Paving the way

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Ebony Williams, Quiara Alegría Hudes, Ariacne Trujillo Durand, Yadira Correa, Marilyn Torres, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Zabryna Guevara, Samora Ia Perdida and Yani Marin at the opening of  Signature Theatre's 2022-2023 season with the world premiere of Quiara Alegría Hudes’ My Broken Language.

Last week, Signature Theatre opened its new 2022-2023 season with the world premiere of Quiara Alegría HudesMy Broken Language — the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright’s stage adaptation of her eponymous memoir. The show marks Hudes’ return to Signature for the second play in her Premiere Residency (following the 2016 world premiere of Daphne’s Dive).

Quiara Alegría Hudes and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Opening Night for My Broken Language kicked off with a star-studded red carpet and pre-reception followed by the performance and the official afterparty. Convening a host of notables, actors, playwrights, elected officials and Signature Theatre Board members, guests included: Council Member Erik Bottcher, Commissioner Anne del Castillo, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Luis A. Miranda, Benj Pasek, Jimmy Smits, and Paula Vogel. Cast members Zabryna Guevara, Yani Marin, Samora la Perdida, Daphne Rubin-Vega and Marilyn Torres also graced the carpet. Quiara Alegría Hudes’ walked the carpet with her family for the special evening.

The world premiere production, directed by Hudes, collides monologue, literary reading, music, and movement in its depiction of an author growing up in el barrio in Philadelphia during the 90s, in a Puerto Rican family held together by women: recalling the uplift, the grief, the spirits, the dance. Navigating the margins of many communities, they forge a language all their own.

The cast for My Broken Language includes: Zabryna Guevara (Water by the Spoonful, Emergence), Yani Marin (Jack Ryan, Empire), Samora la Perdida (Notes on Killing Seven Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Board Members, The Winter’s Tale), Daphne Rubin-Vega (Rent, Jack Goes Boating), and Marilyn Torres (Water by The Spoonful, Daredevil).

Paige Evans, Timothy Little, Lori Kramer, Susan Weiner, Donna Walker-Kuhne, Timothy J. McClimon, and Doug Chittenden.

The creative team, realizing the play’s sensuous, fluid world, and tapping into its interplay between spoken and unspoken languages includes Ebony Williams (Choreographer), Alex Lacamoire (Music Supervisor), Ariacne Trujillo Duran (Musician), Arnulfo Maldonado (Scenic Design), Dede Ayite (Costume Design), Jen Schriever (Lighting Design), Leah Gelpe (Sound Design), Ann James (Cultural Specialist), Kaitlin Leigh Marsh (Production Stage Manager), Julia Perez (Assistant Stage Manager), Rudi Goblen (Associate Director), and Caparelliotis Casting (Dave Caparelliotis and Joe Gery) (Casting).

My Broken Language will run through Nov 27, 2022 in the Pershing Square Signature Center’s Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre (480 W 42nd St, New York).

Jonathan McCrory.
Luz Towns-Miranda, Ebony Williams, and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
L. to r.: Daphne Rubin-Vega; Anne del Castillo and Erik Bottcher.
Luis A. Miranda and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
L. to r.: Paula Vogel; Ariacne Trujillo Durand.
Timothy J. McClimon and Paige Evans.
L. to r.:  Marilyn Torres; Jimmy Smits.

VNS Health’s 2022 gala benefit was a stirring celebration of the organization’s legacy of service to New  Yorkers in need, and the dedicated health care champions throughout the community who deliver care in New Yorker’s homes every day. Eugenie F. Doyle, MD, and Stephen A. Warnke, Partner, Ropes & Gray LLP were both awarded the prestigious Lillian D. Wald Award during evening. The event raised close to $1.2 million which will support VNS Health’s Charitable Care and Community Benefit Programs.

This year’s VNS Health Annual Benefit was the first held in two years, and hosted at the Ziegfield Ballroom.

The Lillian D. Wald Award, named after the founder of VNS Health, is presented to those who have made significant contributions to the health and welfare of others.

A legend in pediatric cardiology, Eugenie F. Doyle, MD, is Professor Emerita at NYU Langone Medical Center, where she forged a deeply influential 47-year career, including 35 years as NYU’s Director of Pediatric Cardiology.

Stephen A. Warnke, Partner, Ropes & Gray LLP has been a health care lawyer for more than 30 years, the last 20 as a Partner of Ropes & Gray in its New York City office, during which he co-chaired the firm’s health care practice for 7 years, and has represented mission-driven hospitals, health systems, managed care plans, non-hospital provider organizations and community-based human services agencies, expertly advising on the full spectrum of federal and state health care regulatory and compliance issues, as well as transactional and governance matters.

From L-R: VNS Health CEO and President Dan Savitt, PIX11 Anchor, and the evening’s MC, Kori Chambers, VNS Health Board Chairman Andrew Schiff, MD, Eugenie F. Doyle, MD, VNS Health Board Member Emerita, Stephen A. Warnke, Partner, Ropes & Gray LLP, and Kerry Parker, VNS Health EVP, Chief Legal and Risk Officer. Doyle and Warnke were both awarded the prestigious Lillian D. Wald Award that evening.

VNS Health Board Chairman Andrew Schiff, MD, presents the Lillian D. Wald Award to Eugenie F. Doyle, MD, VNS Health Board Member Emerita.
Stephen A. Warnke, Partner, Ropes & Gray LLP is presented the Lillian D. Wald Award by Kerry Parker, VNS Health EVP, Chief Legal and Risk Officer.
VNS Health CEO and President Dan Savitt.
PIX11 Anchor, and the evening’s MC, Kori Chambers.

The Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors (HOLA) recognized the extraordinary talents of the award-winning dancer, singer, actress Chita Rivera, the Latina and American Broadway icon, whose illustrious career paved the way for Hispanic artists in the United States.

On November 14th at the Instituto Cervantes in New York City, HOLA presented Rivera with their Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her exceptional career at their 21st Annual Award Ceremony. Pablo Andrade, Executive Director of HOLA, also announced that the award will now be renamed The Chita Rivera Lifetime Achievement Award for future recipients. Other honorees were Emilio Sosa, Award-winning costume designer and Chair of the American Theatre Wing, Actors Caesar Samayoa and Hemky Madera, Composer Jaime Lozano, Casting Director Wendy Curial, LABrynth Theatre Company, The Latinx Playwrights Circle and ¡Americano! The Musical. Lynda Baquero from NBC4 News emceed the evening.

Chita Rivera receiving 2022 Hola Lifetime Achievement Award.

The HOLA Awards are presented by the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors which was founded in 1975 by a core group of Latino actors working in New York to address the inequities created by the casting system that underemployed Hispanic actors and relegated Latino characters to negative stereotypes. HOLA strives for accurate, informed, and non-stereotyped representation of the full spectrum of Latino culture and heritage across the entertainment and entertainment industries media. HOLA is an arts service organization dedicated to expanding the presence of actors Latinos/Hispanics through their creative development, education, and community empowerment. These awards are considered the most important theater wards for Hispanics throughout the East Coast of the United States. Chita Rivera joins figures such as José Ferrer, Raúl Juliá, Tanya Payán and other Latino icons whose names have also been immortalized in extraordinary recognition within HOLA.

Emilo Sosa and Chita Rivera.
Caesar Samoya with mother Gloria Samoya.
Lynda Baquero with Pablo Andrade.

Operation Warrior Shield (OWS) recently held their Healing for Heroes Event in support of Military Veterans and First Responders at The Water Club which honored Jean Shafiroff and The Doris Day Animal Foundation, accepted by Jim Pierson and Patricia Deshong of the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation.

Chief Master Sgt. Ed Schloeman, Chairman and CEO of Operation Warrior Shield, commented on the aims of the organization, “Our goal is to provide specially trained, loving and supportive canine companions to veterans and first responders and their families who live with physical and emotional injuries incurred during their time in service.” Bethann Carbone, CSO of Operation Warrior Shield explains, “We developed Operation Canine Companion because veterans are committing suicide every day. We know how important healing from trauma is. OWS’ Operation Canine Companion pets provide safety, camaraderie, unconditional acceptance, and a unique emotional support that helps reduce the stress and challenges that our heroes face every day.”

CMSGT Ret. Ed Schloeman.

The evening commenced with a cocktail hour and silent auction before the start of the program led by the Chairman of OWS, CMSgt (Retired) Edward Schloeman Sr. Opening the ceremony was the USMC Color Guard from 1st Marine Corps District and an invocation by Monsignor Hilary Franco, who has had the distinction of serving six Popes.

There were presentations on the importance of supporting the work of the charity to help reduce suicide risk amongst veterans by Paul Bucha, Congressional Medal of Honor recipient. Deputy Inspector Mark Wachter and Lt. Col. Wilem Wong of NYPD Health & Wellness discussed the challenges faced by first responders. A live auction by Auctioneer Rudy Saviano sought to raise funds to help provide trained dogs to veterans.

Monsignor Hilary Franco.

OWS then presented awards to the honorees of the 2022 Healing for Heroes: Jean Shafiroff, Philanthropist and author of Successful Philanthropy: How to Make a Life By What You Give; The Doris Day Animal Foundation accepted on behalf of the Foundation by Jim Pierson; Ms. Patricia Deshong of the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation.

Notable Attendees included; Jean Shafiroff, CMSgt Ret. Ed Schloeman, Pat Deshong, Monsignor Hilary Franco, Medal of Honor Recipient Paul Bucha, Deputy Inspector Mark Wachter NYPD, David Tupper & YellinJudge Jeanine PirroLorri ScottMarvin ScottNene KodjoeRebecca SeawrightTatyana HoroshkoJudy Gilbert, Brooklyn Borough President Antonio ReynosoLuigi NicolaeMichelle DellaFaveBarry FixlerPatric Hale, The Honorable Randall Eng and Jim Pierson.

Jean Shafiroff, Jeanine Pirro, and Pat Deshong.

Healing for Heroes Sponsors included: The Doris Day Animal Foundation, David Lynch Foundation, Interstate Toyota, Helen Buford, John Legere, Pharmasphere, Soho Johnny, American Legion Post 1291, Beyond Steel, Ray Brumfield, Francesca De Vito, Barry Fixler, Elisabeth Halfpapp, Jobpaths, Patrick Kernan, Teddy Maldonado, NYPD Health and Wellness Section, Anthony Rodriguez, Edward Shloeman, Schloeman Family, Jean Shafiroff, Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation, T-Mobile, John Walsh, Wendy Waugh, Westgate Hotel, Wilem Wong and Veterans Airlift Command, with a special thanks to Judy Shloeman, Michael Heil, Bethann Carbone, Sarah Strauss and Maria Rodriguez.

L. to r.: David Tupper, with Yellin; Jeanine Pirro.
Jay Calnen, CMSGT Ret. Ed Schloeman, and Pat Deshong.
L. to r.: Lorri and Marvin Scott; Tatyana Horoshko and Judy Gilbert.
Rachel Jurist, James Manicone, David Tupper, and Yellin.
Nene Kodjoe and Rebecca Seawright.
L. to r.: Michelle DellaFave; Monsignor Hilary Franco and CMSGT Ret. Ed Schloeman.

Photographs by Johnny Nunez/Getty Images (SIGNATURE THEATRE); Joe Vericker (VNS Health); Paul Aphisit (Chita).

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