Benanti, Lithgow, Esparza and Hoffman to Participate in Westport Auction Sept. 15

News   Benanti, Lithgow, Esparza and Hoffman to Participate in Westport Auction Sept. 15
 
Award-winning actors Philip Seymour Hoffman, John Lithgow and Laura Benanti are among the show folk scheduled to participate in the Westport Country Playhouse's fundraising auction on Sept. 15.

As previously reported, Academy Award winner Julia Roberts will host the Footlights and Film: A Celebration of the Great Musicals from Stage and Screen gala, which includes a silent auction, dinner and a musical performance by celebrated Broadway actors.

Westport has revealed additional details about the silent auction. Up for bids will be an evening with Academy Award winner Philip Seymour Hoffman, including dinner and a private film screening); a backstage tour of All My Sons led by Tony winner John Lithgow; a backstage visit with Gypsy Tony Award winner Laura Benanti; a backstage tour with Shrek cast members John Tartaglia and Adam Reigler; and a backstage tour of David Mamet's Speed-the-Plow led by Raúl Esparza.

Also up for auction are an on-set lunch with "Gossip Girl" star Penn Badgley, as well as lunch with Emmy Award winner Timothy Busfield and a visit to the set of "Lipstick Jungle."

Westport will auction off an eight-week internship including two weeks with Bernard Telsey, founder of Telsey + Company Casting; two weeks with Josh Pearl of International Creative Management (ICM); two weeks with Broadway and Off-Broadway producer Daryl Roth; and one week each with the managing director and the artistic director of Westport Country Playhouse.

The 8 PM silent auction will also feature vacations, sports packages, fashion and jewelry. Set to entertain as part of Footlights and Film are Steven Pasquale (A Man of No Importance), Raúl Esparza (The Homecoming), Kerry Butler (Xanadu), Gavin Lee (Mary Poppins), Tituss Burgess (The Little Mermaid), Nedra McClyde (The Actors Rap), Julia Murney (Wicked), Q. Smith (Les Miserables) and Aurelia Williams (All Shook Up).

The evening also boasts a trio of Gypsy stars, including Tony Award winners Angela Lansbury and Bernadette Peters, as well as 2008 Tony winner Benanti. Peters will honor Lansbury in a special tribute.

The gala – chaired by Laurie Lister, Judd Burstein, Sharon Sullivan and Jeff Kindler – will also honor Autism Speaks co-founders Bob and Suzanne Wright. Cocktails begin at 6 PM, to be followed by the 6:30 PM performance, dinner and a silent auction.

Footlights and Film: A Celebration of the Great Musicals from Stage and Screen is directed by Joe Calarco with musical direction by Mary-Mitchell Campbell and choreography by Tim Federle.

Funds raised by Footlights and Film benefit artistic and educational programming at the Westport Country Playhouse. Ticket packages, beginning at $600 (performance only), are available by visiting www.westportplayhouse.org.

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In its 78-season history, the Westport Country Playhouse — located in Westport, CT — has produced more than 700 plays, 35 of which have transferred to Broadway.

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