A cross-section of the New York theatre community gathered on Monday, Nov. 15, at the Hotel Renaissance in Times Square, to help Playbill On-Line celebrate its fifth anniversary. Among the celebrants were actors Andrew McCarthy (Side Man), Tovah Feldshuh (Tovah: Out of Her Mind), Mary Testa (Marie Christine), Ruth Williamson (Epic Proportions), Kevin Chamberlin (Wise Guys), Alton Fitzgerald White (Ragtime's Coalhouse Walker Jr.), Stephanie Pope (Fosse), Bryan Batt (Saturday Night Fever's disc jockey, Monty), Miguel Ferrer (film's "Where's Marlowe?" and "Robocop"), David Cale (Curtains) and Paige Price (Saturday Night Fever's Stephanie).
Also present were playwright Warren Leight (Side Man), composer Polly Pen (Bed and Sofa), director Scott Elliott (Cranes), New York Post columnist Michael Riedel, Drama Dept. producing director Michael Rosenberg, and various producers, agents and press people.
Playbill On-Line was born on Nov. 22, 1994. Since then, it has gone on to become one of the world's leading sources of theatre news and information, posting 200 news stories, updates and features a week, and drawing over three million viewers a month.
The festivities took place in the Hotel Renaissance's second floor restaurant, Foley's Fish House, a glassed-in eatery boasting a stunning, three-sided view of Times Square, looking south from 47th Street down Seventh Avenue and Broadway. As the bright lights of Broadway blazed in the background, hosts and guests sipped wine and cocktails and dined on a vast spread of food.
Many a guest wore a tuxedo, prepared to go from the party to either the opening night of The Price or the Actors' Fund benefit for Cameron Mackintosh. Warren Leight arrived with Andrew McCarthy, who is currently starring in Leight's Side Man at the Kennedy Center (repeating the role he played on Broadway). Chamberlin and a fellow Wise Guys cast member came straight from a long rehearsal of the currently workshopping Stephen Sondheim-John Weidman musical.
Scott Elliott, the artistic director of Off-Broadway's New Group -- who is awaiting the release of his first film, "A Map of the World" -- brought as his guest actor and performance artist David Cale. Cale starred in Elliott's Obie-winning production of Curtains.
Another Obie winner, composer Polly Pen, spent time talking to Dan Bauer, the press rep of Princeton's McCarter Theatre, which will present Pen's latest, Night Governess, in the spring. Mary Testa took part in a lively discussion with fellow character actress Ruth Williamson, who revealed she had just been cast as the Mayor's Wife in the upcoming Susan Stroman revival of The Music Man.
The dapper Alton Fitzgerald White, star of Ragtime, arrived with his equally elegant date Rosa Curry, a member of Chicago. Fosse was represented by star Stephanie Pope and her colleague Kim Morgan Greene, both looking every inch the Broadway dancer. The two women spent the evening sipping cocktails and chatting, when not posing for photos with Miguel Ferrer.
Paige Price and Bryan Batt of Saturday Night Fever were on hand, both taking the opportunity to don clothes a bit more fashionable than those they wear eight times a week.
At 6:30 PM, Playbill publisher Phil Birsh stepped behind the podium, thanking the members of the theatre community present for their continued support of Playbill On-Line.
A selection of photos from the event follows: