Alice Ripley, Michael Cerveris and More to Perform at Tonight's Transport Group 'Gimme a Break' Gala

Transport Group, the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and OBIE Award-winning theatre company, has announced its annual gala Gimme a Break!, will honor Tony Award-winning producer Barbara Whitman tonight, December 8, 2014 at 6:30pm at the Asia Society and Museum, 725 Park Avenue.

The evening, hosted by Julie Halston (You Can't Take It With You), will feature performances from Alice Ripley (Next to Normal), Lindsey Mendez (Dogfight), Michael Cerveris (Fun Home), Lisa Kron (Fun Home), and Heather MacRae (I Remember Mama). Playwright Moises Kaufman (The Laramie Project) will present the "Transporting American Theatre" award to Barbara Whitman for her outstanding contribution to the American theatre. Past recipients of the "Transporting American Theatre" award include Beth Williams, Sue Frost, Christian Borle, Paul Huntley, Douglas Carter Beane, Lewis Flinn, A.R. Gurney, Liz Smith, Barbara Frietag, Terrence McNally, and Joe Mantello.

Tickets are now on sale and may be purchased at transportgroup.org.

Barbara Whitman made her Broadway debut producing A Raisin in the Sun, starring Sean Combs. She is currently represented on Broadway by Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Tony and Drama Desk Awards, Best Musical Revival) and If/Then starring Idina Menzel, and on tour, Murder for Two. Next spring, she will also be represented by Fun Home. Other Broadway credits include Of Mice and Men, starring James Franco and Chris O'Dowd, Hands on a Hardbody, Red (Tony and Drama Desk Awards, Best Play), Next to Normal (Pulitzer Prize), Hamlet starring Jude Law, 33 Variations starring Jane Fonda,Mary Stuart, Legally Blonde - The Musical, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. In the West End, she produced Piaf, starring Elena Roger. National tours includeNext to Normal, Legally Blonde -The Musical, ...Spelling Bee, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels andFrost/Nixon. A native New Yorker, Barbara attended NYU's Gallatin School and received an MFA in Theatre Management and Producing from Columbia University. She is a board member of the Tectonic Theatre Project, a member of the Leadership Council of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids, East Coast Chair of Northwestern University's School of Communications Advisory Council, and Chair Emeritus of Play Group Theatre, a Westchester based theater for children and teens. She is a member of the Broadway League, as well as Actors' Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA. Her proudest productions are her two sons, Daniel and Will.

Founded in 2001 by Jack Cummings III and Robyn Hussa, Transport Group has produced twenty-three shows comprised of twelve new works and eleven revivals, including twelve plays and eleven musicals. In addition to our mainstage productions, we also produce readings, developmental labs, concerts, and other special events. During Transport Group's first eight seasons, the company was in residence at The Connelly Theatre, a turn-of-the century proscenium theatre located in the East Village. Beginning with the 2009 - 2010 season, Transport Group began to explore environmental staging, performing works in non-traditional spaces such as a penthouse apartment, a commercial loft, and a gymnasium. Transport Group found an uptown home in The Duke on 42nd Street, where we produced four productions including the acclaimed one-man version of The Patsy starring David Greenspan and the brave original musical The Memory Show by Sara Cooper and Zach Redler. In 2014, Transport Group returned to The Gym at Judson, located in the historical Judson Memorial Church in Greenwich Village. Currently headed by Jack Cummings III (Artistic Director) and Lori Fineman (Executive Director), Transport Group's latest season (2013-2014) began with the first critically acclaimed revival John Cariani's modern classic Almost, Maine, the 2006 romantic comedy that explores the magical delicacy of finding and sharing real love. Almost, Maine enjoyed an extended run with packed houses on a snow-laden set, and featured the play's author, Tony Award-nominated actor John Cariani in the cast. In March of 2014, New York responded with rapturous reviews, sold out performances, and multiple award nominations for our revival of the John Van Druten classic I Remember Mama. Director Jack Cummings III envisioned John Van Druten's 1944 play with an ensemble cast of ten women in their 70s and 80s, starring Drama Desk Award nominee Barbara Andres and Oscar & Tony Award Nominee Barbara Barrie. Most recently, Transport Group produced a sold-out, star-studded concert version of The Music Man, featuring 58 actors, and the original orchestrations performed by a 20 piece orchestra. The Music Man: In Concert comes on the heels of past one-night-only sensations, including concert productions of Once Upon a Mattress, starring Jackie Hoffman and John "Lypsinka" Epperson, and Baby, featuring over 60 actors, hosted by original cast members Todd Graff and Liz Callaway. Transport Group's 2014-2015 season will be announced in January 2015.

Transport Group's annual benefit Gimme a Break! takes place Monday, December 8th 2014 at the The Asia Society and Museum, 725 Park Avenue. VIP reception at 6:00pm, cocktail hour and silent auction at 6:30pm, performances and award presentation at 7:30pm. For tickets and for more information, visit www.transportgroup.org or call 212-564-0333.

Photo Credit: Jennifer Broski



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