Liliane Montevecchi to Headline LOVE 'N COURAGE Honoring Mario Fratti, 2/24

Liliane Montevecchi - the celebrated actress best-known for her Tony and Drama Desk Award-winning performance in the musical NINE - will lead the line-up for theatre artists paying tribute to the playwright and theater critic Mario Fratti (whose adaptation of the Federico Fellini film 8 ½ became the Broadway musical NINE), when Theater for the New City presents its 11th annual LOVE 'N COURAGE benefit on Monday, February 24 at 6 pm at the National Arts Club (15 Gramercy Park South) in New York City.

An annual evening to benefit TNC's Emerging Playwrights Program, this year's LOVE 'N COURAGE event will feature appearances by Ms. Montevecchi, Oscar winner F. Murray Abraham, two-time Tony winner Tammy Grimes accompanied by Alex Rybeck, singer Anna Bergman accompanied by William Hicks, Austin Pendleton, Katharine Cullison, cabaret star KT Sullivan, Inma Heredia, Human Kinetics Movement Arts, Rachel Klein Dance Company, Jocab Merrick Storms, the Yip Harburg Foundation Rainbow Troupe, and Michael-David Gordon and TNC's Street Theater Company.

One of the highlights of this year's LOVE 'N COURAGE will be the world-premiere of a new five-minute play by Mario Fratti, POET, along with musical selections from NINE.

Mario Fratti is the author of nearly 70 plays, which collectively have received 600 productions in numerous languages in two dozen countries. His plays include BLINDNESS: A TRAGEDY IN IRAQ, SUICIDE, THE CAGE, ACADEMY, MAFIA, THE RACES and THE BRIDGE. The musical NINE won five Tony Awards, eight Drama Desk Awards and two Outer Critics Circle Awards during its original run on Broadway, subsequently earning three Outer Critics Awards and two Tony Awards when it was revived in 2003. A longtime, revered member of the press corps covering theater in New York City, Mr. Fratti serves as drama critic for several European newspapers.

In addition to NINE, Ms. Montevecchi was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance in the musical GRAND HOTEL. She appeared in THE WIZARD OF OZ on tour with Mickey Rooney and last year performed her solo show HELLO, DARLINGS at the nightclub 54 BELOW.

Theatre for the New City is a long-running bastion for new theatrical works. While talented emerging playwrights often find themselves competing for funding with more established writers, TNC's mission is to offer 'love and encouragement' to these truggling artsts with its Emerging Playwrights Program. Theater for the New City is a Pulitzer Prize-winning community cultural center known for its high artsitic standards and community service. One of NY's most prolific theatrical organizations, TNC producers 30-40 premieres of American plays each year, at least 10 of which are by emerging and young playwrights. Many influential theater artists of the last quarter century have found TNC's Resident Theater Program instrumental in their careers, among them Sam Shepard, Moises Kaufman, Richard Foreman, Charles Busch, Maria Irene Fornes, Miguel Pinero and Academy Award winners Tim Robbins and Adrien Brody.

"Emerging playwrights are writers of great promise who have yet to fulfill their artistic goals, but whose visions are high," explains Crystal Field, Theatre for the New City's Executive Artistic Director. The Emerging Playwrights Program takes in fledgling and untried writers, offering a nurturing environment where new authors can flourish, and often realize their first fully-produced work at TNC. Ms. Field notes that "love and courage are what a playwright needs to thrive in this field, and love and encourage is what Theater for the New City does!"

LOVE 'N COURAGE on Monday, February 24 begins at 6 pm with cocktails, followed by seated dinner at 7 and performacnes at 8. Tickets are $150 and can be purchased online at or by calling 212 868 4444.

Photo by Seth Walters

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