S. Epatha Merkerson, Howard McGillin & More Join OUR TOWN Benefit Reading, 3/4

S. Epatha Merkerson, Howard McGillin & More Join OUR TOWN Benefit Reading, 3/4

Two-time Tony Award nominee S. Epatha Merkerson will join previously announced Tony winners Blythe Danner and B.D. Wong as they share the role of the Stage Manager in The Actors Fund's upcoming benefit reading of the American classic Our Town on Monday, March 4, 2013 at 7:30 p .m. at The Gerald R. Lynch Theatre at John Jay College (524 West 59th Street).

New additions to the cast also include two-time Tony Award nominee Howard McGillin (Anything Goes, The Mystery of Edwin Drood) as Mr. Webb, Jerry Dixon (Once on This Island) as Howie Newsome, Wally Dunn (Gypsy w/ Bernadette Peters, Spamalot) as Professor Willard, Philip Hoffman (Into the Woods, A Catered Affair) as Joe Stoddard, Jose Llana (...Spelling Bee, Flower Drum Song) as Sam Craig and seven-year-old Tyrah Skye Odoms (Annie) as Rebecca Gibbs.

They join the previously announced cast members including Tony Award nominee Celia Keenan-Bolger (Peter and the Starcatcher) as Emily Webb, three-time Tony nominee Rebecca Luker (Mary Poppins, The Music Man) as Mrs. Webb, Tony Award winner Adriane Lenox (Doubt, Chicago) as Mrs. Gibbs, Martin Moran (All the Rage, Spamalot) as of Simon Stimson, Julia Murney (Falling, Wicked) as Mrs. Soames and Leslie Odom, Jr. (Smash, Leap of Faith) as George Gibbs.

The evening will be directed by Peter Flynn (Chess and On the 20th Century for The Actors Fund). Additional casting will be announced soon.

This Pulitzer Prize-winning drama of life in the small village of Grover's Corners, an allegorical representation of all life, has become an undisputed stage classic. Our Town is Thornton Wilder's most renowned and most frequently performed play.

Described by Edward Albee as "...the greatest American play ever written," Our Town won the 1938 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Tappan Wilder, nephew and literary executor of the playwright stated, ""My uncle loved actors--he was an actor himself, you know--and he was mighty proud to have written a popular large-cast play that provided his fellows with so many jobs! What a great pleasure it is to partner with the Actor's Fund, which Thornton Wilder supported throughout his life, on the occasion of a major milestone in the history of his most famous work."

Tickets for the one-night-only benefit are $75, $100 and $150. Sponsorships are available for $1,500 and $5,000, which include passes to the VIP party after the benefit with cast. Tickets can be purchased at www.actorsfund.orgor by calling (212) 221-7300 x133 or emailing tickets@actorsfund.org.

This Actors Fund benefit reading of Our Town is sponsored by PNC Bank, Marriott Hotels, United Airlines and The New York Times.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos

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