Krysta Rodriguez & More to Perform at Signature Theatre Gala Honoring Nathan Lane

The event will also feature Faith Prince, Susan Stroman, and more.

By: Mar. 27, 2024
Krysta Rodriguez & More to Perform at Signature Theatre Gala Honoring Nathan Lane
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On April 29, 2024, Signature Theatre will honor icon of stage and screen Nathan Lane with the company’s thirteenth Stephen Sondheim Award. The Stephen Sondheim Award will be presented at a black-tie Gala Benefit at The Anthem and will benefit Signature Theatre’s artistic, education, and community programs. This year’s Gala Benefit will be chaired by H. Mac and Michele-Anne Riley. 

Paying tribute to Mr. Lane with live performances are Tony Award-winner Faith Prince, Broadway and television star Krysta Rodriguez, and Only Murders in the Building’s James Caverly. Signature favorites Adelina Mitchell, Tracy Lynn OliveraAwa Sal Secka and Bobby Smith will also perform, accompanied by Jon Kalbfleisch. Broadway icon and five-time Tony Award-winner Susan Stroman will give remarks as part of the presentation of the Stephen Sondheim Award to Mr. Lane.

Signature’s Sondheim Award Gala honors individuals who have made important contributions to the American Musical Theater. This spring, Signature is thrilled to celebrate Tony® and Emmy Award®-winner and film favorite Nathan Lane. A frequent collaborator with Stephen Sondheim, Lane won his first Tony Award for his performance in the 1996 revival of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. After winning a second Tony Award in 2001 for The Producers, Lane revised the book for and starred in the 2004 Broadway debut of Sondheim’s The Frogs. In addition to his award-winning performances onstage, Nathan Lane is best known for his onscreen work in The Birdcage, his Emmy Award-winning performance in Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building, and his voice work as Timon in Disney’s beloved film The Lion King. 

In addition to honoring Nathan Lane, Signature will honor The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation with The J. Watkins Distinguished Service Award for the Foundation’s decades long commitment to civic leadership and community support, including for Signature and other arts organizations. The J. Watkins Distinguished Service Award was created to honor community leaders who have made an extraordinary impact in the greater DC community through their advocacy and passion for the arts and arts education. The award is made in memory of J. Watkins, a long-time Signature Board member, an important part of the Sondheim Award Gala leadership team, and a tremendous ambassador for Signature and the arts in our community. 

This year, single tickets are available for the Sondheim Award presentation to Nathan Lane for $60 and can be purchased at All tickets will be held at will call at The Anthem starting at 7PM. Doors to the Award presentation open at 7:30PM, with tribute performances beginning at 8PM. 

Table sponsorship for the 2024 Sondheim Award Gala ranges from $12,000 to $100,000 and includes rewarding, year-long visibility and entertainment benefits. Individual sponsorship starts at $1,200. For more information about sponsorship and tickets contact McKinley Seale, Donor Services Manager at 571-527-1828 or


Faith Prince

For the past four decades, Faith Prince has dazzled audiences on both stage and screen in a variety of memorable comedic and dramatic roles. She quickly rose to Broadway fame after winning a Tony Award, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Award for her performance as Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls directed by Jerry Zaks, and has remained one of the most prolific leading ladies working in the American musical theater.

For her Broadway debut in Jerome Robbins’ Broadway, Ms. Prince was nominated for her first Tony Award and Drama Desk Award, and has since starred in over a dozen Broadway shows: Nick & Nora (Outer Critics Circle nomination), Guys and Dolls, What’s Wrong With This Picture, The King and I, Little Me, James Joyce’s The Dead, Bells Are Ringing (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics nominations), Noises Off, Disney’s The Little Mermaid, A Catered Affair (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics nominations), Annie, and Disaster. Also in New York, she originated the role of Trina in William Finn and James Lapine’s Falsettoland and can be heard on the cast recording. Recently, she originated the role of Valentina in the world-premiere of BOOP! The Betty Boop Musical in Chicago.

Equally present on screen, Ms. Prince made her television debut guest starring opposite Pierce Brosnan on the hit series “Remington Steele” followed by playing Angela Virago in the 1985 film The Last Dragon. She has appeared in numerous films including: Dave with Kevin Kline, My Father the Hero with Gerard Depardieu, Picture Perfect with Jennifer Aniston, Our Very Own, It Had to Be You, Material Girls, and Disney’s Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue.

Faith is perhaps more widely recognized for the many colorful characters she has created on television including recently: Nellie Cantrell on the 2022 Fox series “Monarch” and Judith Robertson in “Emily in Paris”, as well as Kristy Swenson in “Scream Queens”, Elaine Bingum in “Drop Dead Diva”, Claudia in “Spin City”, Kelly Knippers in “Huff”, “Modern Family”, “CSI", “Ugly Betty”, “Grey’s Anatomy”, “Monk”, “House”, “Now and Again” and television movies including most recently “Dear Christmas” for Lifetime.

Audiences can now stream her many live appearances, including performances from The Tony Awards, “My Favorite Broadway” at Carnegie Hall, and “An Evening At The Pops: A Tribute to Jerry Herman” (PBS). In addition to the original cast recordings, she has two solo albums “A Leap of Faith” (DRG, 2000) and “Total Faith” (Broadway Records, 2013).

Faith can frequently be seen in concert and her symphony appearances include Boston Pops, Utah Symphony, Orlando Philharmonic, Cincinnati Pops, and Philly Pops, and Sydney Opera House and the Adelaide Music Festival with Anthony Warlow.

Born in Georgia and raised in Virginia, Faith received a BFA in musical theater from University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music before moving to New York and making her professional debut in Scrambled Feet, a revue at The Village Gate Theater. She then succeeded Ellen Greene as Audrey in the original New York and Los Angeles productions of Little Shop of Horrors. In 2009, Ms. Prince was honored by her alma mater with an Honorary Doctorate of Performing Arts.

Krysta Rodriguez 

starred as Cinderella in the Broadway revival of Into the Woods and in The Collaboration for Manhattan Theatre Club last season. Previously, Rodriguez co-starred in the Emmy Award winning Netflix/Ryan Murphy limited series “Halston” as the iconic entertainer Liza Minnelli, which marked her return to the platform after starring in “Daybreak” with Matthew Broderick. Rodriguez starred in the holiday film “How the Bitch Stole Christmas” opposite RuPaul. Rodriguez’s long list of television roles include the NBC series “Trial & Error” and “Smash”. Other credits include recurring roles on “Younger,” “Married,” “Gossip Girl” and the FOX pilot “Iceland” opposite Zach Gilford. Rodriguez also recurred on the “Quantico”, “Chasing Life” and “The Mysteries of Laura”. Rodriguez toplined the CBS comedy pilot “Sober Companion” opposite Lauren Lapkus and led the TBS comedy pilot “Space”. She won an Indie Series Award for her work on the streaming comedy series “Indoor Boys”. Rodriguez’s theater résumé includes Theresa Rebeck’s play Seared at MCC, in a role she originated at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, for which she was honored with an Outer Critics Circle Award for her performance. Rodriguez took on the role of famous animated princess Megara in Disney’s premiere stage adaptation Hercules as part of The Public Theater’s PublicWorks program. Broadway credits include: Ilse in the Deaf West revival of Spring Awakening; First Date opposite Zachary Levi and original companies of The Addams Family, In the Heights, Spring Awakening, A Chorus Line (Revival) and Good Vibrations. Other memorable turns include Anita in West Side Story at The Kennedy Center with the National Symphony Orchestra; What We’re Up Against at The Women’s Project; and a standout in the Hollywood Bowl production of A Chorus Line as Diana. Film credits include The Virginity Hit, Wishin’ and Hopin’ and My Bakery in Brooklyn. Krysta played to sold out audiences in The Jonathan Larson Project at Feinstein’s/54 Below and can be heard on the recording released by Ghostlight Records.

Susan Stroman 

is a five-time Tony Award winning director and choreographer known for the Broadway musicals Crazy for You, Contact, The Scottsboro Boys, and The Producers – winner of a record-making 12 Tony Awards including Best Direction and Best Choreography – her work has been honored with Olivier, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Lucille Lortel, and a record six Astaire Awards. For Broadway, she most recently directed and choreographed the new Kander & Ebb musical New York, New York and directed the new play POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive. This season in London’s West End, she directed and choreographed the critically acclaimed revival of Crazy for You at the Gillian Lynne Theatre. Other Broadway credits include The Frogs by Sondheim, Burt Shevelove and Nathan Lane, Show Boat, Prince of Broadway, Bullets Over Broadway, Big Fish, Oklahoma!, Young Frankenstein, Thou Shalt Not, The Music Man, Big, and Steel Pier.  Off-Broadway she directed and choreographed Dot by Colman Domingo, The Beast in the Jungle, Flora the Red Menace, And the World Goes ‘Round, Happiness, The Last Two People on Earth: An Apocalyptic Vaudeville, as well as The Merry Widow for The Metropolitan Opera and the Broadway bound Little Dancer. She has created ballets for New York City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Martha Graham. She received the American Choreography Award for her work in Columbia Pictures feature film Center Stage. She is the recipient of the George Abbott Award for Lifetime Achievement in the American Theater and an inductee of the Theater Hall of Fame in New York City.

James Caverly 

he/him BROADWAY: Children of a Lesser God. REGIONAL: Huntington Theatre Company: I Was Most Alive with You, Studio Theatre: Tribes, Berkeley Repertory Theatre: Tribes, Olney Theatre Center: The Music Man, Kitchen Theatre Company: Tribes, Deaf Austin Theater: The Laramie Project. TV: Hulu: Only Murders in the Building, NBC: Chicago Med. AWARDS: Hayes Award for Outstanding Lead Performer. EDUCATION: Gallaudet University: Theatre Arts: Production/Performance. 


she/her NATIONAL TOUR: Wicked (Elphaba u/s current). SIGNATURE: Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods, Rent, Gun & Powder. REGIONAL: The Muny: Sister Act, Legally Blonde; Olney Theatre Center: The Music Man, A.D. 16; Round House Theatre: Quixote Nuevo; Constellation Theatre Company: The Last Five Years, Monumental Theatre Company: Head Over Heels. @adelinamitchell

Tracy Lynn Olivera 

SIGNATURE: Simply Sondheim, Signature Vinyl, Assassins, A Little Night Music (Helen Hayes Award, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical), Titanic, The Fix; Gypsy; Crossing; Company, Hello, Dolly! (Ford’s Theatre co-production); The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas; Brother Russia; The Hollow; The Boy Detective Fails; Les Misérables; ACE;The Happy Time; Merrily We Roll Along; Allegro; Follies; Side Show; Sweeney Todd. BROADWAY: Ragtime (2009 revival). DC AREA: Round House Theatre: Next to Normal. Kennedy Center: Ragtime, Sunday in the Park..., Passion, Merrily We Roll Along; Arena Stage: Fiddler on the Roof, Damn Yankees; Shakespeare Theatre: Candide; Ford’s Theatre: Ragtime, 110 in the Shade(Helen Hayes Award, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical); Olney Theatre: Beauty and the Beast, Matilda, On the Town;Studio Theatre: Bachelorette. REGIONAL: Goodman Theatre: Candide. RECORDINGS: Because (solo LP). 

Awa Sal Secka

SIGNATURE: Ragtime (Sarah), Gun and Powder (Flo), Blackbeard (Kali Maa), Jesus Christ Superstar (Simon), Broadway in the Park, Signature Vinyl. NY: GODDESS Workshop (Zawadi), GRACE Workshop (Jacqui). DC AREA: Ford’s: Into the Woods (Baker’s Wife), The Wiz (Glinda/Dorothy u/s); Round House: School Girls (Ama), Caroline, or Change (Dottie); Theatre J: Intimate Apparel (Mayme); Kennedy Center: Me…Jane (Maisie), Chasing the Wind (Abby); Imagination: Cinderella (Cinderella), Charlie Brown (Lucy); ATMTC: James and the Giant Peach (Sponge); Studio: SILENCE! (Ardelia); OTC: Co-writer of The Joy That Carries You (2023 Winner of the Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play or Musical), Dessa Rose Concert (Dessa), Children of Eden Concert (Eve), Avenue Q (Ensemble). REGIONAL: Berkeley Rep: GODDESS(Zawadi); ArtsCentric: L5Y (Cathy), AIDA (Aida), MEMPHIS (Felicia); Center Stage: Glorious World (Lady 3).  

Bobby Smith 

he/him SIGNATURE: Ragtime, No Place to Go, She Loves Me, Midnight at The Never Get, Assassins, Grand Hotel, Passion, Light Years, A Little Night Music, Titanic, Simply Sondheim, Company, Midwestern Gothic, Road Show,Threepenny Opera, Disney's Freaky Friday, La Cage aux Folles (Helen Hayes Award), Spin (Helen Hayes Award). BROADWAY: Crazy for You. OFF-BROADWAY: Forever Plaid, The World Goes ‘Round, Of Thee I Sing. NATIONAL TOURS: Brigadoon, The World Goes ‘Round. DC AREA: Theater J: Two Jews Walk Into a War; Studio Theatre: Fun Home, A Class Act; The Long Christmas Ride Home; Caroline, or Change; Grey Gardens; Reefer Madness; Jerry Springer: The Opera; Ford’s Theatre: Elmer Gantry, Liberty Smith, 1776, Violet; Metrostage: Girl in the Goldfish Bowl, Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris(Helen Hayes Award). AWARDS: 2018 Anderson/Hopkins award. 

ABOUT Nathan Lane

Nathan Lane was most recently seen in A24’s Dicks: The Musical, alongside Megan Mullally, Bowen Yang and Megan Thee Stallion and in Ari Aster’s Beau is Afraid, alongside Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Ryan, as well as the second season of Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building as Teddy Dimas, alongside Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez. This role earned him a Primetime Emmy Award in the category of “Guest Actor in A Comedy Series.” He recently received a second Emmy nomination for this role. 

On stage, he recently starred in a new play called Pictures from Home, written by Sharr White, about the artistic and emotional relationship between a photographer and his aging parents, alongside Danny Burstein and Zoë Wanamaker. Broadway credits include: It’s Only A Play, The Nance, The Iceman Cometh, Present Laughter, Merlin, Wind In The Willows, Some AmericansAbroad, On Borrowed Time, Guys and Dolls, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Love! Valour! Compassion!, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, The Man Who Came To Dinner, The Producers, The Frogs, The Odd Couple, Butley, November, Waiting For Godot, The Addams Family and Angels in America. 

Other TV roles include The Gilded Age, American Crime Story: The People Vs. O.J. Simpson, and recurring roles on Modern Family and The Good Wife. He has received one Primetime Emmy Award, eight Primetime Emmy nominations, two Daytime Emmy Awards and a People’s Choice Award. He has appeared in many films including Ironweed, The Birdcage, Frankie and Johnny, The Lion King, Mousehunt, Stuart Little, Nicholas Nickleby, and The Producers. In 2006, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and in 2008, he was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.

ABOUT THE Stephen Sondheim AWARD

In 2009, Signature Theatre inaugurated the Stephen Sondheim Award in recognition of the importance of Mr. Sondheim’s work to Signature and to theatre in general. Previous award recipients have included  Angela Lansbury (2010), Bernadette Peters(2011),  Patti LuPone (2012),  Harold “Hal” Prince (2013),  Jonathan Tunick (2014),  James Lapine (2015),  John Weidman (2016),  Sir Cameron Mackintosh (2017),  John Kander (2018),  Audra McDonald (2019), Carol Burnett (2022), and Chita Rivera (2023).

The award, established in 2009, is given to an individual for his or her career contributions to the American Musical Theater along with interpreting, supporting, or collaborating on works by Sondheim. Signature has produced 34 total Stephen Sondheim productions, more than any other theatre in the United States.