Meara, Stiller, Vega and Halston Set for Transport's Gimme a Break Fundraiser

News   Meara, Stiller, Vega and Halston Set for Transport's Gimme a Break Fundraiser The Obie and Drama Desk Award-winning Transport Group will fete producer Barbara Freitag and writer Michael Patrick King in an evening entitled Gimme a Break to be hosted by Broadway's Julie Halston Dec. 3.

As part of the fundraising evening, numerous stars of stage and screen will join Halston (Hairspray, Gypsy) in recounting their "big breaks" into showbiz with personal stories and songs. Among the talent scheduled to be on hand are husband and wife Anne Meara ("Sex and the City," Broadway's Anna Christie) and Jerry Stiller ("Seinfeld," Hurlyburly); Daphne Rubin- Vega (Rent), comedian Mario Cantone (Laugh Whore), Danny Burstein (The Drowsy Chaperone), David Pittu (Lovemusik), Ashley Brown (Mary Poppins), Seth Rudetsky (The Ritz, "Seth's Broadway Chatterbox"), Hunter Bell ([title of show]), Jeff Bowen ([title of show]), Jerry Dixon (Once on this Island) and Sean Palmer (The Little Mermaid).

Gimme a Break will begin with a cocktail reception at 6:30 PM to be followed by performances from the assembled talent at 7:30 PM. Following the entertainment, the Transport Group will present the Humanitarian Awards to Freitag and King, honoring their contributions to the Transport Group and the American theatre.

Freitag serves on the Transport Group's board of directors and initiated the company's latest fundraising endeavor, "The First One Hundred." As a commercial producer, Freitag has presented the Broadway productions of Butley with Nathan Lane, Legally Blonde and The Drowsy Chaperone.

Michael Patrick King, well known for his Emmy-winning work as writer, producer and director of "Sex and the City," penned the new musical Marcy in the Galaxy with Nancy Shayne – slated for a spring 2008 bow at the Transport Group.

Gimme a Break will take place at the Asia Society and Museum, located in Manhattan at 725 Park Avenue and 70th Street. Tickets, beginning at $250, are available by visiting www.transportgroup.org or by phoning (212) 352-3101. *

Founded in 2001, Transport Group is a not-for-profit theatre company that develops and produces work by American playwrights and composers with the aim of exploring the American consciousness in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Transport Group presented its premiere production in 2002: Thornton Wilder's Our Town, which featured older actors in the roles of Emily and George and a 12-year-old girl as the Stage Manager. Its second production, Requiem for William, an evening of seven seldom produced plays by William Inge, that featured a cast of 26 as well as original songs, premiered in 2003. In 2004 the company presented the first New York revival of Michael John LaChiusa's First Lady Suite, which received rave reviews, played to sold-out houses, and earned two Drama Desk Award nominations including outstanding revival of a musical. Recent productions include the world premiere of the musical The Audience, which featured a cast of 46 actors and earned three Drama Desk Award nominations, including outstanding musical; Normal, a new musical about a mother's battle to save her daughter from anorexia; cul-de-sac, a new play by Tony Award nominee John Cariani; the first New York revival of Tad Mosel's Pulitzer Prize play, All the Way Home; and the 50th anniversary, Obie-winning production of William Inge's The Dark at the Top of the Stairs. Transport Group is the winner of a special 2007 Drama Desk Award for its "breadth of vision and its presentation of challenging productions."

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