Kelli O'Hara, David Hyde Pierce and More Set for Williamstown Theatre Festival's 2012 Benefit Tonight
On the heels of its record-breaking 2012 Summer Season, Williamstown Theatre Festival will pay tribute to Abe Burrows, the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning author and director, at its 2012 Benefit, to be held tonight, November 18th at 6:30 p.m. at the Edison Ballroom in New York City (240 West 47th Street), it was announced today. The evening will feature performances by recent Williamstown Theatre Festival alumni David Hyde Pierce (director of last season's The Importance of Being Earnest), Steven Pasquale and Kelli O'Hara (WTF's Far From Heaven), Greg Naughton, Malcolm Gets (WTF's Ten Cents a Dance) and more.
From his early days in radio to his Broadway success with shows like Guys and Dolls, Can-Can, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Abe Burrows is one of the American Theatre's most under-celebrated heroes. As a generous mentor to young comedy writers, he nurtured the careers of Larry Gelbart, Dick Martin, Woody Allen, and others. Abe's son, James Burrows, a highly celebrated director of television and theater, serves on the Williamstown Theatre Festival Board of Trustees and is one of the evening's Honorary Chairs.
The event will also include a live auction of exclusive theatre evenings, unique travel opportunities, and one-of-a-kind experiences, including: a trip to visit the LA set of "Modern Family," VIP tickets to the 2013 iHeartRadio Festival in Las Vegas, the chance to have Bradley Cooper record their outgoing voicemail message, and much more. All auction items may be previewed on the Festival website (www.wtfestival.org) starting Friday, November 9; this year, many of the auction lots will feature an advance "Buy It Now" option.
The Artist Committee for this year's Gala includes some of the Festival's best and brightest, including: Becky Ann & Dylan Baker, Bob Balaban, Laura Benanti & Steven Pasquale, Leslie Bibb, Lewis Black, Ty Burrell, Bobby Cannavale, Patricia Clarkson, Bradley Cooper, Blythe Danner, Tyne Daily, Susie Essman, Jessica Hecht & Adam Bernstein, Mimi O'Donnell & Philip Seymour Hoffman, Debra Monk, Emily Mortimer & Alessandro Nivola, Kelli O'Hara & Greg Naughton, David Hyde Pierce and Sam Rockwell. Fredda Harris and Katharine Kollath Peabody serve as Co-Chairs, and James Burrows (Emmy Award-winning son of Abe Burrows) and Laurie Burrows Grad serve as Honorary Chairs.
Since 1955, the Williamstown Theatre Festival has brought America's finest actors, directors, designers, and playwrights to the Berkshires, engaging a loyal audience of both residents and summer visitors. Each WTF season is designed to present unique opportunities for artists and audience alike, revisiting classic plays with innovative productions, developing and nurturing bold new plays and musicals, and offering a rich array of accompanying cultural events including Free Theatre, Late-Night Cabarets, readings, workshops, and educational programs. While best known for our acclaimed productions, WTF is also home to one of the nation's top training and professional development programs for new generations of aspiring theatre artists and administrators. Now under the leadership of Artistic Director Jenny Gersten, WTF was honored with the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre in 2002 and The Commonwealth Award for Achievement in 2011.