Austin Pendleton, Mike Doyle et al. Join Abingdon Theatre Company's Benefit Gala, 10/24

The fabulous Lypsinka, Tony Award-winner Alan Cumming (CABARET, "The Good Wife"), and Tony nominees Alison Fraser (SECRET GARDEN, ROMANCE/ROMANCE) and Andrew Rannells (BOOK OF MORMON) are set to appear at Abingdon Theatre Company's 19th Annual Benefit Gala on Monday, October 24 at Espace, honoring Charles Busch, Julie Halston and Timothy P. Speiss. Beth Leavel, a Tony winner for THE DROWSY CHAPERONE will emcee the gala. Carl Andress, who helmed Busch's THE DIVINE SISTER, THE THIRD STORY, DIE MOMMIE DIE! and SHANGHAI MOON, directs.

Joining the guest list are Tony nominee Austin Pendelton (ORSON'S SHADOW, LOVE DRUNK), Mike Doyle (BURNING BLUE, "Law & Order: SVU"), Peter Gregus (JERSEY BOYS), Phyllis Somerville (HAPPINESS), Laurence Luckinbill (TEDDY TONIGHT) and Kate Luckinbill (DRACULA.

The evening, which promises to be one of excitement and entertainment, honors playwright and actor Charles Busch (THE TALE OF THE ALLERGIST'S WIFE, THE DIVINE SISTER, THE LADY IN QUESTION, VAMPIRE LESBIANS OF SODOM); actress Julie Halston (THE DIVINE SISTER, HAIRSPRAY, GYPSY, THE WOMEN, OLIVE AND THE BITTER HERBS); and businessman Timothy P. Speiss, who currently serves as Abingdon's Chairman of the Board.

Proceeds benefit Abingdon Theatre Company's mission to develop and produce new plays by American Playwrights.

Included in the evening's festivities is live auction featuring a VIP package for THE BOOK OF MORMON including tickets, signed poster and backstage tour with Andrew Rannells; tickets to the upcoming Broadway revival of EVITA; tickets and a backstage visit with Charles Busch at his new play JUDITH OF BETHULIA, and more.

Lypsinka (a.k.a. John Epperson, actor and author of the Abingdon hit MY DEAH) first met her public in as part of the bill of Busch's VAMPIRE LESBIANS OF SODOM. Lip-synching to meticulously edited snippets of performances by female film, television and theater stars, Lypsinka has headlined several acclaimed solo shows including THE BOXED SET, AS I LAY LIP-SYNCHING, A DAY IN THE LIFE, and THE PASSION OF THE CRAWFORD.

Alan Cumming was recently nominated for an Emmy Award for his work on the CBS series "The Good Wife." His Broadway credits include revivals of THE THREEPENNY OPERA, DESIGN FOR LIVING and CABARET for which he garnered a Tony Award.

Alison Fraser, who originated the role of Sister Walburga in Busch's THE DIVINE SISTER, is best known for her Tony-nominated performances in THE SECRET GARDEN and ROMANCE/ROMANCE.

Andrew Rannells earned a Tony nomination for his performance as Elder Kevin Price in THE BOOK OF MORMON and has also appeared on Broadway in HAIRSPRAY and JERSEY BOYS.

Beth Leavel earned a Tony nomination for her work in last season's BABY IT'S YOU. Other Broadway credits include ELF, YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, MAMMA MIA and THE DROWSY CHAPERONE for which she received a Tony Award.

Honorary Gala Chair is Daryl Roth, producer of THE DIVINE SISTER and six Pulitzer Prize-winning plays, including AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY and THREE TALL WOMEN.

Since 1993, Abingdon Theatre Company has developed and produced 64 new plays by American Playwrights exclusively. Their actors, directors, designers, producers and dramaturgs have collaborated with more than 200 playwrights to develop original plays. Under the guidance of Artistic Director Jan Buttram and Managing Director Samuel Bellinger, the company provides a safe home in which playwrights collaborate with other theatre artists and receive audience feedback through the utilization of a four-step development process: Page 2 Stage, Staged Readings, and Workout Labs, which culminate in Studio and Mainstage Productions. Currently at Abingdon Theatre Company is John Morogiello's new play BLAME IT ON BECKETT, set to open October 16, directed by Jackob G. Hofmann.

Tickets to Abingdon Theatre Company's 19th Annual Benefit Gala on Monday, October 24 at Espace (635 West 42nd Street), 6pm-10pm, begin at $350. To purchase tickets, please contact Heather Henderson at Abingdon Theatre Company, 212-868-2055.

For more information, visit www.abingdontheatre.org.


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