Paper Mill Playhouse to Honor Tony Danza & Linda Bowden at 2014 Gala, 5/2

Paper Mill Playhouse to Honor Tony Danza & Linda Bowden at 2014 Gala, 5/2

Paper Mill Playhouse is hosting its largest fundraising event of the year, Curtain Up on the 76th Season Gala on Friday, May 2nd, at the renowned Hilton Short Hills. Curtain Up on the 76th Season Gala is sponsored by Hilton Short Hills. Other gala sponsors include: PNC Bank, Tiffany & Co., Dior, and American Airlines, the official airline of Paper Mill Playhouse.

"Nearly 400 of our theater's community of influential business executives, civic leaders, discerning consumers, and tastemakers will gather together for an evening that reflects the heart, artistry, and vitality of Paper Mill Playhouse," stated Mark S. Hoebee, Paper Mill Playhouse's Producing Artistic Director. "This black tie evening includes dinner, dancing, an unforgettable auction, and unparalleled Broadway entertainment. We hope you can join us as we pay tribute to our honorees: Tony Danza, following his critically acclaimed run in Honeymoon in Vegas, and Linda Bowden, NJ Regional President with PNC Bank. Additionally, we are thrilled to welcome former New Jersey Governor Brendan Byrne to help him celebrate his 90th birthday!"

Television, screen and stage icon Tony Danza will accept the Frank Carrington Excellence in the Arts Award at Paper Mill's Curtain Up on the 76th Season Gala. Mr. Danza recently made his Paper Mill Playhouse debut in the world premiere musical Honeymoon in Vegas in a critically acclaimed performance as Tommy Korman. Both the show and Tony's performance received amazing reviews, including a love letter from The New York Times, which compares Tony's performance to "the cooler-than-cool spirit" of Frank Sinatra. The musical is expected to open on Broadway later this year.

Perhaps best known for starring on some of television's most beloved and long-running series, including Taxi (1978-1983) and Who's the Boss? (1984-1992), Tony Danza has also established himself as a stage and screen star, and he is indisputably one of America's most iconic performers. He was recently lauded for his big-screen role as Joseph Gordon Levitt's father in Levitt's much acclaimed directorial debut, entitled Don Jon. The film stars Levitt, Danza, Julianne Moore, and Scarlett Johansson.

Mr. Danza's stage credits include his exciting run on Broadway in Mel Brooks's hit musical The Producers, playing Max Bialystock (2006-2007), and his reprise of the role in the Las Vegas production at Paris Las Vegas (2007). For his theatrical debut in Wrong Turn at Lungfish (1993), he earned an Outer Critic's Circle Award nomination. Other stage credits include the critically acclaimed The Iceman Cometh, opposite Kevin Spacey, Arthur Miller's Tony Award-winning play A View from the Bridge, and I Remember You.

"Supporting Paper Mill Playhouse's gala ensures a bright future for our not-for-profit arts organization," remarked Todd Schmidt, Paper Mill Playhouse's Managing Director. "The Curtain Up on the 76th Season Gala will also feature performances from The Eddie Bruce Band and students from Paper Mill's Education programs."

The Eddie Bruce Band marries a smoking hot dance ensemble, concert quality vocalists and masterful musicians that drive the dance floor. For more than 25 years, The Eddie Bruce Band has been performing his unique repertoire of music that ranges from Top 40, R & B, Disco and house music to Swing and Sinatra. Eddie Bruce's interest in music began when he was a child, and he has never wavered from this passion. He has blended his natural entrepreneurial skills with his love of music and created one of the most successful orchestras in the region and one of the best reputations as a much sought-after performer. A regular at Caesars Atlantic City, the Eddie Bruce Orchestra has also performed at Bally's Park Place, the Etess Arena of Trump Taj Mahal as well as such major events as the prestigious Grand Gala Opening of the Kimmel Center for The Performing Arts in Philadelphia.

Finally, students from Paper Mill Playhouse's Arts Education programs will deliver a memorable performance during the celebration. The education and outreach programs of Paper Mill Playhouse serve nearly 40,000 young people and educators annually in all regions of the state through in-school residencies, training and arts recognition programs, as well as our Children's Theatre Series. For over 25 years, Paper Mill Playhouse has been helping students of all ages and skill levels develop their passion for performance and communication- qualities that are invaluable in every career, from Broadway to the boardroom. Education programs include: Paper Mill Theatre School, Adopt-a-School Project, Rising Star Awards, Summer Musical Theatre Conservatory, August Musical Theatre Intensive, Paper Mill Playhouse Broadway Show Choir, Guest Artist Master Classes and Professional Development Seminars.

For more than seventy-five years, Paper Mill Playhouse has been one of the nation's leading not-for-profit theaters. Paper Mill continues to bring world-class artists and outstanding musicals and plays to the community while enriching the lives of nearly 40,000 young people each year through award-winning education outreach, artist training and access programs.

Photo by Walter McBride

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