Philip J. Smith to Be Honored at Theatre Development Fund Gala on 3/4; Bernadette Peters & More to Perform

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Philip J. Smith to Be Honored at Theatre Development Fund Gala on 3/4; Bernadette Peters & More to Perform

Philip J. Smith, the Chairman and Co-Chief Executive of The Shubert Organization will be honored at Theatre Development Fund's gala on Monday, March 4 which celebrates the 40th Anniversary of TKTS in Times Square. (TKTS Times Square will turn 40 on June 25, 2013). The gala will be held at The Edison Ballroom (240 West 47th Street, NYC). For tickets, table information and journal ad information go to: www.tdf.org/gala, email: events@tdf.org or call 212.912.9770 x340.

On the evening of the gala, there will be a 6:30pm cocktail reception followed by dinner at 7:30 and entertainment at 8:30pm. The program will be hosted by Douglas Carter Beane and include performances by Bernadette Peters (accompanied by Marvin Laird) and Zoe Caldwell, as well as the cast of Forbidden Broadway: ALIVE AND KICKING! who will perform a new piece especially written by Gerard Alessandrini for TKTS' 40th Anniversary. The program is being directed by Carl Andress.

The Gala Chair is TDF Trustee WENDY DAVIES. Honorary Chairs for the event are Angela Lansbury, Bernadette Peters, Hugh Jackman and Zoe Caldwell, all who are long-time supporters of Phil Smith and TKTS. Each also has a long association with The Shubert Organization having performed many of their shows in Shubert theatres.

"When TKTS opened on June 25, 1973 in Times Square, it did so with tremendous support from The Shubert Organization, most notably Gerald Schoenfeld and Phil Smith. Phil was there from Day one, working with Mayor Lindsay and the Parks Department to get the construction trailer that became the first TKTS booth, complete with four ticket windows." said Victoria Bailey, TDF"s Executive Director. "It seems only fitting that 57.5 million admissions later, as we prepare to celebrate the 4oth Anniversary of TKTS, we tip our hat and give thanks to one of its greatest boosters, Phil Smith"

Currently the Chairman and Co-Chief Executive of The Shubert Organization, Philip J. Smith formerly served as President of The Shubert Organization from 1996 to 2008. He began his career more than 50 years ago as a box office treasurer. During his steady rise to Vice President and Executive Vice President, Mr. Smith worked closely with the late Bernard B. Jacobs, President, and the late Gerald Schoenfeld, Chairman, the legendary executive team who led The Shubert Organization starting in the early 1970's. Philip J. Smith's innovations during his career have included computerization of all Shubert box offices and the development of Telecharge, the industry's most successful system for purchasing tickets. Mr. Smith sits on the Executive Committee of the Board of Governors and on the Tony Awards Administration Committee of The League of American Theatres and Producers. He is an active Board member for two of the theatre's favorite charitable institutions, The Actors' Fund and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Mr. Smith also currently serves as the 1st Vice President of The Actors' Fund. He is a member of the Knights of Malta and the recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. In recognition of his extraordinary contributions to the theatre, Mr. Smith was honored with a Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2011.

TKTS TIMES SQUARE - When Theatre Development Fund opened TKTS on June 25, 1973 during the administration of Mayor John V. Lindsay, with the support of TDF's Anna E. Crouse, The Shubert Organization and the Ford Foundation, its supporters did not know that they were creating a phenomenon that would be replicated worldwide. After TKTS's amazing success during its first years, TDF advised other arts service agencies on the development of their own same-day discount ticket booths. Using TKTS as a model, TDF was responsible for helping to develop booths in many cities including Boston; Chicago; Denver; London; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; San Francisco; Sydney; Toronto and Washington, DC. Now in its 40th year of service, TKTS Times Square has distributed over 57.5 million same-day discount tickets to Broadway, Off Broadway, music and dance events since it opened for business. These admissions represent over $1.8 billion in revenue returned by Theatre Development Fund to thousands of stage productions. The current TKTS Booth, "under the red steps" opened on October, 16, 2008 and has garnered multiple international design awards for its innovation and style and has become a gathering place for New Yorkers and visitors from all over the world.

Theatre Development Fund was created in the conviction that the live theatrical arts afford a unique expression of the human condition that must be sustained and nurtured. It is dedicated to developing diverse audiences for live theatre and dance, and strengthening the performing arts community in New York City. Since 1968, TDF's programs have provided over 83 million people with access to performances at affordable prices and have returned over $2.2 billion to thousands of productions. Best known for its TKTS Discount Booths, TDF's membership, outreach, access (including its newly formed Autism Theatre Initiative) and education programs - as well as its Costume Collection - have introduced thousands of people to the theatre and helped make the unique experience of theatre available to everyone, including students and people with disabilities. Recent TDF honors include a 2011 Mayor's Award for Arts and Culture, a 2012 Tony Honor for Excellence for its Open Doors Arts Education Program and a 2012 New York Innovative Theatre Award for its support of the off-Off Broadway community.

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