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George Street Playhouse's 2017 Gala to Honor David Saint, Marlene & Tony Volpe

George Street Playhouse has announced that its Annual Gala Benefit - a one-of-a-kind evening featuring stars of Broadway, film and television - will take place Sunday, April 2, 2017, 5 pm, at The Heldrich Hotel in New Brunswick.

This year, George Street Playhouse honors one of its own as David Saint will receive the Arthur Laurents Award for Distinguished Artistic Achievement in celebration of his 20th season as The Playhouse's Artistic Director.

The Thomas H. Kean Arts Advocacy Award will be bestowed upon Marlene and Tony Volpe, longtime supporters of George Street Playhouse, by the award's namesake, Governor Kean.

The black-tie evening draws corporate, civic and social leaders from throughout the region. Each year, the Gala raises hundreds of thousands of dollars to support George Street Playhouse's world-class mainstage productions and nationally recognized educational programs.

The silent auction is one of the highlights of The Playhouse's Annual Gala, and offers luxury vacation trips, home furnishings, tickets to hard-to-get Broadway shows, fine dining experiences, top sports venues and much more.

Patrons attending GSP's Gala have come to expect stellar performances during the evening's Cabaret and this year should prove no exception. Past performers have included Constantine Maroulis, David Hyde Pierce, Rita Moreno, Bernadette Peters, Tyne Daly, Sandy Duncan, Kelly Bishop, Brian d'Arcy James, Alison Fraser, Penny Fuller, Anne Jackson, Jerry Stiller and Chita Rivera, among others. This year's performers will be announced at a later date.

The Black Tie affair at The Heldrich (located on Livingston Avenue, directly across the street from George Street Playhouse) begins at 5 pm with a cocktail reception and silent auction. Dinner follows at 6:30 pm with the Cabaret performance commencing at 7:30. Sponsorship opportunities, tables of 10, and individual tickets are available. For further information contact Peggy Aronson at or (732) 846-2895, ext. 145.

Kenneth M. Fisher, Jr. of Hillsborough serves as Benefit Chair. GSP Board Chair James Heston of Metuchen, and GSP Board President Penelope Lattimer of New Brunswick, serve as Sponsorship Co-Chairpersons. Janice Haggerty of Bedminster, and Gabrielle Vajtay of Somerset serve as Silent Auction Co-Chairpersons. W. Burton "Tripp" Salisbury of North Brunswick, and Janice Stolar of East Brunswick are Tickets & Tables Co-Chairpersons. Lora Tremayne of Somerset serves as Journal Chairperson.

Rounding out the Annual Gala Benefit Committee are Joseph P. Benincasa, president & CEO of The Actors Fund and the 2016 Kean Award recipient; Joan Campbell of North Brunswick; Carol Hila of Woodbridge; Sharon Karmazin, president of The Karma Foundation; Jocelyn Schwartzman of East Brunswick; and Frances C. Stromsland, Ed.D., of Watchung.

Sponsors for the evening include Joan and Robert Campbell, James N. Heston, The Karma Foundation, David Saint, Marlene and Tony Volpe, and WithumSmith+Brown.

George Street Playhouse is a nationally recognized theatre, presenting an acclaimed mainstage season while providing an artistic home for established and emerging theatre artists. Its leadership consists of Artistic Director David Saint, Resident Artistic Director Michael Mastro and Managing Director Kelly Ryman. Founded in 1974, The Playhouse has been well represented by numerous productions both on and off-Broadway, including the Outer Critics' Circle Best Musical Award-winner The Toxic Avenger; the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Drama League nominated production of The Spitfire Grill; and the Broadway hit and Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning play Proof by David Auburn, which was developed at GSP during the 1999 Next Stage Series of new plays. In 2015, George Street Playhouse was represented by two productions in New York with the Broadway production of It Shoulda Been You and Joe DiPietro's Clever Little Lies, which opened off-Broadway that same year. Both shows received their premieres at The Playhouse. In addition to its mainstage season, GSP's Touring Educational Theatre features three issue-oriented productions that are seen by more than 40,000 students annually. George Street Playhouse programming is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Pictured: David Saint will be honored with Arthur Laurents Award for Distinguished Artistic Achievement at this year's George Street Playhouse Annual Gala Benefit, in celebration of his 20th season The Playhouse's Artistic Director. (Photo by Jesus Baez)

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