Terrence McNally To Be Honored at Westport Country Playhouse Annual Gala

One of America's most distinguished playwrights, Tony Award winner Terrence McNally, will be honored at "The Full McNally: A Celebration of the Writing and Works of Terrence McNally," presented by Westport Country Playhouse at the theater's annual fundraising gala on the evening of Monday, September 24. Hosting the tribute will be 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." Proceeds will benefit Westport Country Playhouse - its work on stage, with schools, and throughout the community.

"Terrence is the only truly great American playwright who has written successfully for the dramatic as well as the musical stage," said Mark Lamos, Playhouse artistic director. "It's such an honor for us to be able to do this for him, especially since the co-hosts of the gala are two stars who have been influential in bringing Terrence's work to the stage in mesmerizing performances."

Lamos added, "Terrence has worked with some of the finest musical theater talents as well as some of our greatest actors. What other writer can you say that about? Our revival last season of his 'Lips Together, Teeth Apart' made us all the more eager to honor him with a line-up of fantastic Broadway talent."

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

A cocktail party will begin at 5:45 p.m., followed at 7 p.m. by performances by Broadway friends of The Playhouse. Dinner with the evening's stars will be at 8:30 p.m. A silent auction will be on-going throughout the evening. Attire is festive; black tie optional.

Terrence McNally was awarded the Dramatists Guild Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011. He 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 plays include "Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune"; "Lips Together, Teeth Apart" (produced at Westport Country Playhouse in 2011); "Corpus Christi;" "A Perfect Ganesh"; "The Ritz"; "It's Only a Play"; "Some Men"; "Golden Age"; "Deuce"; "The Lisbon Traviata"; "Bad Habits"; "The Stendhal Syndrome"; "Dedication or The Stuff of Dreams"; "Next"; "Unusual Acts of Devotion"; "Sweet Eros"; "Witness"; "Where Has Tommy Flowers Gone?"; and his first play, "And Things that Go Bump in the Night." McNally has written the books for the musicals "The Full Monty," "A Man of No Importance," "The Visit," and "The Rink." He won an Emmy Award for Best Drama with his teleplay "Andre's Mother," and he wrote the screenplays for "Frankie and Johnny," "Love! Valour! Compassion!," and "The Ritz." 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.

Tyne Daly recently starred in "Master Class" on Broadway and in London, reprising the role of Maria Callas which she played at The Kennedy Center. A renowned stage, screen, and television actress, Ms. Daly's stage work has won her numerous awards, including a Tony Award for her performance as Rose in the highly successful 1989 revival of "Gypsy" and a Tony nomination for "Rabbit Hole." Her television appearances are too numerous to list, but she is best known for her work on "Cagney & Lacey" (four Emmy Awards), "Judging Amy" (Emmy Award) and "Christy" (Emmy Award), in addition to appearances on "Burn Notice" and "Grey's Anatomy," and in several TV films. She has received 16 Emmy nominations. Film work includes "Georgia," with Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons. Ms. Daly was trained at the American Shakespeare Festival, Brandeis University, and the American Musical and Dramatic Academy.

Richard Thomas appeared Westport Country Playhouse in productions of "Critic's Choice" and "Whose Life Is It Anyway?" Last season, he was in a Script in Hand reading of "The Golden Age" and a presentation of "A Distant Country Called Youth." Thomas starred in the Emmy Award-winning series, "The Waltons." He has continued to star in series, films, plays, and over 50 movies for television. On stage, he has been called "one of the leading classical actors of his generation" - Newsday. His career began on Broadway at age seven with 1958's "Sunrise at Campobello," and has continued with such shows as "Fifth of July," "The Seagull," "The Front Page," "Tiny Alice," "Peer Gynt," "Richard II," "Richard III," "Hamlet," and "The Stendhal Syndrome." Recent appearances include Broadway's "Democracy" and "Race," The Public Theater's "Timon of Athens," and the national tour of the acclaimed Broadway revival of "12 Angry Men."

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; Joanna Heimbold; Irma Hilton; Beth Hayes; Carole Hochman; Jennifer Huisking; Darlene Krenz; Mary Ellen Marpe; Mark Osgood; Judy Phares; Marjorie Treisman; and Judy Wetzel.

Gala tickets range from $2,500 to $250. Benefactor level, at $2,500 per person, includes a cocktail party, highest priority seating at performance, post-performance dinner with the evening's stars, and an invitation to a Benefactor Preview Party at a private home in early September; Patron level, at $1,000 per person, includes a 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. A limited number of Supporter tickets are available. Purchase gala tickets online at www.westportplayhouse.org/gala.

Related Articles View More Connecticut Stories   Shows

More Hot Stories For You