The event, hosted by Scott Bakula, is followed by a seated dinner at the National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum.
The night's show (directed by Tony Award nominee Jeff Calhoun) "celebrates courageous American stories from the Revolutionary War to the present day through performance and song." Performers include soprano Anna Christy, musical duo The Civil Wars, R&B icon Bettye LaVette, "Glee" and Broadway actor and singer Matthew Morrison and Ford's Theatre's 1776 cast members Robert Cuccioli, Bobby Smith and others.
First Lady Michelle Obama serves as the honorary chair of the gala celebration.
The Ford's Theatre Annual Gala benefits the nonprofit Ford's Theatre Society and its theatrical programming, plus including exhibits at the new Ford's Theatre Center for Education and Leadership, which opened in February 2012.
One of the most visited sites in the nation’s capital, Ford's Theatre reopened its doors in 1968, more than a hundred years after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Operated through a partnership between Ford's Theatre Society and the National Park Service, Ford's Theatre "is the premier destination in the nation's capital to explore and celebrate Abraham Lincoln's ideals and leadership principles: courage, integrity, tolerance, equality and creative expression."
The mission of Ford's Theatre Society (Paul R. Tetreault, director) "is to celebrate the legacy of Abraham Lincoln and explore the American experience through theatre and education. For its accomplishments, the organization was honored in 2008 with the National Medal of Arts, the highest award given by the U.S. government to artists, arts institutions and arts patrons."
Theatrically, the mainstage features plays and musicals (new and classic) about the American experience (including the world premieres of Meet John Doe, The Heavens Are Hung In Black and Liberty Smith).
For more information, visit fords.org.