Oh sure, Linda Lavin and Marvin Hamlisch are world-famous for their work in theatre, film and television, but did you know they've also been extremely supportive of New York University's music theatre programs? So supportive, in fact, that Collaborative Arts Project 21 (CAP21) has chosen them as the honorees for its first annual benefit, May 8.
CAP21 operates a music-theatre performance school affiliated with NYU's Tisch School Of The Arts and its undergraduate music-theatre and drama programs. In other words, drama students at the university train at various outside schools (including Stella Adler and the Atlantic Theatre Company), with CAP21 being the training place for performers in the undergraduate musical-theatre program. Lavin, on CAP21's board, has been strongly supportive of that program, while Hamlisch has been more involved in NYU's Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program.
Producer Julian Schlossberg will serve as the honorary chair for the benefit evening, titled, "The Next Generation Of Musical Theatre Artists." "Rather than a typical benefit," CAP21 artistic director Frank Ventura told Playbill On-Line, "this will be more of a tribute to the performers rather than a performance by them. CAP21 students will be performing songs and selections written by current students and alumni of NYU's graduate musical-theatre writing program."
Lavin's most recent NY appearance was in Cakewalk; Hamlisch wrote the scores for A Chorus Line and Smile.
For tickets ($100 includes post-show cocktail reception) and information on the May 8 benefit, taking place at TSOA's 5th Floor Theatre at 111 2nd Ave., call (212) 807-0202. --By David Lefkowitz