Westport Gala, Honoring Bernadette Peters, to Feature Andrew Rannells, Melissa Errico, Karen Ziemba

News   Westport Gala, Honoring Bernadette Peters, to Feature Andrew Rannells, Melissa Errico, Karen Ziemba Andrew Rannells, Melissa Errico, Shuler Hensley, Max von Essen and Karen Ziemba will perform during the Westport Country Playhouse's 80th anniversary gala, honoring Bernadette Peters, Sept. 19.

Bernadette Peters
Bernadette Peters Photo by Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

As previously reported, Mary Tyler Moore ("The Mary Tyler Moor Show," "Ordinary People") will present Peters with the Distinguished Dedication and Service to the American Musical Theater Award.

As part of the gala, Westport will stage Playing Our Songs: Celebrating 80 Years of Musical Theater, which will feature selections from the musicals produced at Westport since the theatre opened its doors in 1931. Josh Rhodes (Sondheim: The Birthday Concert) will direct the entertainment.

Performing will be Rannells (The Book of Mormon), Errico (Amour), Hensley (Oklahoma!), von Essen (Xandadu), Ziemba (Curtains), Tituss Burgess (The Little Mermaid), Dirk Lumbard (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang), Neil McCaffrey (Mary Poppins) and Jessica Patty (The Addams Family).

The ensemble will include Lisa Gadja, Shannon Lewis, Matthew Loehr, Patrick McCollum, Kevin Munhall, Kat Nejat, Sarah O’Gleby and Anthony Wayne.

The concert will have musical direction by Mary-Mitchell Campbell (Company, The Addams Family) and choreography by Rhodes and Lorin Latarro. Scheduled to attend the gala are Lucie Arnaz, Joel Grey, Sheldon Harnick, Tom Jones, Jo Sullivan Loesser, Laurence Luckinbill, James Naughton, Christopher Plummer, Jane Powell, Stephen Schwartz and Joanne Woodward.

"Bernadette Peters is not only a force of nature and a Broadway musical star of legendary significance, she is also a true artist: boldly exploratory, constantly refining her enormous talent, always challenging herself, never sitting on her laurels," Westport artistic director Mark Lamos said in a previous statement. "Whatever she does, watching her is akin to watching the great classical musicians who constantly stretch themselves and excite audiences not only with sheer charisma — which she has in spades, to be sure — but with a sense of refinement and that is unparalleled in American musical theatre. She goes for the truth of a song with the force of a heat-seeking missile."

Peters, who currently stars in the Broadway revival of Follies, appeared at Westport Country Playhouse in Riverwind in 1967. She was last seen on Broadway in the revival of A Little Night Music and received Tony Awards for her work in Song and Dance and Annie Get Your Gun. He numerous stage appearances also include George M!, Dames at Sea, On the Town, Mack and Mabel, Sunday in the Park With George, The Goodbye Girl and Gypsy. Her films include "The Jerk," "Annie" and her Golden Globe Award-winning performance in "Pennies from Heaven."

Benefit tickets, beginning at $500, are available by phoning (203) 227-5137, ext. 122 or e-mailing kgloor@westportplayhouse.org.

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