Alan Cumming, Tyne Daly, Jefferson Mays, Phylicia Rashad, Cast of YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU and More Set for Drama League's 2015 Gala Tonight

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The Drama League welcomes a roster of special guest performers for the 31st Annual Musical Celebration of Broadway honoring the legendary Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award (EGOT) winner James Earl Jones to be held this evening, February 2, 2015 at the famed Pierre Hotel (2 East 61st Street). The annual black-tie gala supports The Drama League's educational initiatives for promising young artists. Tickets are available by calling (212) 244-9494 or by visiting http://dramaleague.org/events/gala.

The lineup for the evening's one-of-a-kind musical tribute -- inspired by Mr. Jones' career in theater, film and television - includes legends of Hollywood and Broadway, including Tyne Daly, Kelsey Grammer, Elizabeth Ashley, Annaleigh Ashford, Jefferson Mays, James Monroe Iglehart, Phylicia Rashad, Kristine Nielsen, Dylan Walsh, Leslie Uggams and Special Tribute given by cast members of the Broadway revival You Can't Take It With You. Broadway veteran and You Can't Take It With You cast mate Nick Corley directs. The Musical Celebration of Broadway Honoring James Earl Jones will be produced by Mr. Danforth and Trevor Tamashiro.

During the evening's festivities, The Drama League will also recognize the acclaimed CBS Television series "The Good Wife" as its 2015 Arts Ally in recognition of Executive Producers Robert and Michelle King and Series Casting Director Mark Saks, whose enthusiastic support of the Broadway community and its artists have immeasurably benefited both the television and theater industries. Mr. Saks will accept the recognition from Tony Award-winning actor Alan Cumming, currently starring in the Roundabout Theatre Company revival of Cabaret and as a series regular on "The Good Wife."

Mr. Jones joins a noted roster of past Drama League Honorees, including Neal Patrick Harris, 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.

Official sponsors for The Musical Celebration of Broadway Honoring James Earl Jones include Delta Air Lines, the Official Airline of The Drama League; MAC Cosmetics, the Official Makeup Partner of The Drama League; and Starbright Floral Design, the Official Florist of The Drama League.

The Musical Celebration of Broadway Honoring James Earl Jones will raise funds to support the educational training programs of The Drama League Directors Project. The award-winning initiative, which began in 1982 and whose alumni now number over 300, has been instrumental in launching the careers of Tony Award winners Diane Paulus (Finding Neverland), Pam MacKinnon (A Delicate Balance), Michael Mayer (Hedwig and the Angry Inch), John Rando (On The Town), and award-winning directors Christopher Ashley, Mark Brokaw, Rachel Chavkin, and Alex Timbers, to name but a few.

'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, including James Bundy (Dean, Yale School of Drama), Hal Brooks (Pearl Theatre), Laura Kepley (Cleveland Play House), Jonathan Silverstein (Keen Company), Michael John Garces (Cornerstone Theatre Company), Ed Iskandar (Exit Pursued By A Bear), Ms. Paulus (American Repertory Theatre), Mr. Ashley (La Jolla Playhouse), Ms. Chavkin (The TEAM), and more. 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, Grammy, 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 in many ways shaped the future of the American theater, with the praise of critics and audiences alike.

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.

For questions, or to reserve tickets, call (212) 244-9494 ext. 101 or e-mail theleague@dramaleague.org.



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