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THE BRIDGE PROJECT BENEFIT Celebrates Inaugural Year On 2/17

BAM and The Old Vic announce The Bridge Project Benefit, celebrating the inaugural year of repertory co-productions from BAM, The Old Vic, and Neal Street Productions. The February 17 event begins at 6pm with cocktails and dinner onstage at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House followed by an 8pm performance of Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale at the BAM Harvey Theater, directed by Sam Mendes and featuring a star-studded, transatlantic cast including Simon Russell Beale, Sinéad Cusack, Richard Easton, Rebecca Hall, Josh Hamilton, and Ethan Hawke. The evening concludes with a post-performance dessert reception with the cast onstage at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House. Benefit tickets can be purchased though BAM Patron Services at 718.636.4182.

Event Information
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Festive Attire
6pm: Cocktails and dinner, BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, Peter Jay Sharp Building, 30 Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn
8pm: Performance of Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale, BAM Harvey Theater, 651 Fulton St, Brooklyn
11pm: Post-performance dessert reception with cast, BAM Howard Gilman Opera House

About The Bridge Benefit
The pre-show cocktails and dinner along with the post-show dessert reception will be catered by Great Performances. DJs Andrew Andrew will provide dessert reception entertainment. The evening's décor, designed by Bella Meyer and Fleurs Bella, will play on the tension between hot and cold as metaphor for various polarities explored in Shakespeare's play. The lobby will reflect a glittering wintry environment, with BAM Artist Chris Piazza's large-scale sculpture "The Snowshoe Salesman" setting the tone. Inside, the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House stage will be divided into icy and lush halves, with snow-bedecked branches juxtaposed with large flowering trees. At the dessert reception, the stage will be transformed yet again, with a topiary of Hermione presiding over the festivities.

In one of Shakespeare's most unique plays-equal parts psychological drama and comedic farce-a critically-acclaimed cast, directed by Academy Award-winning director Sam Mendes, sinks its teeth into a decade-spanning saga of attempted murder, mistaken identity, and improbably happy endings. The New York Times praised Mendes' The Cherry Orchard, presented with The Winter's Tale as a double-bill of classic works for The Bridge Project's inaugural 2009 season, as "nimble" and "vibrantly acted," while The Wall Street Journal raved "there was never a moment when I was anything other than enthralled."

Single tickets start at $150 for performance with gallery seats and dessert reception only, or $1,000 for the entire evening with orchestra seats, including dinner. Tables of ten are available for $10,000-$25,000. Please call BAM Patron Services at 718.636.4182 to order tickets. All proceeds from this event will benefit BAM and The Old Vic.

During The Bridge Project Benefit, BAM will take a few moments to remember Gerald Schoenfeld, who was a terrific friend with an incomparable enthusiasm for theater. As the former Chairman of the Shubert Organization and the Shubert Foundation, he made a lasting impact on the entire theater community.

About BAM
Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) is recognized internationally for its innovative programming of dance, music, theater, music-theater, opera, and film. BAM presents leading national and international artists and companies in its annual Spring Season and highlights groundbreaking, contemporary work in the performing arts with its Next Wave Festival each fall. Founded in 1983, the Next Wave is one of the world's most important festivals of contemporary performing arts. BAM Rose Cinemas features new, independent film releases and BAMcinématek-a curated, daily repertory film program.

BAM also serves New York City's diverse population through a weekend concert series in BAMcafé, community events, literary series, and a wide variety of educational programs. BAM, America's oldest performing arts center in continuous operation, has presented performances since 1861, and attracts an audience of 500,000 people each year. The institution is led by President Karen Brooks Hopkins and Executive Producer Joseph V. Melillo-each of whom has been associated with BAM for more than twenty years.

About The Old Vic Theatre Company
Led by Artistic Director Kevin Spacey, The Old Vic Theatre Company (Sally Greene, Chair; Kate Pakenham and John Richardson, Producers) was launched in 2004 to produce first-class theatre as the resident company of the legendary 190-year-old Old Vic Theatre. Running alongside its award-winning mainstage productions, the Company has also undertaken groundbreaking work with schools and the local community to bring theatre to a wider audience, including nurturing young talent through its New Voices Club, which recently expanded its network of participants beyond the UK into the United States.

The company has produced 17 productions including the inaugural production, Cloaca, directed by Kevin Spacey, as well as a new version of Aladdin, with Ian McKellen as Widow Twankey, A Moon for the Misbegotten by Eugene O'Neill, with Eve Best, Colm Meaney and Kevin Spacey, directed by Howard Davies, which transferred to Broadway, the 50th Anniversary production of John Osborne's The Entertainer, with Pam Ferris and Robert Lindsay, directed by Sean Holmes, and a new play by Samuel Adamson based on Pedro Almodóvar's film All About My Mother. The fifth season opened with the first London revival of Alan Ayckbourn's The Norman Conquests, directed by Matthew Warchus, and the current production is the world premiere of Joe Sutton's Complicit, starring Richard Dreyfuss, David Suchet and Elizabeth McGovern, directed by Kevin Spacey.

Bank of America is the Proud Presenting Sponsor of The Bridge Project.

Additional support for The Bridge Project is provided by Celia Atkin, Samantha & John Hunt, Sharon E. Karmazin, David L. Klein, Jr. Foundation, The Laura Pels Foundation, Donald R. Mullen Jr., Tony Randall Theatrical Fund, Jon & NoraLee Sedmak, Jessica Smith & Kevin Brine, and Barbara & David Zalaznick.

Wine for the Bridge Project Benefit is provided by Peconic Bay Winery. Floral décor provided by Fleurs Bella.

BAM 2009 Spring Season is sponsored by Bloomberg. Programming in the BAM Harvey Theater is endowed by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

BAM thanks its many donors and sponsors, including: The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation; New York City Council; Estate of Richard B. Fisher; The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; The Starr Foundation; Robert Sterling Clark Foundation; The Shubert Foundation, Inc.; Carnegie Corporation of New York; Time Warner Inc.; The Howard Gilman Foundation; The Skirball Foundation; The SHS Foundation; Bloomberg; The Harkness Foundation for Dance; New York State Assembly Brooklyn Delegation; Friends of BAM and BAM Cinema Club. Sovereign Bank is the BAM Marquee sponsor. Yamaha is the official piano for BAM. R/GA is the sponsor. New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge is the official hotel for BAM.

General information
BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, BAM Rose Cinemas, BAMcafé, and Brownstone Books at BAM are located in the Peter Jay Sharp building at 30 Lafayette Avenue (between St Felix Street and Ashland Place) in the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn. BAM Harvey Theater is located two blocks from the main building at 651 Fulton Street (between Ashland and Rockwell Places). BAM Rose Cinemas is Brooklyn's only movie house dedicated to first-run independent and foreign film and repertory programming. BAMcafé, operated by Great Performances, is open for dining prior to Howard Gilman Opera House performances. BAMcafé also features an eclectic mix of spoken word and live music for BAMcafé Live on Friday and Saturday nights with a special BAMcafé Live menu available starting at 8pm.

Subway: 2, 3, 4, 5, Q, B to Atlantic Avenue;
D, M, N, R to Pacific Street; G to Fulton Street; C to Lafayette Avenue
Train: Long Island Railroad to Flatbush Avenue
Bus: B25, B26, B41, B45, B52, B63, B67 all stop within three blocks of BAM
Car: Commercial parking lots are located adjacent to BAM

For ticket and BAMbus information, call BAM Ticket Services at 718.636.4100, or visit


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