Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Goldberg, Williams & More Join Tisch & Franco In Honoring Billy Crystal 12/6


The Tisch School of the Arts announced today that a distinguished list of entertainers will join in honoring Tony Award® and Emmy Award® winning actor Billy Crystal, Class of 1970, at its annual gala, The Face of Tisch. Those scheduled to participate include Christina Bianco '03, The Bob Cantwell New Orleans Jazz Band, Seán Curran '84, James Franco '11, Whoopi Goldberg, Marcia Gay Harden '88, Isaiah Johnson '10, Jesse L. Martin '91, Krysta Rodriguez '06, Paul Shaffer, Noah Weisberg '98, and Robin Williams. The event will be held 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 modernization of 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.

Mr. Crystal stated, "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 more than a fundraising event or a gala dinner. It is a celebration of some of the nation's most distinguished artists, alumni and current students performing live at Frederick P. Rose Hall. The star-studded evening 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 participation from some of the entertainment industry's most celebrated talent such as Alec Baldwin, Jerry Seinfeld, Wyclef Jean, Bill Cosby, Debra Messing, Laura Benanti, Elaine Stritch, Raúl Esparza, Rainn Wilson, Matthew Morrison, Joel and Ethan Coen, Tony Kushner, Mariska Hargitay and George Wolfe.
NOTE: Press wishing to cover the red carpet MUST make advance arrangements. To request red carpet credentials, contact Sara Davis or Kelly Flinn, (646) 723-4344,,

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: Monica Simoes

Related Articles

Buy at the Theatre Shop

T-Shirts, Mugs, Phone Cases & More

More Hot Stories For You