th, 1882 by Harrison Grey Fiske to deal with the critical problems challenging Actors. The Actors Fund soon acquired a Brooklyn Cemetery, ensuring that no actor would ever go without proper burial. In 1902, the Fund opened its first “home” in Staten Island, and in 1892, the first successful AF Fair, held at Madison Square Garden, raised $163,000. In attendance were Mr. and Mrs. John Jacob Astor, Andrew Carnegie, J. Pierpont Morgan, and Cornelius Vanderbilt.
Today, The Actors Fund encompasses a myriad of worthwhile services including The Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative, The Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic, The Dorothy Ross Friedman Residence, and the Looking Ahead Program for Youth.
Bebe Neuwirth is currently starring in Broadway’s The Adams Family.
— Jill Lynne for NYSD
|Photographs by Stephanie Berger (Encores!); Patrickmcmullan.com|