Can you imagine the history of American theatre without the services of Vinnette Carroll, Zelda Fichandler, Peter Gennaro, Gillian Lynne, Marshall Mason, Andrei Serban, George Abbott, Michael Bennett, Arvin Brown, Graciela Daniele, Gordon Davidson, Agnes de Mille, Bob Fosse, Garson Kanin, Mike Nichols, Trevor Nunn, Harold Prince, Lloyd Richards, Gene Saks, Tommy Tune or Jerry Zaks?
Neither can the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation, which will honor the legacy of these legends with a Nov. 8 bash titled, "TwentyOne For The 21st." A benefit for the SDCF, the evening will honor the abovementioned 21 directors and choreographers and their contribution to theatre in the past century. Joy Abbott (widow of George Abbott), Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber and Gwen Verdon are co-chairing the 8 PM event.
Charles Repole (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes) will stage entertainment for the gala, with several of the living honorees expected to attend. (Brown, Saks, Davidson and Richards have all confirmed their attendance.)
Performing or speaking at the gala will be Brian Batt, Roxane Barlow, James Brennan, Marge Champion, Edie Cowan, Patti D'Beck, Liza Gennaro, Micki Grant, Nikki Harris, Amy Heggins, Amy Hill, Dee Hoty (Footloose), Barnard Hughes (Waiting in the Wings), Angelique Ilo, Judith Ivey (Voices in the Dark), Marcia Lewis (Chicago), Gillian Lynne, Cameron Mackintosh, Andrea McArdle, Ted Pappas, Robert Prosky, Matthew Rauch, Lee Roy Reams, Suzi Regan, Richard Sabellico, Jeanna Schweppe, Helen Stenborg (Wit), Tony Stevens, Elizabeth Swados, Cicely Tyson, Frank Ventura and Lanford Wilson. Original cast members of Your Arms Too Short to Box with God will also perform.
SDCF distributes the annual "Mr. Abbott" Awards; all but Carroll, Fichandler, Gennaro, Lynne, Mason and Serban have already won that honor. Spokesperson Brett Singer told Playbill On-Line (Sept. 24) the Abbotts will be revamped this year and occur spring 2000. Tickets range from $75-$500 for the evening, which takes place at Florence Gould Hall, 55 East 59th Street. For information on "TwentyOne For The 21st" call (212) 302-5359.
-- By David Lefkowitz