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Ma-Yi Theater Company to Pay Tribute to David Merrick at Gala Benefit, 3/24

The late impresario David Merrick will be celebrated at the Gala Benefit marking the 25th anniversary of the Ma-Yi Theater Company - one of the nation's leading Asian American theater troupes - on Monday, March 24 at 6 pm the Hudson Theater (145 W. 44 St.) in Manhattan, it has been announced by Jorge Ortoll, the company's executive director.

Headlining the evening - which will include performances of musical numbers from 42nd ST, GYPSY, OLIVER! and HELLO, DOLLY! - will be Lee Roy Reams, the actor/director long-associated with Mr. Merrick's work; the beloved singer Klea Blackhurst; award-winning Filipino-American actress Ching Valdes Aran; performer Deborah S. Craig; and Ralph Pena, who is Artistic Director of Ma-Yi Theater, and who most recently directed the company's acclaimed production of THE WONG KIDS at La MaMa. Ma-Yi Theater's Board of Directors is chaired by Mr. Merrick's widow, Etan.

To be recognized for their contributions to the arts and the Asian-American community will be filmmaker and musician Bessie Badilla; Ernest Escaler, chairman of the Asian Cultural Council/Philippines; and Cao K. O, co-founder and former executive director of Asian American Federation of New York.

Gala Honorary Chairs are Loida Nicolas Lewis and Lily O'Boyle. Gala co-chairs are Etan Merrick and Lolita Valderrama Savage.

Tickets range from $100 to $500 with tables of 10 for $3000 and $5000. For more information contact the Ma-Yi Theater's administrative offices at 212 971 4862.

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