Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken

Paper Mill Playhouse hosted its Center Stage Celebration on Friday, May 13th at the Hilton Short Hills. The benefit honored eight time Academy Award®-winning composer Alan Menken with the theater's prestigious Frank Carrington Excellence in the Arts Award. There to add to the entertainment of the evening and help honor the music man was Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award winner Laura Benanti. BroadwayWorld was on hand for the event and brings you photo coverage of the gala below.

The first award was presented posthumously to legendary actress Lynn Redgrave who appeared in Paper Mill Playhouse's The Important of Being Earnest. The Frank Carrington Excellence in the Arts Award is named after Paper Mill Playhouse's co-founder and first Executive Producer. This award is given to a Paper Mill Playhouse artist who has experienced a distinguished career in the entertainment industry.

 

In addition to the appearances by Menken and Benanti, the annual gala celebration offerdc an evening of dinner, dancing, auctions and entertainment with students from Paper Mill Playhouse's arts education programs performing a tribute to Mr. Menken.

 

ALAN MENKEN has won a total of eight Oscars, more than any other living individual, and has been Oscar-nominated a total of twenty times. Theatre scores: God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater; Real Life Funnies; Atina: Evil Queen of the Galaxy; Little Shop of Horrors; Kicks; Patch, Patch, Patch; The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz; Beauty and the Beast; A Christmas Carol; King David; Weird Romance; Der Glöckner von Notre Dame; The Little Mermaid; Leap of Faith; and Sister Act. Film scores: Little Shop of Horrors, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Newsies, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Life with Mikey, Hercules, Home on the Range, The Shaggy Dog, Noel, Enchanted and Tangled. Honors: eight Academy Awards, seven Golden Globes, ten Grammys, New York Drama Critics Circle Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Drama Desk, two Tony nominations, the Olivier Award, London's Evening Standard Award, membership in the Songwriters' Hall of Fame, a doctorate in fine arts from New York University and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Upcoming: Stage adaptations of Aladdin, Newsies and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Ms. Benanti was the first Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Award winner for a Leading Actress in a Musical. She was honored with the Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award, and a Drama League nomination for her portrayal of Louise/Gypsy Rose Lee in the Patti LuPone revival of Gypsy. She previously starred in the Encores! production. Broadway: The Sound of Music (Maria, opposite Richard Chamberlain), Swing! (Tony nomination: Best Featured Actress), Into The Woods (Cinderella; Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, LA Ovation and Tony nominations), Nine (Claudia, opposite Antonio Banderas; Outer Critics Circle, Drama League nominations), The Wedding Singer (Julia Sullivan), In The Next Room, or The Vibrator Play (Lincoln Center), Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Lincoln Center). Encores: Gypsy (Louise), Wonderful Town (Eileen). Benefits: The Secret Garden (Lily), Hair, Pippin (Catherine) and Children of Eden. Off-Broadway: Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them, Time and Again (Julia, MTC). LA Opera: A Little Night Music (Anne). Williamstown: The Winter's Tale (Perdita, opposite Kate Burton). Film: Falling for Grace (Princess Alexandra), Take the Lead. Television: "Open Books" (CBS), "Life on Mars" (ABC), "Eli Stone" (ABC), "Starved" (FX). Recordings: several Broadway cast recordings, as well as "NEO," "The Stephen Schwartz Album" and "The Maury Yeston Songbook." Laura Benanti was raised in Kinnelon, New Jersey.

Senator Thomas H. Kean, Jr., New Jersey Senate Republication Leader was also honored with the Byrne Kean Arts Advocate Award. The first Byrne Kean Arts Advocate Award was presented to Brendan Byrne and Tom Kean, Sr. in 2010 for their passionate work on behalf of New Jersey's arts community. 

For over seven decades Paper Mill Playhouse has been one of the nation's leading not-for-profit theaters. They continue to bring world-class artists and outstanding musicals and plays to the community while enriching the lives of over 50,000 young people each year through renowned education outreach, artists training and access programs.

Photo Credit: Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Alan Menken and Nora Menken with students from the Theatre School at Paper Mill-Ben Rosenbach, Krista Pioppi, Charlo Kirk, Kaela O'Connor, Aaron Riesebeck, Jordan Barrow and Melody Madarasz

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Alan Menken with Hannah Skokan, Melissa Barrow, Montana Byrne, Mackenzie Popielarz, Victoria Napolitano, Jacqueline Napolitano, and Julia Napolitano

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Senator Thomas H. Kean, Jr., Rhonda Kean, and The Honorable Thomas H. Kean

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
The Honorable Thomas H. Kean

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Laura Benanti

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Laura Benanti and Patrick Parker (Associate Artistic Director of Paper Mill)

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Mark S. Hoebee (Producing Artistic Director of Paper Mill) and Laura Benanti

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Laura Benanti and Mark S. Hoebee

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Laura Benanti, Patrick Parker and students from Paper Mill Playhouse

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Charles A. Pascarella (Board of Trustees), Maryann Pascarella, Raymond Babinski and Judith Babinski

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Mary Coll (Center Stage Celebration Committee), Karen Stirling and Barbara Luby

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Carolyn J. Ferolito (Co-Chair of Center Stage Celebration) and Lesley McDonald

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Howard Hirsch (Board of Trustees) and Carolyn J. Ferolito

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Jacqueline Brevard (Board of Trustees), Laye Thiam and Beverly Mack

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Michael Row and Lynn Van Nosdall (Center Stage Celebration Committee)

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Kristin Wenger and Kenneth P. Wenger (Chair of the Board of Trustees)

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Norman Baron and Laura Baron

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Pamela Hirsch and Howard Hirsch

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Harvey Rich

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Dr. Perry Robins and Dr. Marcia Robbins-Wilf

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Theresa De Leon and J.D. DeLeon

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Lana Gold Walder (Board of Trustees) and Justin Walder

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Margy Coll, Karyn Rosamilia and Neva Rosamilia

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Sean Larkin and Stephanie Mallios

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Olga Dobrolieubova and Esme Artz (Press Assistant Paper Mill Playhouse)

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
ChristIna Clarkson and Brian Clarkson (Board of Trustees)

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Robert Cepek and Jackie Cepek

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Donna Collett

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Deborah Walkoczy and Lisa E. Cooney (Director of Education)

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Bridget Bross, Olga Dobrolieubova and Deborah Walkoczy

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Patrick Parker and Mark S. Hoebee

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
John McEwen

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Carolyn J. Ferolito and Jerry Rose

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Beth Kirsch (Board of Trustees) and Robert Kirsch

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Lauren Ferrari (Board of Trustees) and Richard Gonzalez

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Tom Matt and Carl Knerem with Jane E. Higgens (Co-Chair of Paper Mill Playhouse Center Stage Celebration)

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Newsies-Kathryn Raskin, Kim Castellanos, Christopher Morrissey and Adam Ziering

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Todd Schmidt (Managing Director)

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
The Byrne Kean Arts Advocate Award is presented by The Honorable Thomas H. Kean, The Honorable Brendan T. Byrne and Todd Schmidt to Senator Thomas H. Kean, Jr.

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Senator Thomas H. Kean, Jr.

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Mark S. Hoebee

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
The Frank Carrington Excellence In The Arts Award is presented to Alan Menken by Mark S. Hoebee and Todd Schmidt

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Alan Menken

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Students from Paper Mill Playhouse Education Programs

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Aaron Risebeck

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Charlo Kirk

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Aaron Risebeck, Jordan Barrow, Melody Madarasz, Krista Pioppi, Kaela O'Connor and Charlo Kirk

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Jordan Barrow, Melody Madarasz and Krista Pioppi

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Alan Menken

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Alan Menken

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Alan Menken

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Laura Benanti

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Laura Benanti

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Laura Benanti

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Laura Benanti

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Laura Benanti

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken
Laura Benanti

Photo Coverage: Laura Benanti & Paper Mill Playhouse Honor Alan Menken

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