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Nikki Renee Daniels Joins Jonathan Groff & More in SRT's Benefit Honoring Julie Taymor, 11/12

Sonnet Repertory Theatre just announced that Nikki Renee Daniels (The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess; Promises, Promises) will be joining SRT's previously announced Benefit and Cabaret November 12 at 92YTribeca, honoring award-wining director, Julie Taymor. Celebrating Taymor's visionary career, this evening will feature some of Broadway's greatest talents and legends. Daniels joins the previously announced host, Patrick Page, as well as John Behlmann, Jonathan Groff, Ayo Jackson, Cheyenne Jackson, Sondre Lerche, Martin Luther McCoy, Heidi Rodewald, Rema Webb, and Alton F. White.

Taymor is a proponent of Sonnet Rep's mission: classic theatre for the modern planet. All proceeds from the event will go towards Sonnet Repertory Theatre's 2013 key initiatives, including producing exciting, accessible classic theater, and enriching their ever-growing educational initiatives, designed to nurture arts and classical language appreciation among New York City's school children. As a non-profit organization, SRT seeks to promote classic theatre to a contemporary audience by producing insightful and relevant interpretations, while also providing diverse and challenging creative opportunities.

Sonnet Repertory Theatre's Eleventh Annual Benefit & Cabaret will take place Monday, November 12, at 92YTribeca (200 Hudson Street, corner of Hudson, ground floor). Doors open at 6:00pm with an exclusive raffle, and performances are scheduled to begin at 7:00pm. General Admission tickets are $100 (includes a complimentary glass of wine from 6-7pm; General Admission seating is first come, first served; cash bar, no food), or $800 for a Reserved Table for Four (includes premier, reserved seating, light refreshments and a bottle of wine). To purchase tickets, visit

In 1998, Julie Taymor became the first woman to win the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical, and won a Tony for Best Costumes, for her production of The Lion King. The musical recently achieved two milestones: becoming Broadway's all-time highest grossing show and the fifth longest-running show in Broadway history. For her latest Broadway production, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, Taymor served as director and co-book writer. Her 1996 Broadway debut, Juan Darién: A Carnival Mass, earned five Tony nominations. Other theatre credits include The Green Bird, Titus Andronicus, The Tempest, The Taming of the Shrew, The Transposed Heads, and Liberty's Taken. Taymor's feature films include Titus, starring Anthony Hopkins, Jessica Lange and Alan Cumming; the biographical film Frida, starring Salma Hayek and Alfred Molina, which earned six Academy Award nominations, winning two; the Beatles-inspired Across the Universe, nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy; and her Helen Mirren- starring adaptation of The Tempest, which had its North American premiere at the New York Film Festival following a world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival. Beyond the theatre and screen, Taymor has directed five operas internationally, including Oedipus Rex with Jessye Norman, for which she earned the International Classical Music Award for Best Opera Production and an Emmy for a subsequent film version; as well as Salomé, The Flying Dutchman, Die Zauberflöte (in repertory at The Met), The Magic Flute (the abridgEd English version, which inaugurated a PBS series entitled "Great Performances at The Met") and Elliot Goldenthal's Grendel. Taymor is a 1991 recipient of the MacArthur "genius" Fellowship.

The evening will be hosted by Patrick Page, who is currently in Broadway's Cyrano de Bergerac. His other Broadway work includes: The Green Goblin in Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark, Scar in The Lion King, Decius Brutus in Julius Caesar (with Denzel Washington), Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast, Scrooge (standby) in A Christmas Carol, and The Kentucky Cycle. Off-Broadway he played the title role in Rex, and Richard II (directed by Steven Berkoff). Some of Page's regional work includes: Macbeth and Iago at The Shakespeare Theatre Company (with director Michael Kahn), Sergius at Long Wharf, Cyrano and Richard III at Pioneer Theatre Company, plus leading roles at Seattle, Indiana & Missouri Reps, ACT, Cincinnati Playhouse, Arizona Theatre Company, Oregon, Utah, Alabama ShakespeareFestivals, and more.

Award-winning performers are scheduled to appear in SRT's 2012 Benefit and Cabaret, including: John Behlmann (Broadway's Journey's End; Off-Broadway's The 39 Steps; Wild Animals You Should Know, MCC Theater; Are You There, McPhee?, McCarter Theatre); Jonathan Groff (Drama Desk and Tony Award-nominated for Best Actor for Spring Awakening; TV's "Glee"); dancer and choreographer Ayo Jackson (Broadway's Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark); Cheyenne Jackson (Broadway and Off-Broadway: The Performers; Finian's Rainbow – Drama Desk nomination; Damn Yankees; Xanadu – Drama League, Drama Desk nominations; The Agony & the Agony; All Shook Up – Theater World Award, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle nomination; the premiere casts of Altar Boyz, Aida, and Thoroughly Modern Millie. Film: Mark Bingham in the 2006 Academy Award-nominated United 93; The Green, opposite Julia Ormond and Ileana Douglas; Price Check with Parker Posey. TV: "30 Rock" and "Glee"); Norwegian singer-songwriter Sondre Lerche; Singer-songwriter Martin Luther McCoy (former member of the Roots touring ensemble; performed alongside George Clinton, Kid Rock, Jill Scott, Eric Benet, Mos Def, 311, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Dave Matthews and Cody Chestnutt; starred in Taymor's Across the Universe); the award-winning PigPen Theatre Company (The Old Man And The Old Moon; The Nightmare Story; The Hunter And The Bear; The Mountain Song); Heidi Rodewald (co-composer/orchestrator for Broadway's Passing Strange – Tony nomination, Drama Desk Award; performer, arranger, producer and composer for both The Negro Problem and the multi-disciplinary ensemble know as STEW); Rema Webb (Broadway's The Lion King; The Book of Mormon); and Alton F. White (Broadway's The Color Purple; Ragtime; The Lion King; The Who's Tommy; Miss Saigon; Smokey Joe's Cafe).

There will be video tribute appearances by Tony Award-winning and Emmy Award-nominated Alan Cumming; Academy, Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning Helen Mirren; and multiple award-winning actor, Alfred Molina.

Additional performers and participants are to be announced.

Contributing composers include: Elliot Goldenthal (various works for concert, theater, dance and film, including Across the Universe, The Tempest, the Academy Award-winning score for Taymor's Frida, the Tony Award-winning carnival mass Juan Darièn, The Green Bird, and Grendel, his original two-act opera with Taymor); Sondre Lerche; Ray Leslee (award-winning composer of over 75 original scores including works for the Actor's Studio, The Acting Company, Steppenwolf Theatre, the Kennedy Center, ACT Seattle, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Great Lakes Festival, Theater for a New Audience; Avenue X at Playwrights Horizons; Standup Shakespeare directed by Mike Nichols); PigPen Theatre Company; Will Reynolds (The Greenwood Tree, Kennedy Center); Heidi Rodewald and STEW; and Ben Toth (composer for the musical of Sleepless in Seattle, scheduled for a 2013 world-premiere at the Pasadena Playhouse; recently completed the score for writer-director Josh Radnor's Liberal Arts, which premiered at 2012 Sundance and stars Radnor, Allison Janney, Richard Jenkins, Zac Efron, and Elizabeth Olsen).

Sonnet Repertory Theatre recently closed a 2012 production of a new adaptation of Oscar Wilde's The Picture of DorIan Gray. 2011's season featured a sold-out run of The Caucasian Chalk Circle, 2010's a Richard II (co-produced with Fight or Flight Theatre) and a critically acclaimed production of Twelfth Night, which the New York Times called a "solid, talent-filled production." Sonnet Repertory Theatre is led by Co-Artistic Directors Tiffany Little Canfield (a casting director at NYC's Telsey + Company, the team behind casting for the films The Odd Life of Timothy Green, Song One, 17 Photos of Isabel, I Love You Phillip Morris, Rachel Getting Married, Sex and the City (both films), Dan in Real Life, Then She Found Me, Across the Universe, Ira and Abby, RENT, Pieces of April, Camp, Grey Zone, Finding Forrester, The Bone Collector, and countless Broadway shows including Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, Chaplin, Annie, Glengarry Glenross, Bring It On, Rock of Ages, Elf, The Anarchist, Evita, Kinky Boots, Hands on a Hard Body, Newsies, Diner, Jekyll and Hyde, Sister Act, Wicked, and Baz Luhrmann's production of Puccini's La Boheme) and Todd Loyd (numerous on and off-Broadway credits as actor, director and everything in-between including the Broadway productions of La Boheme, The Color Purple, works at The Kennedy Center, The Eugene O'Neill Playwright's Conference, Lincoln Center Institute, Cedar Lake Dance, PCPA Theaterfest, The Belt Theatre, and such festivals as NYMF and NAMT).

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