The evening began at 6:30 PM with a cocktail reception, followed by dinner at 7:30 PM and entertainment at 8:30 PM.
Bernadette Peters, Zoe Caldwell and Forbidden Broadway Cast Honor Philip J. Smith at TDF Gala
Douglas Carter Beane hosted the entertainment portion of the evening, which featured performances by Bernadette Peters (accompanied by Marvin Laird), Zoe Caldwell and the cast of Forbidden Broadway: Alive and Kicking!; the latter performed a new piece written by Gerard Alessandrini for TKTS’ 40th anniversary. Carl Andress directed.
The Gala Chair is TDF Trustee Wendy Davies. Honorary Chairs for the event are Angela Lansbury, Bernadette Peters, Hugh Jackman and Zoe Caldwell, all who are long-time supporters of Phil Smith and TKTS. Each also has a long association with The Shubert Organization having performed many shows in Shubert theatres.
“When TKTS opened on June 25, 1973 in Times Square, it did so with tremendous support from the Shubert Organization, most notably Gerald Schoenfeld and Phil Smith. Phil was there from day one, working with Mayor Lindsay and the Parks Department to get the construction trailer that became the first TKTS booth, complete with four ticket windows,” said Victoria Bailey, TDF Executive Director, in a previous statement. “It seems only fitting that 57.5 million admissions later, as we prepare to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of TKTS, we tip our hat and give thanks to one of its greatest boosters, Phil Smith.” Currently the Chairman and Co-Chief Executive of The Shubert Organization, Philip J. Smith formerly served as President of The Shubert Organization from 1996 to 2008. He began his career more than 50 years ago as a box-office treasurer. During his rise to Vice President and Executive Vice President, Smith worked closely with the late Bernard B. Jacobs, President, and the late Gerald Schoenfeld, Chairman, the executive team who led The Shubert Organization starting in the early 1970's. Philip J. Smith's innovations during his career have included computerization of all Shubert box offices and the development of Telecharge, the industry's most successful system for purchasing tickets. Smith sits on the Executive Committee of the Board of Governors and on the Tony Awards Administration Committee of The League of American Theatres and Producers. He is an active Board member for two of the theatre's favorite charitable institutions, The Actors Fund and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Smith also currently serves as the 1st Vice President of The Actors Fund. He is a member of the Knights of Malta and the recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. In recognition of his contributions to the theatre, Smith was honored with a Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2011.