Photo Flash: Kelli O'Hara, Raul Esparza and More at 2012 Encores! Gala
New York City Center celebrated the 20th Anniversary of its Tony Award–winning Encores! series on November 12 with a Gala Benefit starring Raúl Esparza and Kelli O'Hara, and featuring performers who have starred in Encores!productions over the past two decades. The evening raised $1.6 million to help fund City Center's artistic and education programs. Check out photos from the event below!
The star-studded show, directed by Marc Bruni, included performances by Sarah Uriarte Berry, Walter Bobbie,Victoria Clark, Rob Fisher, Debbie Gravitte, Joel Grey, Jared Grimes, Judy Kaye, Rebecca Luker, Rob McClure, Megan Sikora and Daniel J. Watts accompanied by The Encores! Orchestra under the musical direction of Rob Berman.
The gala, honoring Stephanie and Fred Shuman, began with cocktails at City Center followed by the show and a post-performance dinner at The Plaza Hotel. Gala co-chairs were Patricia and Jesse Lovejoy, Stacey and Eric Mindich, and Robin and Fred Seegal. Table centerpieces, designed by Joanna Berkun, were inspired by Encores!productions.
New York City Center Encores! (Artistic Director Jack Viertel and Music Director Rob Berman), celebrates the rarely heard works of America's most important composers and lyricists. Since its founding in 1994, it has presented 57 musical productions for an audience of more than half a million people. Each production is a whirlwind, with just eight days of rehearsals, one day of dress rehearsal and seven performances. The cast is backed by The Encores!Orchestra, often more than 30 players strong. Over the years, Encores! has presented the works of Harold Arlen, Burt Bacharach, Irving Berlin, Leonard Bernstein, George and Ira Gershwin, Lorenz Hart, Oscar Hammerstein II, Jerome Kern, John Kander and Fred Ebb, Johnny Mercer, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, Stephen Sondheim, Kurt Weill and many others. The program received a special 2000 Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theatre, as well as an Outer Critics Circle Award,
Lucille Lortel Award and Jujamcyn Theater Award. Past productions have featured Christine Baranski, Kristin Chenoweth, Tyne Daly, Christine Ebersole, Sutton Foster, Anne Hathaway, Megan Hilty, Cheyenne Jackson, Patti LuPone, Donna McKechnie, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Donna Murphy, Bebe Neuwirth, Rosie O'Donnell, Kelli O'Hara, Lynn Redgrave, Ann Reinking, Vanessa L. Williams, Charles Dutton, Nathan Lane, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Robert Morse, James Naughton, Martin Short, Jock Soto, Patrick Wilson and Jerry Zaks.
Fred Shuman, Trustee and Chair of City Center's Executive Committee, is the Founder of The Archstone Partnerships, one of the original Fund of Hedge Funds. He currently serves on the Investment Committee of the Andover Endowment Fund, is a National Director Emeritus of Outward Bound U.S.A. and is a member of the Leadership Council of New York Stem Cell Foundation. Stephanie Shuman is a Trustee of International Center for Photography and a board member of Lincoln Center Theater. She served as President of Neighborhood Coalition for Shelter, an Upper East Side homeless organization, and has been a Trustee for 25 years. The Shumans support a research lab at Memorial Sloan-Kettering and a research lab at Rockefeller University. They manage a private foundation that fosters cooperation amongst scientific researchers of orphan diseases. Stephanie and Fred are generous supporters of the Central Park Conservancy, and are Vice-Chairmen of the upcoming Autumn in Central Park benefit.Photo Credit: Stephanie Berger