The New Group needed a new date for their benefit, moving the evening to June 18 and causing a scheduling conflict that nixed host Academy Award nominee Chloe Sevigny. The theatre company did alright finding a new host - two-time nominee, film star Winona Ryder ("Girl, Interrupted," "Little Women," "The Age of Innnocence"), to head the evening.
Rocker Courtney Love is the headline entertainment. At one time, she was best known as the wife and then widow of Nirvana's Kurt Cobain. But the singer wouldn't remain in her husband's shadow for long. With her own band, Hole, she was nominated for five Grammys, and her acting career has taken her into the Oscar-nominated film, "The People Vs. Larry Flynt," earning her a Golden Globe nomination.
It was the acting career that brought her to New Group artistic director Scott Elliott's attention. He picked her to star in his feature film "Hello Suckers" and to headline the New Group's spring gala to be held June 11 at the Russian Tea Room.
Love will perform standards from the 1920's and 1930's. The different musical choice for the ex-grunge songstress stems from "Hello, Suckers" itself, which tells the life story of speakeasy emcee, Broadway chorus girl and Hollywood star Mary "Texas" Guinan.
Ryder has several theatrical film credits to her name - she starred in the recent film version of The Crucible co-starring Daniel Day-Lewis and "Looking For Richard," Al Pacino's remination on the Shakespeare's Richard III. Ryder played Lady Anne in the documentary film. Other movie credits include "Beetlejuice," "Heathers," "Dracula," "Reality Bites" and "Alien: Resurrection." The New Group's Spring Gala benefits the company's 2001-2002 season. Tickets are $300-$500. For reservations, call 9212) 691-6730.
— By Christine Ehren