BroadwayWorld's Richard Ridge to Host Amas Musical Theatre's 45th Anniversary Gala, 3/31

BroadwayWorld's Richard Ridge to Host Amas Musical Theatre's 45th Anniversary Gala, 3/31Richard Ridge, lead correspondent for Broadway World, will host the 45th Anniversary Gala for Amas Musical Theatre, New York City's award-winning pioneer in diversity and multi-ethnic casting in the performing arts since 1968, on Monday, March 31st, 2014 at the Baruch Performing Arts Center (East 25th Street between Lexington and 3rd Avenues). Honorary Chair for the event is veteran Broadway virtuoso Maurice Hines.

The evening will kick off at 6pm with a champagne reception and silent auction. At 7pm "The Academy Teens," students of the Rosetta LeNoire Musical Theatre Academy, will present a sneak peek of their upcoming spring musical production of 9 to 5 to be presented in May, and Broadway performers Natalie Toro and Danny Bolero will perform a highlight from Frida (by Michael Aman and Dana P. Rowe), a show in development at Amas based on the life of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Tony Award winner (and Amas friend) Leslie Uggams will then offer "Classic Uggams," a cabaret exploration of some of her favorite songs with Don Rebic on piano. The evening will culminate in presentations of "The Rosie Award" honoring three-time Tony Award winner Hinton Battle (Sophisticated Ladies, The Tap Dance Kid, Miss Saigon) and philanthropist and champion for the arts Walter (Scott) McLucas II. The award, commemorating the life and work of Amas Founder Rosetta LeNoire, is bestowed on individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary accomplishment and dedication in bringing our world more closely together through the performing arts.

"What a thrill to be celebrating our 45th year with the incomparable Leslie Uggams, one of American musical theatre's great leading ladies and a cherished member of the Amas family", says Amas Artistic Producer Donna Trinkoff. "And we honor two champions: Hinton Battle's breakout career has thrilled audiences for decades; and, Scott McLucas, through his One World Foundation breaks new ground connecting cultures, with his innovative arts partnerships."

Tickets are $500 and $250, plus a limited number of show-only $150 seats available, and can be purchased online at www.amasmusical.org, or by calling (212) 563-2565. The Amas auction will go live online on March 18 at www.amasmusical.org.

Amas Musical Theatre is New York City's award-winning pioneer in diversity and multi-ethnic casting in the performing arts since 1968. Amas ("you love" in Latin) is devoted to the creation, development and professional production of new American musicals through the celebration of diversity and minority perspectives, the emergence of new artistic talent, and the training and encouragement of underserved young people in the New York area. In recent years, under the leadership of Artistic Producer Donna Trinkoff, Amas has emerged as a leading not-for-profit laboratory for new musicals, including The Other Josh Cohen (Six 2013 Drama Desk Nominations including Outstanding Musical, 2013 Lucille Lortel nomination for Outstanding Musical, 2013 Off-Broadway Alliance Nomination for Best New Musical); Triassic Parq, The Countess of Storyville, Distant Thunder, Frida, Casanova, Marry Harry, Me and Miss Monroe, Aesop & Company, Signs of Life, Wanda's World, Shout! The Mod Musical, Lone Star Love, From My Hometown, Zanna, Don't!, 4 Guys Named Jose and Stormy Weather: Reimagining Lena Horne. Amas education programs include the Rosetta LeNoire Musical Theatre Academy, Lens on Live Theatre and in-school theatre arts residencies designed in partnership with elementary, middle, and high schools. Richard Ridge is the lead correspondent for Broadway World, one of the most popular theatre websites receiving over 3.5 million visitors every month. For Broadway World, he is the host of "Backstage with Richard Ridge" which has long been the most popular outlet for Broadway stars and legends to talk about their careers. His guests have included Chita Rivera, Joan Rivers, Kristen Chenoweth, Nick Jonas, John Lloyd Young and Marlo Thomas. Prior to that, he was the host of the grounding breaking cable television program "Broadway Beat" for over 20 years. His latest venture is the filmed Screen Actors Guild Foundation/Broadway World "Conversations Q&A" series which recognize and celebrate the vibrant theatre community in New York City. The events are filmed for the Foundation's educational archives and a 30-minute version is featured on Broadway World. Past participants have included Ellen Burstyn, David Hyde Pierce, Vincent D'Onofrio, Jim Parsons, Judith Light, Keith Carradine, Ian McKellen, and Patrick Stewart, among others.

Photo: Walter McBride

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