By Matthew Blank
24 Jun 2014
Tony Award winner Ted Sperling (The Light in the Piazza, See What I Wanna See) directed the 8 PM gala performance at the Delacorte; the evening celebrated the 40th anniversary of A Chorus Line, which premiered at the Public in 1975 prior to its Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway run.
The celebration promised performances by Whitney Bashor, Joshua Bell, Emily Bergl, Peter Dugan, Eden Espinosa, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jonathan Groff, Jane Lynch, Melissa Manchester, Marissa McGowan, Lindsay Mendez, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Billy Porter, Zachary Quinto, Krysta Rodriguez and Rachel York.
The ensemble featured Justin Bown, Nic Corey, Claybourne Elder, Mylinda Hull, Nikka Graff Lanzarone, Nicole Lewis, Sunny-Moriber">Brooke Sunny Moriber, Laura Shoop, Marty Thomas, Natalie Wachen, Jessica Wu, Erika Conaway, Matthew Couvillon, Caley Crawford, Alex Cruz, Kyle Garvin, Aisling Halpin, Sian Johnson, Logan Keslar, Geena Quintos, Alice Ramshaw, Nick Raynor, Jake Weinstein and Sharrod Williams.
In addition to A Chorus Line, the gala performance offered selections of music from throughout Hamlisch's career. The multi-award winner, whose numerous compositions included They're Playing Our Song, The Goodbye Girl, Sweet Smell of Success, "The Way We Were," and more, died Aug. 6, 2012, at the age of 68.
"Marvin Hamlisch was one of the great spirits of American music, and A Chorus Line was a show that changed everything about how musicals were made," Public Theater artistic director Oskar Eustis said in a statement. "It also created The Public Theater we cherish today. This gala will honor that amazing show and thank Marvin Hamlisch for his extraordinary gifts to us all."