Sheryl Lee Ralph, who currently stars as Muzzy Van Hossmere in the Tony winning musical Thoroughly Modern Millie, will be master of ceremonies for the Nov. 11 gala honoring Millie producer Stewart Lane and his wife, actress Bonnie Comley.
The Lanes — as well as Canadian entrepreneurs Sid and Alicia Belzberg — will be awarded Tree of Life Awards from the Jewish National Fund at a gala ceremony at New York's Marriott Marquis Hotel. The award, which recognizes achievements in industry, government and education, is a humanitarian award that the Jewish National Fund "presents to individuals in appreciation of their outstanding community involvement, their dedication to the cause of American-Israeli friendship, and their devotion to peace and the security of human life."
As a producer, Stewart Lane has received three Tony Awards for his productions of Thoroughly Modern Millie, La Cage aux Folles and The Will Rogers Follies. In addition to being a director and playwright, he co-owns and operates the Palace Theatre and is a partner in the Tribeca Grill. His wife, Bonnie Comley, a former host on The Travel Channel, is an actress and activist. In a statement, Lane and Comley said, "We are deeply honored by this recognition and are proud that it is coming at a time when it's more important than ever to stand in solidarity with Israel." Previous honorees include Al Gore, Colin Powell, Isaac Stern, Brandon Tartikoff, Elie Wiesel, Donald Trump, Mort Zuckerman, Elizabeth Dole and American Theatre Wing board chairman Isabelle Stevenson.
Established in 1901, the Jewish National Fund is a non-profit organization celebrating its 100th anniversary as caretaker of the land of Israel. For more information, visit www.jnf.org. For reservations to the Nov. 11 event, contact Norma Balass at the Jewish National Fund, (212) 879-9305, ext. 502.