Today's the day for a special luncheon at NY's Plaza Hotel, April 24 at noon, honoring Andre Bishop and Bernard Gersten. Serving as masters of ceremony for the American Theatre Wing event will be playwrights John Guare and Wendy Wasserstein.
Wasserstein, whose latest, An American Daughter, began previews on Broadway March 20, is also the author of The Heidi Chronicles, The Sisters Rosensweig and Isn't It Romantic?. Guare has written The House Of Blue Leaves, Six Degrees Of Separation, Lydie Breeze, Muzeeka and Something I'll Tell You Tuesday.
Both Bishop and Gersten have been instrumental in rebuilding Lincoln Center as a major theatre venue, Gersten as producer, Bishop as artistic director. The latter honed his skills serving as artistic director of Off Broadway's Playwrights Horizons. Both hosting playwrights have strong allegiances with Lincoln Center Theatre, who produces the New York productions of their more recent plays.
Guests lined up for the luncheon include Sam Waterston, Donna Murphy, Jo Sullivan Loesser, Lauren Bacall, Carol Channing, Lucie Arnaz, Joel Grey, John Cullum, Eli Wallach, Anne Jackson, Stockard Channing, Michael Nouri, Gerry Guiterrez, Kitty Carlisle Hart, Diina Merrill, Lucille Lortel, Rocco Landesman, Gerry Schoenfeld, Mrs. Bernard Jacobs, Marge Champion, Lynne Meadow, John Lindsay, Pia Lindstrom, Charles Busch, Patricia Neal, Tony Roberts, Jerry Zaks, Elaine Steinbeck, Sybil Christopher, Tony Walton, Brendan Gil, Betty Comden, Jay Harnick, Betsy Von Furstenberg and Mary Rodgers.
The awards presentation and entertainment are set to begin at 1:15 PM.
Also on the ATW calendar are their continuing series of "Working In The Theatre" seminars, which are taped for, and staged at, CUNY-TV studios, 33 West 42nd St. Admission is free, but you need to call and make reservations at (212) 765-0606. The "Working" schedule of topics will be: April 29 (Performance), April 30 (Playwright/Director), May 1 (Production - Option To Opening). Other ATW programs include "Introduction To Broadway," wherein Present Laughter, Beauty & The Beast, Miss Saigon, Cats and Victor/Victoria will open their doors to over 1,500 students; and "The Hospital Program," which will be bringing Phantom Of The Opera, Once Upon A Mattress and The King And I to nursing homes, hospitals and AIDS wards.
--By David Lefkowitz