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Actress/Dancer Bebe Neuwirth Is Celebrity Host Of HEART & SOUL GALA At The Breakers

Actress/Dancer Bebe Neuwirth Is Celebrity Host Of HEART & SOUL GALA At The Breakers

The Actors Fund, a national human services organization that has served all professionals in the performing arts and entertainment industry since 1882, today announced that Tony and Emmy Award winning actress/singer/dancer Bebe Neuwirth will serve as Celebrity Host/Emcee at the 10th anniversary Heart & Soul Gala that will be held on Thursday, March 14, at 7 pm, at The Breakers in Palm Beach.

A benefit for Career Transition For Dancers, a program of The Actors Fund, the glamorous Heart & Soul Gala will honor Palm Beach cultural philanthropist Anka Palitz, along with Ethan Stiefel, principal guest instructor at American Ballet Theatre, and ABT principal dancer Gillian Murphy. Not only was Ethan Stiefel the first individual dancer supported by Mrs. Palitz, he and fellow honoree Gillian Murphy are married and expecting their first child.

As Vice Chair of The Actors Fund Board of Trustees, Bebe Neuwirth is the founder of The Dancers' Resource, a program of The Actors Fund that addresses the unique challenges of dancers' physical and emotional health. Ms. Neuwirth is a two-time Tony Award winner (Sweet Charity in 1986, Chicago in 1997) and won two Emmys for her role as Lilith in Cheers. Additional Broadway credits include A Chorus Line, Dancin', Little Me, Damn Yankees, Fosse and The Addams Family; and she has appeared in such major motion pictures as Say Anything, Bugsy, Malice, Jumanji and Tadpole. Her TV career includes roles in Star Trek: The Next Generation, Blue Bloods, Frasier, Law & Order: Trial By Jury, The Good Wife and 71 episodes of Madam Secretary.

The 10th anniversary Heart & Soul Gala in Palm Beach will include celebratory cocktails, gourmet dinner, a live auction by Neil Saffer, and extraordinary performances by Ballet Palm Beach, Boca Ballet Theatre, and Dance Town USA. Music will be provided by the incredible Alex Donner Orchestra.

Tickets are $650 per person and sponsorship opportunities are available. To RSVP or for more information, please call 561.502.3486.

Palm Beach cultural patron Anka K. Palitz has been a generous and tireless supporter of dancers for decades, both during and after their dance careers. After a successful life in the fashion and cosmetics industry, Mrs. Palitz has dedicated her life to helping dance companies and professional dancers. A Board member of American Ballet Theatre for more than 25 years, she also helped to formulate and served as a Board Member of Career Transition For Dancers (CTFD). As a program of The Fund, CTFD continues to enable dancers to define career possibilities and hone the skills necessary to excel in a variety of disciplines, thus supporting them in developing rewarding post-performance careers. Mrs. Palitz serves as National Ambassador Vice-Chair of The Actors Fund.

Currently the Principal Guest Instructor at American Ballet Theatre. Ethan Stiefel is an internationally renowned dancer, coach, director and choreographer who previously served as Artistic Director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet and, earlier, Dean of the School of Dance at the University of North Carolina School of Arts. He began his career at age 16 with the New York City Ballet where he quickly rose to the rank of Principal Dancer, the same position he later held with the Zürich Ballet and ABT. Stiefel performed leading roles in all of the full-length classics and danced in works created by major choreographers, with guest appearances with leading companies worldwide. He starred in the feature film Center Stage and its sequels, and has worked as a choreographer and guest teacher for many institutions including the Paris Opera Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada, Dance Theatre of Harlem, ABT's Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School, The School of American Ballet, and more.

Currently a Principal Dancer with American Ballet Theatre, Gillian Murphy has dance lead roles in all of ABT's current full-length classics and in shorter works by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Jiri Kylian, Antony Tudor, William Forsythe, Martha Graham, Lar Lubovitch, Paul Taylor, Frederick Ashton and Agnes De Mille. She has danced as a guest artist throughout the world, performing with the Mariinsky Ballet, the Royal Swedish Ballet, the Staatsballett Berlin, the Kiev Ballet, the Australian Ballet, as a ballerina with the Metropolitan Opera, and in numerous other international engagements and galas. Murphy also has taught master classes in Tokyo, Indianapolis, Winston-Salem, and San Diego as well as classes in New York City for Dance Theatre of Harlem, ABT's Studio Company, and dancers of the Metropolitan Opera. In 2009, she was the recipient of a Princess Grace Statue Award, the organization's highest honor.

The Chairs for the upcoming Heart & Soul Gala are Lois Pope, a patron of numerous medical, cultural, environmental and public service endeavors, and Theodora Aspegren, a real estate investor who serves on the West Palm Beach Historic Planning Board and recently joined the board of directors of Ballet Palm Beach.

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