Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman Feted Tonight at Primary Stages' 2015 Gala
Primary Stages' 2015 Gala will take place tonight, November 16, 2015 at 583 Park Avenue. The event will celebrate the company and honor Tony and Grammy-winning composer and lyricists Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.
The evening will feature musical numbers from Hairspray, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,Catch Me If You Can, and the TV show "Smash" with presenters and performers including Obie winner Bridget Everett (Rock Bottom, Jukebox Jackie), Ana Gasteyer (Wicked, "Saturday Night Live"), Annie Golden (Violet, "Orange is the New Black"), emcee Jackie Hoffman (Hairspray, On the Town), Tony winnerNathan Lane (The Producers, Dedication or the Stuff of Dreams at Primary Stages), Caissie Levy (Les Miserables, Ghost, Murder Ballad), Aaron Tveit (Catch Me If You Can, Next to Normal, Grease! LIVE), Marc Shaiman (performing a number from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), and other surprise guests.
"We are thrilled to be honoring Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman for our 2015 Annual Gala. Marc and Scott are true innovators and their body of work speaks directly to our commitment to developing new works," says Primary Stages Artistic Director Andrew Leynse. "This year's gala will prove to be a 'must-see' evening featuring icons from stage, film, and TV."
MARC SHAIMAN has been writing music, lyrics, arrangements, orchestrations and very lengthy emails since entering show business at the age of 16, at the LaMama Annex, in 1976. He has won a Tony (for co-writing the score to Hairspray with co-lyricist Scott Wittman), a Grammy (also for Hairspray), an Emmy (for his work on Billy Crystal's Oscar appearances) and if he hadn't lost each of his five Oscar nominations (for Sleepless In Seattle, Patch Adams, The First Wives Club, The American President, and South Park-Bigger, Longer & Uncut), he could boast of being an EGOT. Till then, he remains an EGT. He has also been nominated for other Tonys, Emmys and Grammys. Many in fact, but lost all of those also. Other film work includes Beaches, When Harry Met Sally, City Slickers, The Addams Family, A Few Good Men, Sister Act, Hocus Pocus, The Bucket List and Parental Guidance to name a few. Millions of more titles are available upon request. Other theatrical ventures include Patti LuPone On Broadway, Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me, the Tony-winning musical Catch Me If You Can and on London's West End, the current record-breaking, Olivier Award-winning musical version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (coming soon to Broadway!). His television ventures are varied and many: "The Sweeney Sisters" on SNL, countless award shows with Mr. Crystal, Neil Patrick Harris, Jack Black and Will Ferrell, Jenifer Lewis' Jackie's Back, as well as "Smash", but his fondest is his collaboration with Bette Midler for Johnny Carson's penultimate show. He has co-produced recordings for Miss Midler, Harry Connick Jr. and Mariah Carey, among many others. And he is quite fond of his online opus "Prop 8-The Musical". Currently, he and Mr. Wittman are about to write new songs for a film continuation of the Mary Poppins stories for Disney and Rob Marshall, for which they are over the moon with happiness. He is also overjoyed to report that two years ago he stopped reading online chat boards, and his life and well-being have improved drastically! He suggests you do the same.
SCOTT WITTMAN co-wrote (with Marc Shaiman) the lyrics for the Olivier Award-winning musical Hairspray,for which the pair received Tony and Grammy Awards. He also served as an executive producer on the hit film starring John Travolta. They teamed up again on Broadway for Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me, which he also directed, and Catch Me If You Can, which received a Tony nomination for Best Musical. For their original songs on NBC's musical drama "Smash", Scott & Marc were nominated for two Emmy Awards, a Grammy, and a Golden Globe. On "Smash," they composed songs for Jennifer Hudson, Uma Thurman, Bernadette Peters, and Liza Minnelli. Their original score for the Marilyn Monroe musical Bombshell was released on Sony Records. Scott co-wrote the lyrics to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, directed by Sam Mendes, currently playing to sold-out houses at The Theatre Royal Drury Lane in London's West End. For Patti LuPone, Scott has created and directed two Broadway shows, three recordings and three sold-out Carnegie Hall concerts. At La Mama, Scott conceived and directed Jukebox Jackie starring Justin Vivian Bond, Cole Escola, Steel Burkhardt and Bridget Everett.
For more information or to purchase, call Primary Stages at 212-840-9705 or visit primarystages.org/gala. Platinum Tables are $25,000; Gold Tables are $15,000; Silver Tables are $10,000; Bronze Tickets are $1,250; and single tickets are $750.
Primary Stages is an Off-Broadway not-for-profit theater company dedicated to inspiring, supporting, and sharing the art of playwriting. We operate on the strongly held belief that the future of American theater relies on nurturing playwrights and giving them the artistic support needed to create new work. Since our founding in 1984, we have produced more than 125 new plays, including Donald Margulies'The Model Apartment (1995 premiere and 2013 revival); David Ives' Lives of the Saints and All in the Timing(original 1993 production and 2013 revival); Billy Porter's While I Yet Live; Kate Fodor's Rx; Charles Busch'sThe Tribute Artist and Olive and the Bitter Herbs; A.R. Gurney's Black Tie; Horton Foote's Harrison, TX andDividing the Estate (Two 2009 Tony Award®nominations); Theresa Rebeck's Poor Behavior;Brooke Berman'sHunting and Gathering; Deborah Zoe Laufer's Informed Consent, Terrence McNally's Dedication or the Stuff of Dreams and The Stendhal Syndrome; Danai Gurira and Nikkole Salter's In the Continuum (which went on to tour the U.S., Africa, and Scotland); and Conor McPherson's St. Nicholas (which marked the playwright's U.S. debut). Our productions and artists have received critical acclaim, including Tony, Obie, Lortel, AUDELCO, Outer Critics' Circle, Drama League, and Drama Desk awards and nominations. Primary Stages supports playwrights and develops new works through commissions, workshops, readings, and our education and training programs: The Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group, the Marvin and Anne Einhorn School of Performing Arts (ESPA), the Fordham/Primary Stages MFA in Playwriting, and the newly launched Primary Stages Off-Broadway Oral History Project. Through these programs, Primary Stages advocates for our artists, helping them make important-and often transformative-connections within the theater community.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride