Marin Mazzie, Santino Fontana and More Set for Westport Country Playhouse's Gala Honoring Terrence McNally Tonight, 9/24

Westport Country Playhouse's one-night-only fundraising gala, "The Full McNally: A Celebration of the Writing and Works of Terrence McNally," will take place this evening, September 24. McNally is the winner of Tony Awards for his plays "Love! Valour! Compassion!" and "Master Class," and his books for the musicals "Ragtime" and "Kiss of the Spiderwoman." His other works include "The Full Monty," and "Lips Together, Teeth Apart," which was produced at Westport Country Playhouse in 2011.

The fully orchestrated and choreographed production will be hosted by actors Tyne Daly and Richard Thomas, who have appeared in McNally plays; Daly in "Master Class" and Thomas in "Unusual Acts of Devotion" and "The Stendhal Syndrome."

Performers include Santino Fontana (Broadway's "Billy Elliot," the upcoming Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Cinderella" as Prince Charming); Malcolm Gets (Westport Country Playhouse's "Finian's Rainbow," Tony Award nominee for Broadway's "Amour"); John Glover (four McNally plays, including "Love! Valour! Compassion!" for which he won a Tony Award); Marin Mazzie (Westport Country Playhouse's "The World Goes Round," Tony Award nominee for Broadway's "Ragtime"); Lindsay Mendez (Broadway's "Grease," 2011 revival of "Godspell"); Sean Palmer (Broadway's "The Little Mermaid," "Saturday Night Fever," "Fosse"); Emily Skinner (Broadway's "The Full Monty," "Billy Elliot," "Jekyll and Hyde," Tony Award nominee for "Side Show"); and Camille Zamora (opera, recital, and concert performances)

The ensemble includes Kristine Bendul (Broadway's "Movin' Out," NBC's "Smash"); Cicily Daniels (Broadway/Tour "The Little Mermaid"; "Rent"; "Caroline, or Change"); Kurt Froman (Broadway's "Billy Elliot," associate choreographer for the award-winning film "The BLACK SWAN"); Stephanie Gibson (national tours "A Chorus Line," "Happy Days"); Danette Holden (Broadway's "Shrek the Musical"); Nick Kepley (Broadway's "MARY POPPINS"); Maurice Murphy (Broadway's "Leap of Faith"); Oliver Reid (Broadway's "Kiss Me Kate, "MARY POPPINS," "Sister Act"); Cody Williams (Broadway's "Memphis"); and a special appearance by Luke Sauer of Westport (Westport Country Playhouse's "A Christmas Carol").

Directing the 2012 gala production is Josh Rhodes (film version of "Company," "Broadway Bares," "Sondheim: The Birthday Concert"); choreographers are Rhodes and Kristine Bendul (Broadway's "Movin' Out," NBC's "Smash"); and music director is Mary-Mitchell Campbell (Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Orchestrations for "Company"; "The Addams Family," "Sweeney Todd," "Next to Normal").

Terrence McNally was awarded the Dramatists Guild Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011. Among his many awards are a Citation from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best New Play, four Drama Desk Awards, three Hull-Warriner Best Play Awards from the Dramatists Guild, two Obies, two Lortel Awards, and two Guggenheim Fellowships.

A Benefactor and Patron cocktail party begins at 5:45 p.m., a Supporters Champagne Toast in The Playhouse Lobby begins at 6:30 p.m. followed at 7 p.m. by the musical production. Benefactor and Patron Dinner with the evening's stars will be at 8:30 p.m. A spectacular silent auction will be on-going throughout the evening. Attire is festive; black tie optional. Proceeds will benefit Westport Country Playhouse - its work on stage, with schools, and throughout the community.

The Gala Committee includes Katia and John Friend and Carlyn and Robert Stonehill, co-chairs; Karen Parrella, auction chair; Marjorie Barnes, Emily Boothroyd, Ania Czekaj-Farber, Michele Flaster, Angela Graham, Kim Harizman, Beth Hayes, Joanna Heimbold, Irma Hilton, Carole Hochman, Jennifer Huisking, Darlene Krenz, Mary Ellen Marpe, Mark Osgood, Judy Phares, Marjorie Treisman, and Judy Wetzel, committee members.

Gala tickets range from $2,500 to $250. Benefactor level, at $2,500 per person, includes cocktail party, highest priority seating at performance, and post-performance dinner with the evening's stars; Patron level, at $1,000 per person, includes cocktail party, priority seating at performance, and post-performance dinner with the evening's stars; and Supporter level, at $250 per person, includes a 6:30 p.m. champagne toast followed by the performance. Corporate sponsorship packages are available. For more gala information or ticket purchases, contact Kathryn Gloor at (203) 227-5137, ext. 122, or kgloor@westportplayhouse.org. Purchase gala tickets online at www.westportplayhouse.org/gala.



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