After shepherding some of Britain's greatest theatrical hits to Broadway, mega-producer Cameron Mackintosh will be the toast of the Nov. 15 Actor's Fund of America's Gala at the New York Hilton. Mackintosh will receive the Actor's Fund Medal.
Mackintosh first made a name on these shores by bringing Cats, the longest running musical in Broadway history, to New York. Other producing credits include the blockbusters The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables and Miss Saigon as well as this season's Putting It Together and Martin Guerre. On the other side of the Atlantic, Mackintosh is also well known for exporting the musicals of Stephen Sondheim.
Saluting the master of the 1980's and 1990's big musicals will be performers with Mackintosh pasts including Michael Crawford (The Phantom of the Opera), Bernadette Peters, Carol Burnett, George Hearn, John Barrowman, Ruthie Henshall, Bronson Pinchot (Putting It Together), Lea Salonga (Miss Saigon), Hugh Panaro, Stephen Buntrock (Martin Guerre and the entire cast of Broadway's Les Miserables.
Dame Edna, the alter ego of Australian Barry Humphries, will present The Actor's Fund Medal to Mackintosh. As well as participating in the evening, Peters will also receive the Fund' Artistic Achievement Medal.
Past winners of the Actor's Fund have been George Burns, Katharine Hepburn, Angela Lansbury, Ethel Merman, Gerald Schoenfeld and William Howard Taft. Tickets are $500 and up and available by calling (212) 245-6570. The cocktail reception begins at 6:30 PM with entertainment and the awards to follow at 8:30. The New York Hilton is located at 1335 Avenue of the Americas.
The nation's "only human service organization for all entertainment professionals," the Actors' Fund of America is best known for providing financial assistance and social services (food, rent, medical expenses) to professionals in need.
-- By Christine Ehren