Amas Musical Theatre To Honor Patricia Birch And Len Cariou At 55th Annual Benefit Gala Concert

The evening will benefit Amas Musical Theatre's education programs.

By: Feb. 28, 2024
Amas Musical Theatre To Honor Patricia Birch And Len Cariou At 55th Annual Benefit Gala Concert
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Amas Musical Theatre will celebrate its 55th Anniversary at its annual Gala Benefit Concert on Monday, May 13, 2024 at Baruch Performing Arts Center (Engelman Recital Hall) One Bernard Baruch Way (25th Street -between Lexington & 3rd Avenues).

The gala evening will begin at 6:00pm with a champagne toast. At 7:00pm the evening continues with a concert performance of “A Lotta Night Music,” directed by Jonathan Cerullo. A cast of Broadway luminaries will perform songs from such shows as Grease, They're Playing Our Song, and A Little Night Music, among others. Teens from The Rosetta LeNoire Musical Theatre Academy will be part of the evening.

The evening will culminate with the presentation of the 2024 “Rosie” Award to Honorees award-winning choreographer and director Patricia Birch (A Little Night Music, Parade), Tony Award-wining actor Len Cariou (Sweeney Todd, Applause), and Butler Tibbets, a beloved corporate sponsor for Amas programs for many years.

“The Rosie Award is given every year to outstanding individuals who are leaders in their fields. Our Honorees exemplify the spirit of Rosetta LeNoire, not only because of their extraordinary accomplishments and dedication in bringing our world more closely together, but because they help show the way to others who would follow. “We are thrilled to be paying tribute to these wonderful Honorees, all of whom have made such a profound impact in the performing arts” says Donna Trinkoff, Artistic Producer. “Butler Tibbetts has been a philanthropic patron of the company for more than 10 years. Len Cariou's career has spanned theatre, from Shakespeare to musicals, television and film, and he is one of the greatest actors of his generation. Pat Birch's amazing body of work as a trailblazing female choreographer and director has paved the way for so many of our artists to establish their careers. We are also delighted to have Amas Artistic Associate Jonathan Cerullo on board to direct the evening because of his relationship with Patricia Birch which is all-embracing, not only as her sole and exclusive assistant for 12 years but, as his mentor, and friend.”

Past recipients of the “Rosie” Award include Maurice Hines, Phylicia Rashad, Dionne Warwick, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, Priscilla Lopez, Lillias White, Norm Lewis, Hinton Battle, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, Leslie Uggams and last year's honoree Sheryl Lee Ralph.

Tickets are $600 and $300 plus a limited number of show-only $175 seats are available and can be purchased online at, or by calling (212) 563-2565. More information is at

Since 1968, Amas has been a force in New York City, developing and producing new American musicals, a pioneer in non-traditional casting and multiculturalism, and a forerunner of theatre arts education for underserved young people.

Amas Musical Theatre was the inspiration of a pioneering figure in the American theatre, Rosetta LeNoire (1911-2002), an African-American actress who began her career as a child performer “planted” in audiences by her godfather, the legendary Bill “Bojangles” Robinson. Rosetta founded Amas (Latin for “you love”), a non-profit performing arts organization, to combat racism, proclaiming “We are all flowers in God's glorious bouquet, every one of us, every color!”

From the beginning, Amas has sought to bring together people of all backgrounds, colors, and ethnic origin through musical theatre, and education programs have always been integral to the mission. Amas became the first voice of multiculturalism in theatre, and America's founding exponent of diversity, long before the term became a corporate mantra. Rosetta insisted on multi-ethnic casting in every show she produced and, in a few seasons, Amas emerged as an influential new force in the theatre, especially after she conceived the groundbreaking Bubbling Brown Sugar in 1973, which became a Broadway and touring sensation.

In 1999, President Clinton awarded the National Medal of Arts to Rosetta as “an individual deserving of special recognition by reason of her outstanding contributions to the excellence, growth, support, and availability of the arts in the United States." Actors' Equity Association acknowledges Rosetta and Amas' contribution to the American theatre by annually bestowing the Rosetta LeNoire Award (“The Rosie Award”) on producers and theatre companies who exemplify her commitment to multicultural production and casting. Following in Rosie's footsteps, for the past 25 years, artistic producer Donna Trinkoff has continued to engrave the unique Amas trademark with musical theatre works that embrace different cultural perspectives while reaching out to underserved audiences.

Countless dramatists, composers, lyricists, directors, choreographers and actors have graced Amas stages over the past 54 years, including Maya Angelou, Micki Grant, Galt McDermott, Sheldon Epps, John Rando, Tom O'Horgan, Ossie Davis, Billie Allen, Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Andre deShields, Leslie Uggams, Phylicia Rashad, Brad Oscar and Christopher Jackson. The contributions of these alumni, as well as the dedication of the talented roster of early career artists, speaks to the unique and important work of Amas – a laboratory for artists who share its vision of cultural equity and tell timeless stories that resonate deeply.

About the Artists

Patricia Birch (Honoree) is an American dancer, choreographer, film director, and theatre director. Born in Englewood, New Jersey, Birch began her career as a dancer in Broadway musicals, including Brigadoon, Goldilocks, and West Side Story (playing ‘Anybodys'). In the 1960s, she taught dance at the Juilliard School's pre-college division in New York City. She performed as a soloist with Martha Graham and Agnes De Mille. She has been nominated for the Tony Award as Best Choreographer five times: in 1972 for Grease, in 1974 for Over Here!, in 1976 for Pacific Overtures, in 1977 for Music Is and in 1999 for Parade. Other stage credits as choreopgrapher include You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown, A Little Night Music, They're Playing Our Song, Zoot Suit, Raggedy Ann, Anna Karenina, Candide, and Lovemusick. Her many film credits include Roseland, A Little Night Music, Grease, Grease 2, Big, Sleeping with the Enemy, The First Wives Club and The Stepford Wives. She has directed and choreographed music videos for Cyndi Lauper, The Rolling Stones, and Carly Simon. She earned Emmy Awards for her direction of the television specials “Natalie Cole: Unforgettable” and “Celebrating Gershwin” and, in collaboration with Michael Tilson Thomas, she staged the concert version of On the Town performed by both the London Symphony Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony. She spent six years staging numbers for “Saturday Night Live.”

Len Cariou (Honoree) is a distinguished member of the Theatre Hall of Fame and a three-time Tony nominee, for Applause, A Little Night Music, and for his legendary performance as Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, (Tony award-winner, Best Actor). He is a pre-eminent interpreter of the work of Stephen Sondheim. His other Broadway credits include Nightwatch, Cold Storage, Teddy & Alice, Dance a Little Closer, The Speed of Darkness, Neil Simon's The Dinner Party, and Proof. Showing his range, he toured the U.S. as Cap'n Andy in Show Boat, and as Nils Bohr in Copenhagen. In 2009 he starred in All My Sons at Dublin's The Gate Theatre, reprising the role of Joe Keller for which he had previously won raves at the Geffen Theatre in Los Angeles. The Dublin production was the longest running, highest grossing in that theatre's history. In addition, he was lauded for his performance as Richard Nixon in Frost/Nixon at the Vancouver Playhouse and Canadian Stage. His classical stage repertoire is far-ranging, encompassing the title roles in Oedipus the King, Macbeth, Cyrano, Coriolanus, and two productions of King Lear, as well as Iago, Petruchio, Prospero and others too numerous to mention. Off-Broadway, he is proud of his work in the one-man show Broadway and The Bard, produced by Amas Musical Theatre, as Ernest Hemingway in Papa, William O. Douglas in Mountain, and Joseph Stalin in Master Class. Regionally, he has starred in a multitude of productions at theatres throughout North America, including The Kennedy Center, The Mark Taper Forum, The Manitoba Theatre Centre, The Stratford Shakespeare Festivals in both Ontario and Connecticut, The Guthrie Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre and The Old Globe. He appeared in the historic 1964-65 production of Mother Courage starring Zoe Caldwell, directed by John Hirsch. Several feature films include the popular The Four Seasons, Executive Decision, Thirteen Days, and About Schmidt with Jack Nicholson, as well as Secret Window with Johnny Depp, Flags of Our Fathers, and 1408. He was awarded a Genie, Canada's Oscar, for Best Actor in the film One Man. Currently, he stars with Tom Selleck and Donnie Wahlberg on the hit CBS series "Blue Bloods." He appeared several times as Louis Tobin, a character based on Bernie Madoff on ""Damages" with Glenn Close, Lily Tomlin and Martin Short, and spent two seasons as powerhouse political appointee Judd Fitzgerald in the Showtime series “Brotherhood” with Dublin's own Fionnula Flanagan. He has guest starred on “CSI: Las Vegas,” “The Practice,” “West Wing,” “Law & Order,” “The Outer Limits,” “Swift Justice,” and “Murder She Wrote,” to name only a few. Myriad TV movies include “Surviving,” “Man in the Attic,” “Who Will Save Our Children,” “There Were Times Dear” (PBS), “Miracle on Route 880,” “Killer in the Mirror,” Hallmark Hall of Fame's “The Summer of Ben Tyler,” “Nuremberg” (TNT) and as Franklin Roosevelt in HBO's “Into the Storm.” Mr. Cariou is known for his voice-over work in commercials, books-on-tape and film, especially on The Jonestown Flood, which won an Academy Award, and as Harry Bosch in Michael Connolly's well-known novels. He has sung with the Winnipeg Symphony and the New York Philharmonic. In 2008 he directed a production of Glengarry Glen Ross (Manitoba Theatre Centre) that sold out its mid-winter run despite outside temperatures of 40 below zero. He is a former Artistic Director of the Manitoba Theatre Centre, and former Associate Director of the Guthrie Theatre. While at the Guthrie he directed The Crucible and Of Mice and Men. In addition, he directed Arlene Francis in Don't Call Back on Broadway, and off-Broadway, The Petrified Forest. He also received Best Director honors at the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton for directing James Whitmore in Death of a Salesman. His most recent stage credit is his portrayal of the titie character in the Off Broadway production of Tuesdays with Morrie.

Butler Tibbets (Honoree) is a family of lawyers and professionals that work to transcend the traditional role of legal advisor, bringing a human element to every matter in an increasingly fast-paced and complex world. Recognized by clients for our intimate approach, Butler Tibbets has been building meaningful relationships for more than 30 years. The company guides clients through their most vulnerable moments in business and in life. Tim Butler serves as Managing Partner for Butler Tibbetts. A strategic and compassionate leader, he is dedicated to fostering the firm's culture of quality and care to help nurture meaningful client relationships. Tim works closely with every member of the Butler Tibbetts team, providing mentorship, leveraging their collective strengths, and actively encouraging the kind of entrepreneurial spirit that sparks new ideas and creative solutions. Building on the decades-long experience of his own successful litigation and corporate practices, Tim leads a formidable group of lawyers and professionals handling some of the most sophisticated legal work in the state. He has successfully argued cases in front of the Connecticut Supreme Court, as well New York and Federal Appellate Courts. His depth of experience and intimate, nimble approach helps fine-tune the firm's offerings for every matter, carefully adjusting the strategy to meet unique client needs and situations. Known for his personal investment in clients and their concerns, he is a highly respected healthcare lawyer by clients and colleagues alike, representing hospitals, health systems, and physician groups in managed care litigation and provider-payor contract disputes. Tim is also a trusted business advisor, providing counsel on all aspects of business structuring and management and strategic planning, as well as mergers, acquisitions, and sales.

Jonathan S. Cerullo (Director/Co-Writer) Broadway/NYC: choreographic consultant: Say Goodnight, Gracie, assistant director and/or choreo: Band in Berlin, Anna Karenina, The Three Musketeers, original cast: Legs Diamond, choreographer, Big Apple Circus' Carnivale! & Picturesque (Lincoln Center). Produced/directed, With Love Now and Forever, CATS4COVID Relief Reunion Concert original cast Cats National. Off-Broadway: produced/directed, Legs Diamond Reunion Concert (Feinstein's/54 Below & NYPL Lincoln Center), directed and/or choreo, The Flip Side and No Foolin' (Amas Musical Theatre), Fictitious (Theatre Now NY - 2016 Best Director), Windywoo (Amas Musical Theatre & NYMF & Legacy Theatre), Pins and Needles (La Mama), Uta Hagen's Tribute (Town Hall), Chance choreographer; Under Fire (2009 Best of Fest NYMF). TV/Film: created and directed; “Dear Mr. Gershwin” (CBC TV), choreo, “Evening at Pops”, assistant director, “Donny Osmond's, This Is the Moment”, “Natalie Cole's Christmas Special” all for Great Performances. Film: The First Wives Club, The Stepford Wives, The Cowboy Way. Regional: Denver Center, Goodspeed, Arena Stage, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Uta Hagen in Six Dance Lessons; Geffen Playhouse Member of Stage Directors & Choreographers Union (President's Award 2023), AEA, Dramatist Guild, and former Callaway & Lortel Awards committees. Artistic Associate at Amas Musical Theatre. For more information please visit;

Amas Musical Theatre

Amas Musical Theatre now in its 55th year of continuous operation is New York City's award-winning pioneer in diversity and multi-ethnic casting in the performing arts since 1968. Amas (“you love” in Latin) is devoted to the creation, development and professional production of new American musicals through the celebration of diversity and minority perspectives, the emergence of new artistic talent, and the training and encouragement of underserved young people in the New York area. In recent years, Amas has emerged as a leading not-for-profit laboratory for new musicals, including Hip Hop Cinderella, The Gospel According to Heather, Romeo & Bernadette: A Musical Tale of Verona & Brooklyn, Broadway and the Bard, starring Len Cariou and Red Eye of Love, which was awarded the Joseph A. Callaway Award for Outstanding Choreography. Its production of The Other Josh Cohen received six 2013 Drama Desk nominations including Outstanding Musical, a 2013 Lucille Lortel nomination for Outstanding Musical, and a 2013 Off-Broadway Alliance nomination for Best New Musical. Other shows that Amas has developed include A Taste of Chocolate, Triassic Parq, The Countess of Storyville, Distant Thunder, Marry Harry, Me and Miss Monroe, Aesop & Company, Signs of Life, Wanda's World, Shout! The Mod Musical, Lone Star Love, From My Hometown, Zanna, Don't!, 4 Guys Named Jose and Stormy Weather: Reimagining Lena Horne. Amas education programs include the Rosetta LeNoire Musical Theatre Academy, Lens on Live Theatre and in-school theatre arts residencies designed in partnership with elementary, middle, and high schools.


For more information, please visit The evening will benefit Amas Musical Theatre's education programs.