Ragtime's choreographer, Tony-winning Graciela Daniele, will be honored April 6 with a gala champagne party at Glorious Foods (522 East 74th St.), tossed by the National Music Theatre Network, a 15-year-old organization devoted to discovering, nurturing and promoting new American musicals.
The NMTN will unfurl three cases-in-point during its upcoming 1998 performance season in May and June, and Daniele will serve as Guest Artistic Director for the trio. The titles of the projects will be posted at the party, which will run from 4:30 to 6:30 PM and is sponsored by the Champagne Wines Information Bureau.
NMTN founder Timothy Jerome, formerly of Cats and Me and My Girl and currently of Beauty and the Beast, will also announced at the party the inauguration of a new series called Broadway USA, in which the three shows premiering in New York this spring will be repeated in the fall in seven affiliated regional theatres (in Urbana, IL; Philadelphia, PA; Ithaca, NY; Seattle, WA; Daytona Beach, FL; Palm Springs and Los Angeles, CA). Other sites will be added as the program grows.
Heading the party's guest lists are the principals Daniele put through their paces in Ragtime--Brian Stokes Mitchell, Marin Mazzie, Audra McDonald, Peter Friedman, Judy Kaye and Lynnette Perry--plus the reigning Beauty and the Beast (Deborah Gibson and Chuck Wagner), The Scarlet Pimpernel (Douglas Sill), Jekyll & Hyde (Bob Cuccioli) and Tony winners like Lillias White, George Hearn and Donna Murphy.
Also expected to participate in the festivities: Victor Garber of Art, Rebecca Luker of The Sound of Music, choreographer Rob Marshall, writers Michael-John LaChiusa, William Finn, Sheldon Harnick, Galt MacDermot and that Ragtime duo, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty. For more information and the season schedule, call Patrons Chairperson Wendy Fleder, WLF Associates, (212) 496-0661.
-- By Harry Haun