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Billy Crystal, Class of 1970, to Be Honored at Tisch Gala 2010 12/6


The Tisch School of the Arts announced today that it will be honoring Tony Award® and Emmy Award® winning actor Billy Crystal, Class of 1970, at its annual gala, The Face of Tisch on Monday, December 6th at the renowned Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center.

This year, the Tisch Gala will support the campaign to renovate the original home of the Tisch School of the Arts, 111 Second Avenue. In the 1950's the building was known as The Central Plaza where Billy's father, Jack Crystal, produced legendary live Jazz concerts known as "The Sessions." It was during these performances where young Billy learned to entertain an audience. His ties to the building grew stronger when he returned to 111 Second Avenue as a student at the School of the Arts (predecessor to Tisch) in 1968, where he graduated with his BFA in 1970. Now, Mr. Crystal once again returns to assist with the fundraising efforts for the building that played such a significant role in his family's and his own life, as a committed alumnus.

Mr. Crystal stated today, "The Tisch School of the Arts at 111 Second Avenue has a special place in my heart. From 1949 until 1963 my father, Jack, produced great jam sessions there every weekend when it was known as The Central Plaza. His concerts were some of the first integrated sessions in jazz history. It was there as a youngster around these great jazz players that I started to perform. Many years later I would return to that great building as a student at the School of the Arts. With this evening, it is a special thrill to be able to help restore that building so more youngsters like me will discover the thrill of the performing arts."

The Face of Tisch is a celebration of some of the most distinguished alumni and current students performing live at Frederick P. Rose Hall. The star-studded performance will be produced and directed by Arthur Masella. Past Tisch galas have included performances from Tony Award® winning Broadway shows such as Spring Awakening and from some of the entertainment industry's most celebrated talent such as Alec Baldwin, Jerry Seinfeld, Wyclef Jean, Bill Cosby, Elaine Stritch, Raúl Esparza and Jesse L. Martin.

About Tisch School of the Arts
For more than 40 years, Tisch School of the Arts has drawn on the vast resources of New York City and New York University to create an extraordinary training ground for the individual artist and scholar of the arts. Students learn their craft in a spirited, risk-taking environment that combines the professional training of a conservatory with the liberal arts education of a major research university.

As one of the nation's leading centers of undergraduate and graduate study in the performing and cinematic arts, Tisch offers programs of study that incorporate state-of-the-art facilities; a collaboratively oriented community of award-winning faculty members; internship opportunities with established professionals; and the incomparable artistic and cultural resources of New York City.

For more information on this year's gala and ticket purchase information, visit

Photo Credit: Peter James Zielinski

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