Following a seven-month long, $70 Million restoration that has restored the venue to its original grandeur, New York's Radio City Music Hall reopens Oct. 4 .
NBC will tape a one-hour special on the grand reopening, which will be aired in December.
Last season the Tony Awards could not be held at Radio City due to the restoration work, and two-time popular Tony host Rosie O'Donnell was unable to do the show. Sources had not responded by press time about the possibility of the Tonys returning to Radio City next year, with or without O'Donnell. One Radio City source said it was too early to tell and that all attention was being focused on the reopening.
Radio City, now owned by Cablevision, is being billed as the “Showplace of a Nation.” The venue originally opened in 1932.
Next week's reopening will take the form of a tribute and will mark the launch of the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research, named for Marc Lustgarten, vice chairman of Cablevision Systems Corporation and chairman of Madison Square Garden, who recently lost his 16-month battle with the disease. NBC anchor Tom Brokaw will make a presentation detailing the work of the Lustgarten Foundation as part of his network's music and comedy special. Among the Lustgarten Foundation Advisory board members and industry leaders attending the Oct. 4 gala are Charles F. Dolan, chairman, and James L. Dolan, president & CEO of Cablevision; Gerald Levin, Time Warner, Inc.; Frank Bennack, Hearst Media; Steve Rattner, Lazard Freres; Thomas Rogers and Bob Wright of NBC; Howard Stringer, Sony Corporation of America; as well as Barry Diller, Rupert Murdoch, Jerry Speyer, Jonathan Tisch, Steve Brill Ahmet Ertegun, and Sylvia Rhone.
Among the stars expected to attend the gala are Billy Crystal, Mary J. Blige, Christian Slater, Jon Stewart, Sting, Tony Bennett, 98 Degrees, Lou “Mambo No. 5” Bega, Raquel Welch, Ann Miller, Ann-Margret, Matthew and Carrie Modine, Peter Boyle, Florence Henderson, Oksana Baiul, Shirley Jones, Margaret Colin and "Spin City"’s Connie Britton.
-- By Murdoch McBride