This year's gala honored The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation, an ongoing supporter of New York City arts and Second Stage Theatre, as well as playwright and filmmaker Paul Weitz, whose plays Privilege, Show People, Trust and Lonely, I'm Not have all premiered with the Off-Broadway company. The evening also celebrated the first ten years of Second Stage Uptown — and its curator, Christopher Burney — which has become an incubator for many theatre artists in the past decade.
The evening featured performances from Second Stage Theatre alumni, including Tony Award nominee Stephanie J. Block ( The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Second Stage's By the Way, Meet Vera Stark), Tony Award winner Michael Cerveris (Second Stage's Wintertime, Paul Weitz's film "Cirque du Freak"), "Modern Family" actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Second Stage's Little Fish, Spelling Bee), Klena (Second Stage's Dogfight), Drama Desk nominee Mendez (Second Stage's Everyday Rapture and Dogfight, Wicked) and Wolfe (Second Stage's Everyday Rapture and The Last Five Years).
Among the evening's entertainment were two musical numbers, one of which featured Nick Blaemire, Steven Booth, Adam Halpin, F. Michael Haynie and Josh Segarra from the company's world-premiere production of Dogfight, which recently received the 2013 Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical.
Honorary co-chairs for the gala were Second Stage alumni Zach Braff, Bobby Cannavale, Sutton Foster, Topher Grace, Ari Graynor and Olivia Thirlby. Founded in 1979 under the leadership of artistic director Carole Rothman, Second Stage Theatre produces a "diverse range of premieres and new interpretations of America's best contemporary theatre."