Westport Honors Bernadette Peters at 80th Anniversary Gala Sept. 19

News   Westport Honors Bernadette Peters at 80th Anniversary Gala Sept. 19
 
The Westport Country Playhouse's 80th anniversary gala, honoring two-time Tony Award winner Bernadette Peters, and featuring appearances by Mary Tyler Moore, Andrew Rannells and Karen Ziemba, takes place Sept. 19.

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

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 7:30 PM event.

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

Announced to perform are Rannells (The Book of Mormon), Ziemba (Curtains), Melissa Errico (Amour), Shuler Hensley (Oklahoma!), Max von Essen (Xandadu), Tituss Burgess (The Little Mermaid), Dirk Lumbard (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang), Neil McCaffrey (Mary Poppins) and Jessica Patty (The Addams Family).

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

The concert has 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 previously 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. Her 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.

Visit WestportPlayhouse.

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