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Whoopi Goldberg Will Host Drama League Gala Honoring Neil Patrick Harris, 2/3

Whoopi Goldberg Will Host Drama League Gala Honoring Neil Patrick Harris, 2/3

Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award winner, Whoopi Goldberg has been tapped by The Drama League to host the 30th Annual Musical Celebration of Broadway honoring Golden Globe Nominee and Emmy Award winner Neil Patrick Harris on Monday evening, February 3, 2014 at the famed Pierre Hotel (2 East 61st Street). Tickets are available by calling (212) 244-9494.

The evening's one-of-a-kind tribute hosted by Goldberg, which features dozens of stars from Hollywood and Broadway in a one-night-only evening of musical selections drawn from Mr. Harris' career in theater, film and television, will be co-directed by Tony Award winner and Drama League Alumnus Michael Mayer with Johanna McKeon, and co-produced by Roger T. Danforth and Trevor Tamashiro.

The black-tie gala supports The Drama League's educational initiatives for promising young artists. Delta Airlines, the official airline of The Drama League, Financier Patisserie, Carmine Minardi NYC, and Starbright Floral Designs are 2014 Gala Sponsors of The Musical Celebration of Broadway Honoring Neil Patrick Harris.

Whoopi Goldberg will lead the lineup of guest performers being assembled, with updates appearring throughout the month of January at http://www.dramaleague.org/neil. The first announced include James Barbour, Becky Ann Baker, Katie Finneran, Kate Jennings Grant, Cady Huffman, Eddie Korbich, Marc Kudisch, Aaron Lazar, Norm Lewis, John Cameron Mitchell, Constantine Maroulis, Donna Murphy, Lisa O'Hare, Kal Penn, Bryce Pinkham and Lauren Worsham, with special guest appearance by Project Runway's Tim Gunn, among others (all subject to change).

Mr. Harris joins a gallery of past Drama League Honorees that include Liza Minnelli, Audra McDonald, Kristin Chenoweth, Angela Lansbury, Patti LuPone, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Chita Rivera, Rosie O'Donnell and Terrence McNally, all exceptional artists whose talent and passion have served as a benchmark for others.

Mr. Harris currently stars as Barney Stinson in the CBS-TV comedy, "How I Met Your Mother," and will head the upcoming Broadway revival ofHedwig and the Angry Inch.

"We are so overjoyed to usher in 2014 with Neil Patrick Harris," said Drama League Executive Director Gabriel Shanks. "But to have our dear friend Whoopi Goldberg as our host and the amazing assemblage of talent on stage is a wealth of riches. This year's event is going to be legendary."

The Musical Celebration of Broadway Honoring Neil Patrick Harris brings together 500 of New York City's most influential arts supporters, celebrities, and luminaries for a black-tie evening of cocktails, dinner, and the acclaimed, unforgettable musical revue that is the signature of this event. Featuring dozens of stars from film, television and theatre, the Musical Celebration of Broadway, directed by Tony Award winner Michael Mayer and Johanna McKeon, who are also the Director and Associate Director, respectively, of the upcoming Broadway revival of Hedwig and the Angry Inch featuring Mr. Harris. will highlight songs from Mr. Harris' illustrious musical theater triumphs in shows that include Rent, Assassins, Cabaret, Sweeney Todd, Tick, Tick, Boom!, among others. Both Mr. Mayer and Ms. McKeon are alumni of The Drama League Directors Project, the development program for early and mid-career theater directors, providing talented young artists with career-transforming experiences in the professional theater.

Goldberg is one of an elite group of artists who have won Academy, Grammy, Emmy and Tony Awards. She got her start on stage and was last seen on Broadway in the musical, Xanadu. She earned a Tony Award nomination for her return to the Lyceum Theatre commemorating the 20th anniversary of her original one-woman show. She produced the musical Sister Act, starred in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and produced and starred in the revival of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. She won the Tony® Award for producing Thoroughly Modern Millie, and produced the hit West End production of Sister Act (she appeared as Mother Superior in the show for a limited engagement), and the provocative new rock musical, White Noise. She has appeared in more than 50 films and is the moderator of ABC's "The View." In addition to her successful film and television career, she is also a best-selling author.

The Musical Celebration of Broadway Honoring Neil Patrick Harris raises much-needed funds for the vital education programs of The Drama League Directors Project. Since 1984, The Drama League has honored exceptional artists whose talent and passion have served as a benchmark for others, including Kristin Chenoweth, Liza Minnelli, Angela Lansbury, Patti LuPone, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Chita Rivera, Rosie O'Donnell and Terrence McNally.

Since 1916, The Drama League of New York has been at the forefront of the American Theatre community, providing talent, audiences, and prosperous support. It is one of the nation's oldest continuously-operating, not-for-profit arts advocacy and education organization.

Through its programs, initiatives and events, The Drama League indelibly transforms the lives of artists and audiences by harnessing the unique social and creative dynamism of theatre. Its nationally-renowned, award-winning efforts have two vital goals: To train and nurture the artists of tomorrow and to deepen and strengthen the audience experience.

The alumni of The Drama League Directors Project, which now number over 300, can be found working in all aspects of the entertainment profession. 'Drama League Directors' are directing on Broadway, Off-Broadway, at regional theaters across the country, and in film and television. They are the artistic directors and associates at 58 regional theaters. Others hold prominent positions throughout the industry as producers, writers, agents and administrators, and many are educating the next generation of directors at some of our finest professional training programs. Their directing work has been honored Tony, Emmy, Obie, Peabody, Drama Desk, GLAAD, Drama League, New York Drama Critics Circle, Outer Critics, Evening Standard, Lucille Lortel, Bessie, Princess Grace, Garland, Drama-Logue, Barrymore, Helen Hayes, Elliot Norton, and Joseph Jefferson Awards, as well as the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. They have literally shaped the future of the American theater, with the praise of critics and audiences alike.

The illustrious alumni of The Drama League Directors Project includes 2013 Tony Award winners Diane Paulus and Pam MacKinnon,award-winning directors Christopher Ashley, Mark Brokaw, Rachel Chavikin, Michael Mayer, John Rando and Alex Timbers, to name a few.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos

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