John Kander, Jack O'Brien, Frances Sternhagen and More to Honor Terrence McNally at Westport
By Adam Hetrick
Tony Award-winning composer John Kander and Tony-winning director Jack O'Brien are among the artists who will salute playwright Terrence McNally at the Westport Country Playhouse's Sept. 24 gala, The Full McNally: A Celebration of the Writing and Works of Terrence McNally.
Tony Award winner Tyne Daly (Master Class) and Richard Thomas (Unusual Acts of Devotion) will co-host the event that begins with cocktails at 5:45 PM, followed by a 7 PM performance by Broadway stars. Dinner will follow at 8:30 PM.
Josh Rhodes (Company in Concert, "Sondheim: The Birthday Concert") will direct the evening's entertainment. Mary-Mitchell Campbell (Company, The Addams Family, Sweeney Todd) will be musical director.
Kander, who collaborated with McNally on The Rink, Kiss of the Spider Woman and The Visit, will be joined by The Full Monty director O'Brien, as well as Frances Sternhagen (A Perfect Ganesh), John Tillinger (The Lisbon Traviata), playwright A. R. Gurney, James Naughton (Chicago), and cast members from the 2011 Westport production of Lips Together, Teeth Apart, including Chris Henry Coffey, John Ellison Conlee, Jenn Gambatese and Maggie Lacey.
Additional talent is expected.
All proceeds will benefit Westport Country Playhouse and its work on stage, with schools and throughout the community.
"Terrence is the only truly great American playwright who has written successfully for the dramatic as well as the musical stage," Westport artistic director Mark Lamos said in a statement. "It's such an honor for us to be able to do this for him, especially since the co-hosts of the gala are two stars who have been influential in bringing Terrence's work to the stage in mesmerizing performances. ...Our revival last season of his Lips Together, Teeth Apart made us all the more eager to honor him with a line-up of fantastic Broadway talent."
McNally earned Tony Awards for his plays Master Class and Love! Valour! Compassion!, as well as the books to the musicals Kiss of the Spider Woman and Ragtime. His works also include The Ritz; Frankie and Johnny at the Claire de Lune; Lips Together, Teeth Apart; Deuce; Some Men; Corpus Christi; Dedication or the Stuff of Dreams; The Lisbon Traviata; The Rink; A Man of No Importance, Catch Me If You Can, The Visit; and The Full Monty. His new play And Away We Go will debut Off-Broadway next spring at the Pearl Theatre Company.
For more gala information or ticket purchases, contact Kathryn Gloor at (203) 227-5137, ext. 122, or email email@example.com. Purchase gala tickets online at westportplayhouse.org/gala.
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