Photo Flash: Sigourney Weaver, Alan Alda, Jefferson Mays and More at Westport Country Playhouse's Gala to Honor A. R. Gurney
Playwright A. R. ("Pete") Gurney, one of the most-produced playwrights in the history of Westport Country Playhouse, was celebrated for his body of work at the theater's one-night-only fundraising gala, "A Perfect Party: A Gala Evening Honoring A. R. Gurney," on Monday, September 22. Fourteen productions of Gurney's plays have been staged at Westport Country Playhouse, including one world premiere. Scroll down for photos!
Arthur Levitt, former Chairman of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, and a valued Playhouse trustee and longtime supporter, was honored with the Playhouse Leadership Award, presented to him by Alan Alda. U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal presented Levitt with a Certificate of Special Recognition.
A star-studded production in tribute to Gurney included scenes from his plays, as well as musical numbers in the Playhouse's Jason Robards Theater. Taking the stage were Maureen Anderman, Chris Henry Coffey, Jill Eikenberry, Keira Naughton, Jake Robards, Charles Socarides, Bobby Steggert, KT Sullivan, Richard Thomas, Jennifer Van Dyck, and the Williams College Octet. Many of the talents have appeared in plays by A. R. Gurney on the Playhouse stage and elsewhere.
Among the celebrity guests attending the gala were Frank Converse, Mia Dillon, Keir Dullea, Jack Gilpin, Joe Godfrey, Susan Lyons, Jefferson Mays, Ann McDonough, Patricia Richardson, and Chris Sarandon.
A. R. Gurney, a Connecticut resident, has been writing plays for over 50 years. Among them are "Love Letters," "Children," and "The Dining Room." In 2012, he won a Drama Desk Award for his body of work. Gurney is a member of the Theatre Hall of Fame and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has honorary degrees from Williams College and Buffalo State University, and taught literature at M.I.T. for many years.
Arthur Levitt, a Westport resident, was the 25th Chairman of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, from 1993 to 2001. He graduated from Williams College, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Levitt's bestselling book, "Take on the Street: What Wall Street and Corporate America Don't Want You to Know/What You Can Do to Fight Back," was published by Pantheon Books in 2002.
Gala proceeds will benefit the non-profit, professional producing Westport Country Playhouse, now in its 84th season - its work on stage, with schools, and throughout the community.
The gala's stage production was helmed by Mark Lamos; co-conceived by Lamos and Deborah Grace Winer, artistic director of the 92Y's Lyrics & LyricistsTM American songbook concert series; music direction by Mary-Mitchell Campbell; conducted by Andy Einhorn; choreographed by Lorin Lotarro with associate Shannon Lewis; video support by Doug Tirola and 4th Row Films; and produced by Kevin Duncan.
Photo Credit: Steve Walter Photo
Mark Lamos, Westport Country Playhouse Artistic Director; Playwright A. R. Gurney, Gala Honoree; Former SEC Chair Arthur Levitt, recipient of the Westport Country Playhouse Leadership Award; and Michael Ross, Westport Country Playhouse Managing Director
Honoree A. R. Gurney