Matthew Broderick Will Host The Drama League's Benefit Gala Honoring Nathan Lane
The Drama League (Executive Artistic Director, Gabriel Stelian-Shanks) has announced the roster of special guest performers for its 35th Annual Benefit Gala: A Musical Celebration of Broadway honoring film, television, theater icon and three-time Tony Award winner Nathan Lane. The black-tie evening, which will also celebrate theater producer Fran Weissler for Visionary Leadership in American Theater, will take place on Monday, November 5, 2018 beginning at 6:30 p.m. in New York City at The Plaza (768 Fifth Avenue). The Gala Co-Chairs are Kathy Henderson, Janet M. Kagan, and Joseph Pizza.
Celebrating Nathan Lane's career in theater, film and television, including this last season's Broadway revival of Angels in America, the gala will feature a one-night-only musical tribute in Mr. Lane's honor hosted by Matthew Broderick with appearances by stars of both stage and screen, including Christine Baranski, Josh Charles, Cady Huffman, Mark Linn-Baker, Alex Newell, Ernie Sabella, with more program participants to be announced. Drama League Directors Project alum West Hyler is the director and co-writer of the gala program, with Laura Brandel as assistant director. The 35th Annual Benefit Gala is produced by Drama League Associate Producer Travis LeMont Ballenger with Gala Associate Producer Sean Gorski. The creative team includes David Evans (music direction), Alessandra Marconi (choreography), Timothy Huang (additional lyrics), Melissa Spengler-Winner (production stage management), Nick Kolin (lighting design), Michael Tracey (sound design), Whitney Locher (costume design).
"To have the opportunity to celebrate the life, music and career of Nathan Lane is a tremendous honor," said Gabriel Stelian-Shanks. "Nathan is one of the great actors of our time, as his Tony-winning turn in last season's Angels in America has once again demonstrated. This role is a capstone to four decades of powerful, witty, and soulful performances in films, on television, and in theater around the world. What an honor to be able to revisit his career through song, dance, and the reminiscences of his collaborators for one unforgettable night."
Past performers at The Drama League's Benefit Gala have included Liza Minnelli, Carol Kane, Neil Patrick Harris, Stephen Colbert, Harry Connick, Jr., Audra McDonald, Patti LuPone, Kristin Chenoweth, Angela Lansbury, Tony Bennett, Nick Jonas, Kermit the Frog, and casts of Broadway's hottest musicals. For information about tickets, which include VIP and Ballroom Tables and individual seats, please call (212) 244-9494, Ext. 101 or visit www.dramaleague.org.
Sceneworks Studios is a Major Sponsor of the 2018 Benefit Gala. MAC Cosmetics is the Official Make-Up Partner of The Drama League. Leadership support for The Benefit Gala is also provided by its Vice Chairs: Art Lab LLC, Anna May & Tim Feige, Fearless Productions LLC, Una Jackman & Jay Alix, Mary Jain, Chip & Cindy Murphy, Stan Ponte & John Metzner, and JoAnn & John Weisel. The Benefit Gala Committee members are Bonnie Comley & Stewart F. Lane, Leslie C. Feldman, Robert Jezowski, and The Leo Shull Foundation for the Arts.
The Drama League Benefit Gala raises funds to support the organization's programming and educational initiatives, including The Drama League Directors Project. This award-winning initiative, which began in 1984 and whose alumni now number over 300, has been instrumental in launching the careers of many acclaimed theater directors including Tony Award winners Rebecca Taichman (Indecent, Time and The Conways), Christopher Ashley (Come From Away), Sam Gold (King Lear, A Doll's House Part 2), Diane Paulus (Waitress), Pam MacKinnon (The Parisian Woman), Michael Mayer (Head Over Heels, Burn This), and John Rando (Gettin' The Band Back Together); Tony Award nominees Mark Brokaw (Heisenberg), Rachel Chavkin (Hadestown), Moritz von Steulpnagel (Bernhardt/Hamlet) and Alex Timbers (Beetlejuice); as well as OBIE and Emmy Award winners Lear deBessonet, R.J. Cutler, Anne Kauffman (Marvin's Room), and Lila Neugebauer (The Waverly Gallery), to name a few. 'Drama League Directors' have been honored with Tony, Emmy, Grammy, Obie, Peabody, Drama Desk, GLAAD, Drama League, New York Drama Critics Circle, Outer Critics, Evening Standard, Lucille Lortel, Bessie, Princess Grace, Garland, Drama-Logue, Barrymore, Helen Hayes, Elliot Norton, and Joseph Jefferson Awards, and have directed films and plays that received Academy Award nominations and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
The Drama League of New York, since 1916, has been at the forefront of the American theater community, with initiatives to promote artistic development and audience engagement. It is one of the nation's oldest continuously-operating, not-for-profit arts advocacy and education organizations. Through its programming, The Drama League serves over 3,000 artists and 15,000 audience members each season with over 150 events and programs. More information can be found at www.dramaleague.org.