One's carried a gun in most of his roles, been a "Usual Suspect" and prevented "Traffic," while receiving an Oscar for the latter. The other is a premiere literary critic and Shakespearean scholar. But at the Stella Adler Awards gala Nov. 19, there's room for both: filmdom's Benicio del Toro and criticdom's Harold Bloom. Del Toro is the recipient of the Stella Adler acting prize, while Bloom takes home the Jake Adler Award, created in homage to Yiddish Theatre and the traditions it brought to America.
The Adler Awards will be given out in the Rainbow Room at Rockefeller Center in a gala evening chaired by film great Marlon Brando, Mike Medavoy, Harvey Weinstein, Ellen Barkin, Zoe Caldwell and Roy Scheider. The Divine Miss M, Bette Midler, headlines the event.
Midler, known for her movie roles in films like "Beaches," studied with Adler. Also scheduled to perform in a special "Film Salutes Theatre" set are The Music Man himself, Robert Sean Leonard, three-time Tony winner Audra McDonald, John McMartin and Roy Scheider.
Academy Award-winning director and original Group Theatre member Sidney Lumet will be honored with the Group Theatre Award. As a child, Lumet acted on Broadway, including a role in Dead End. His love of the theatre resulted in film versions of Twelve Angry Men, Child's Play, The Seagull, Equus, Deathrap, The Wiz and Long Day's Journey Into Night, although he is perhaps best remembered for "Serpico," "Dog Day Afternoon" and "Network."
A former Adler student, Del Toro won his Oscar as a Mexican cop struggling against his country's corrupt cartels in "Traffic." Other films include "Basquiat," "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" and "Snatch." Bloom is the author of "How to Read and Why," "The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages," "Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human" and "'The Book of J."
The gala inaugurates the Group Theatre Society, founded by the Stella Adler Studio of Acting. The Group Theatre Society honors the theatrical ideals the Group Theatre, founded in 1931 by Harold Clurman, Lee Strasberg, and Cheryl Crawford. Adler was a founding member, along with Clifford Odets, Elia Kazan and Sanford Meisner.
To attend the "Stella by Starlight" gala, contact Richard Torrance at (212) 875-1941. "Stella By Starlight" benefits the Stella Adler Studio of Acting.
— By Christine Ehren