Alan Cumming, Billy Porter & More Set for Vineyard Theatre Gala on 2/24

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Alan Cumming, Billy Porter & More Set for Vineyard Theatre Gala on 2/24

The Vineyard Theatre will celebrate the songs of Dory Previn - the late pop/folk singer-songwriter whose numerous hits include "Come SaturdayMorning" and the theme from "Valley of the Dolls" - at its annual Gala Fundraiser on Monday, February 24th beginning at 6:30pm at the Edison Ballroom (240 W. 47 St in Manhattan), it has been announced by Douglas Aibel, Vineyard Theatre's Artistic Director and Sarah Stern, Co-Artistic Director. The Vineyard Gala will not only celebrate Ms. Previn's witty, heartbreaking and provocative songs, but will feature selections from her poems, plays and memoirs, as well.

Distinguished artists scheduled to participate include Alan Cumming (CABARET), Ana Gastayer (WICKED, "Saturday Night Live"), Billy Porter (KINKY BOOTS); Judy Kuhn (FUN HOME), Kate Baldwin (FINIAN'S RAINBOW), Gabriel Ebert (MATILDA), Montego Glover (MEMPHIS), Brandon Victor Dixon (MOTOWN); Sarah Stiles (AVENUE Q), Anika Larsen (BEAUTIFUL), Veanne Cox (LA CAGE AUX FOLLES), Greta Gerwig ("Frances Ha"), Zachary Quinto (THE GLASS MENAGERIE), and more to be announced in coming weeks.

The Gala performance will be directed by Rachel Chavkin (NATASHA, PIERRE AND THE GREAT COMET OF 1812). Jon Spurney provides musical direction.

Loraine Alterman Boyle and William A. Popeleski are the Gala Co-Chairs. The Chair of the Vineyard's Board of Directors is Jill S. Gabbe.

This upcoming Gala performance was inspired by a one-night-only concert of Dory Previn's music presented by Vineyard Theatre (108 E. 15 St.) last summer, when a variety of theatre artists interpreted the composer's fascinating body-of-work to a rapturous sold-out audience. The Vineyard anticipates the Gala will be the next step in the development of a new, larger theatre piece celebrating Previn's work. The piece will be developed in conjunction with Ms. Boyle, a writer and producer and close friend of Ms. Previn's.

About the evening, Mr. Aibel says, "We are thrilled to be celebrating the fiercely idiosyncratic, powerful and inspired words and music of Dory Previn. Ms. Previn was a risk-taker, and her adventurous approach to writing, to new theatrical and musical forms, is an inspiration to us at the Vineyard. We feel simpatico with the spirit with which she imbued her artistic process and accomplishments, and we feel honored to have this opportunity to bring her work to life again with such a rich and vibrant mix of theatre artists and personalities."

Ms. Boyle adds: "In many of Dory's songs, irony scores the point in getting at the truth. She sticks with concrete images and stories that are theatrical to the core. At a time in the late sixties when singer/songwriters emerged to bare their souls, Dory bared more than most."

Dory Previn was an influential American lyricist, singer-songwriter, playwright and poet. During her lifetime, Previn released six acclaimed albums of original songs, including ON MY WAY TO WHERE, MARY C. Brown AND THE HOLLYWOOD SIGN, MYTHICAL KINGS AND IGUANAS and REFLECTIONS IN A MUD PUDDLE. She was the lyricist of several Oscar nominated songs, including "You're Gonna Hear From Me" and "ComeSaturday Morning". After a successful period in Hollywood in the 1960s, collaborating with her then-husband Andre Previn on numerous popular songs for film -- including "Faraway Part of Town" and "Theme from Valley of the Dolls" -- Ms. Previn rose to prominence in the 1970s, writing and performing a remarkable collection of powerful, witty and haunting songs chronicling her own often harrowing autobiographical experiences, with extraordinary honesty, passion, humor and insight. Ms. Previn also wrote several works for the stage, including a musical version of her acclaimed album MARY C. Brown AND THE HOLLYWOOD SIGN and several autobiographical works of nonfiction including BOG TROTTER and MIDNIGHT BABY. Ms. Previn passed away in 2012 at the age of 86.

The Gala Fundraiser will also feature a tribute to the theatrical advertising agency AKA.

The Gala event will include a cocktail hour and auction, dinner, and the performance. Individual tickets are $1000 and $1500, and tables begin at $10,000. Tickets can be purchased by emailing development@vineyardtheatre.org or calling 212.353.3366 x 242. A limited number of show only tickets will be available closer to the event date.

Vineyard Theatre is one of the nation's leading non-profit theatre companies, now in its 31st year. Dedicated to the creation and production of daring new plays and musicals, The Vineyard has consistently premiered provocative, groundbreaking works, including Nicky Silver's THE LYONS; Marx, Lopez and Whitty's Tony Award-winning musical AVENUE Q; Kander and Ebb's THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS; Bell and Bowen's [title of show]; Paula Vogel's HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE (1998 Pulitzer Prize); Edward Albee's THREE TALL WOMEN (1994 Pulitzer Prize); Tarell Alvin McCraney's WIG OUT!; Will Eno's MIDDLETOWN, and many more. The Vineyard's productions have been honored with two Pulitzer Prizes, three Tony Awards, and numerous Drama Desk, OBIES, Outer Critics Circle and Lucille Lortel Awards.

The Vineyard recently concluded its world-premiere production of THE LANDING, the new musical by John Kander and Greg Pierce, and is currently in rehearsals for the NY premiere of the Polly Pen/Victor Lodato musical ARLINGTON starring Alexandra Silber. This spring will debut Nicky Silver's newest play, TOO MUCH SUN, directed by Mark Brokaw and starring Linda Lavin.

The Vineyard Theatre's leadership includes Douglas Aibel (Artistic Director), Sarah Stern (Co-Artistic Director), Jennifer Garvey-Blackwell (Executive Producer).

www.vineyardtheatre.org

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos

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