The evening commenced with a 6 PM cocktail and hors d'oeuvres reception and a 7 PM musical salute followed by champagne and dessert party.
Bebe Neuwirth, Christopher Sieber, Betsy Wolfe, Judy Kuhn and More Perform at Encompass Gala Honoring Jeanine Tesori and Joel Grey
The gala music director and arranger was Beth Ertz, gala producers were Michael A. Kerker and Nancy Rhodes.
Starring in the musical salute lineup were Jeffry Denman, David Garrison, Lisa Kron, Judy Kuhn, Karen Mason, Michael McElroy, Bebe Neuwirth, Tonya Pinkins, David Pittsinger, Ron Raines, Patricia Schuman, Christopher Sieber and Betsy Wolfe.
Past Encompass honorees have included Sheldon Harnick, John Kander, Charles Strouse, Jerry Herman, Jerry Bock, Maury Yeston, Joseph Stein, Richard Maltby, Jr., David Shire, John Weidman, Marvin Hamlisch and Alan Menken. *
Joel Grey won a Tony Award for his brilliant portrayal as the Master of Ceremonies in the original Broadway musical Cabaret and garnered an Academy Award for the same role in the Hollywood film version with Liza Minelli. His second Broadway triumph was in the musical George M, where he played the great George M. Cohan, a virtuoso performance he also recreated on television. His Broadway credits include Come Blow Your Horn, Stop the World – I Want to Get Off, Half A Sixpence, Goodtime Charley, The Grand Tour, Chicago, and he originated the role of the Wizard of Oz in the hit musical Wicked. He made his Broadway directorial debut with The Normal Heart.
Jeanine Tesori composed four Tony-nominated scores for Broadway - Thoroughly Modern Millie, Twelfth Night at Lincoln Center, Shrek, the Musical, and Caroline, or Change which received the Olivier Award for Best New Musical at the National Theatre in London. Her musical Violet opened at the Roundabout Theater, starring Sutton Foster, and garnered four Tony Nominations including Best Musical Revival. Her most recent musical, Fun Home made its premiere at the Public Theater to critical acclaim (winner of Lortel, Outer Critics, NY Drama Critics, and Obie Awards) and is slated to open on Broadway in April 2015.