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Cast of PETER AND THE STARCATCHER, Jenn Colella and More to Perform at Transport Group's Benefit Gala, Dec 10

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Transport Group has announced that, Jenn Colella, Tyne Daly, Montego Glover, Ann Harada, Elizabeth Stanley, and Sally Wilfert will perform at its gala benefit GIMME A BREAK! honoring Christian Borle, Sue Frost, and Paul Huntley on Monday, December 10, 2012 at the Asia Society and Museum, 725 Park Avenue. The evening will be hosted by Julie Halston and will feature a special performance by the cast of the Tony-winning Peter and the Starcatcher.

The evening features award presentations to Christian Borle, Sue Frost, and Paul Huntley who will each receive the "Transporting American Theatre" Award for their outstanding contributions to the American theatre. Rick Elice, two-time Tony Award Nominated Playwright, will present Christian Borle with his award; Joe DiPietro, two-time Tony Award Winning Lyricist and Book Writer, will present Sue Frost with her award; and William Ivey Long, five-time Tony Award Winning Costume Designer, will present Paul Huntley with his award. Performances feature Broadway stars sharing their "big break" moments in story and song.

Christian Borle received the 2012 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his performance as Black Stache in the Broadway hit Peter and the Starcatcher. He also appeared in both the La Jolla Playhouse and New York Theatre Workshop productions of Peter and the Starcatcher, earning a Lucille Lortel Award as well as Drama Desk and Drama League Award nominations for his performance. He currently stars as composer Tom Levitt in NBC's acclaimed new drama series, Smash. Other Broadway credits include Mary Poppins, Legally Blonde: The Musical (Tony, Drama Desk, and Drama League Award nominations), Spamalot (Clarence Derwent Award, Drama Desk Award nomination), Thoroughly Modern Millie, Armour, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Footloose. Off-Broadway credits include Angels in America (Signature Theatre Company), On America (Signature Theatre Company), On the Town (Encores!) and Elegies: A Song Cycle (Lincoln Center). Regional credits include Just So (North Shore Music Theatre), The Three Musketeers (American Musical Theatre of San Jose), West Side Story (national tour), and The Who's Tommy (Offenbach, Germany). Television and film credits include Legally Blonde: The Musical, Johnny and the Sprites, Law & Order, Ghost Stories, and The Bounty Hunter.

Sue Frost is a Tony Award-winning producer, most recently for Memphis which received four 2010 Tony Awards including Best Musical. Ms. Frost was the Associate Producer at Goodspeed Musicals for 20 years where she produced more than 50 new musicals at both the Goodspeed Opera House and the Norma Terris Theatre, many of which have gone on to Broadway, off-Broadway, and regional theatres around the country. Prior to Goodspeed she worked as a company manager on several Broadway shows and tours including A Chorus Line, Dancin' and The Rink. Ms. Frost was recognized by the Association of Authors' Representatives for her dedication to new writers of new musicals, and was also honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Spirit of Broadway Theatre. A graduate of Smith College, Ms. Frost is Past President of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, currently serves as a Tony nominator, and is a founding partner of Junkyard Dog Productions, a theatrical producing organization dedicated to the development and production of new musical theatre. Since its inception in 2006, Junkyard Dog has produced Memphis, Make Me a Song: The Music of William Finn, Party Come Here, and Vanities.

Paul Huntley London born, Paul Huntley is the recipient of a Special Tony Award for Excellence in the Theatre as well as a Special Drama Desk Award for Lifetime Achievement. Mr. Huntley has worked on hundreds of Broadway projects since arriving in the U.S. in 1973 including Nice Work if You Can Get It, Other Desert Cities, Master Class, War Horse, Anything Goes, All My Sons, Sweeney Todd, Cats, Amadeus, Kiss Me Kate, The Producers, and Hairspray. For Transport Group, Mr. Huntley has designed Queen of the Mist, All the Way Home, The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, Being Audrey, and Marcy in the Galaxy. He has also worked with some of the most talented leading ladies of the American cinema including Bette Davis, Vivien Leigh, Mae West, Glenn Close, Angela Lansbury, and Jessica Lange. Movies include Christopher Plummer in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus and The Last Station, and Willem Dafoe in Cirque du Freak. Mr. Huntley also donates his time and talents to cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy by providing custom wigs that bolster patients’ health and spirits.

Julie Halston is one of the busiest actress/comediennes working today. She was recently seen in the hit off-Broadway play Love, Loss and What I Wore, written by Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron. On network television, she starred in the CBS sitcom The Class. Younger viewers may know her as Antigone Carruthers on the new PBS show The Electric Company. Well-known to theatre audiences, she was last seen on Broadway in Hairspray after receiving rave reviews (as well as receiving Drama Desk and Drama League nominations) for her performance in William Hamilton’s White Chocolate. She received an Outer Critics Circle nomination for her performance in The Roundabout’s production of Twentieth Century. Other Broadway credits include Gypsy, The Women, and The Man Who Came to Dinner. Off-Broadway credits include acclaimed performances in The Vagina Monologues, The Butter and Egg Man and The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told. Miss Halston’s one woman show, Julie Halston’s Lifetime of Comedy which was developed from her wildly successful club act, ran off-Broadway for six months and received an Outer Critics Circle Nomination for Best Comedy. CBS developed a pilot based on the play. She is also a regular at the Bay Street Theatre appearing most recently in the Charles Busch comedies Shanghai Moon and The Lady in Question. Last year Ms. Halston, with the assistance of the director Daniel Goldstein, developed the play Miss Margarida’s Way. It was produced by Bay Street Theatre, with a subsequent presentation at New York Theatre Workshop. Her smash one woman comedy show has extended at Birdland in NYC four times. Her film credits include The Juror, Joe Gould’s Secret, Addams Family Values, Dottie Gets Spanked, Celebrity, and David Searching. She can be seen in Charles Busch’s latest film A Very Serious Person which was selected for the Tribeca Film Festival. In January of 2008, Julie co-authored the well-received book of original monologues, Monologues for Show-Offs, published by Heinemann Press. Last year, she starred in Charles Busch’s new comedy The Divine Sister at the Soho Playhouse for which she received a Drama Desk Award nomination.

Founded in 2001, Transport Group, under the leadership of Jack Cummings III, Artistic Director, and Lori Fineman, Executive Director, is a not-for-profit theatre company that stages new works and re-imagined revivals by American writers. Their visually progressive productions of emotionally classic stories explore the challenges of relationships and identity in America. Transport Group is the winner of a special Drama Desk Award for its “breadth of vision and its presentation of challenging productions.”

Transport Group presented its premiere production in 2002: Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, which featured older actors in the roles of Emily and George and a twelve-year-old girl as the Stage Manager. Its second production, Requiem for William, an evening of seven seldom produced plays by William Inge, that featured a cast of 26 as well as original songs, premiered in 2003. In 2004 the company presented the first New York revival of Michael John LaChiusa’s First Lady Suite, which received rave reviews, played to sold-out houses, and earned two Drama Desk Award nominations including Outstanding Revival of a Musical. Other productions include the world premiere of the musical The Audience, which featured a cast of 46 actors and earned three Drama Desk Award nominations, including Outstanding Musical; Normal, a new musical about a mother’s battle to save her daughter from anorexia; cul-de-sac, a new play by Tony Award nominee John Cariani; the first New York revival of Tad Mosel’s Pulitzer Prize play, All the Way Home; the 50th anniversary, OBIE winning production of William Inge’s The Dark at the Top of the Stairs; the world premiere musicals Crossing Brooklyn, Marcy in the Galaxy, and Being Audrey, and the first New York revival of Irwin Shaw’s Bury the Dead. Both First Lady Suite and Bury the Dead were filmed for the New York Performing Arts Library’s Theatre on Film and Tape Archive at Lincoln Center.

In 2010 Transport Group presented a sold-out, extended engagement of Mart Crowley’s The Boys in the Band, which received an OBIE Award and was nominated for five 2010 Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding Revival of a Play—the most for an off-Broadway play. Transport Group’s productions of See Rock City and Other Destinations by Brad Alexander and Adam Mathias, and Hello Again by Michael John LaChiusa combined for eleven 2011 Drama Desk Award nominations and one win. Transport Group’s production of Lysistrata Jones, by Douglas Carter Beane and Lewis Flinn, opened to rave reviews, played to sell-out houses, and transferred to Broadway’s Walter Kerr Theatre. The company’s most recent productions include a critically acclaimed run of The Patsy and Jonas at The Duke on 42nd Street, starring OBIE winner David Greenspan and Michael John LaChiusa’s world premiere musical, Queen of the Mist, winner of the 2012 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New off-Broadway Musical.Transport Group also recently produced House For Sale an essay by National Book Award winning author Jonathan Franzen adapted for the stage by director Daniel Fish.

Transport Group is currently in the middle of its 20th Century Project, a ten-year initiative spanning ten productions, each production focusing on a different decade of the 20th century. The ten productions comprise five musicals and five plays—including three commissioned musicals, two commissioned plays, and five revivals. Its most recent production, Queen of the Mist, was the project’s inaugural presentation.

For more information about GIME A BREAK! and Transport Group, visit www.transportgroup.org.

SCHEDULE
6:00pm VIP Reception
6:30pm Cocktail Reception and Silent Auction
7:45pm Performance and Awards Presentation
Asia Society and Museum, 725 Park Avenue @ 70th Street

Tickets: $500 pp = Priority Reserved Seating and 6:00pm VIP Reception; $250 pp = Reserved Seating and 6:30pm Cocktail Reception. Tickets available via www.transportgroup.org or call 212-564-0333

Photo Credit: O&M Co.

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