Westport's Full McNally Benefit, Featuring John Kander, Marin Mazzie, Tyne Daly and More, Held Sept. 24
By Adam Hetrick
The Westport Country Playhouse's salute to playwright Terrence McNally, The Full McNally: A Celebration of the Writing and Works of Terrence McNally, featuring John Kander, Marin Mazzie, Malcolm Gets, Emily Skinner, John Glover and more, is held Sept. 24 in Connecticut.
Tony Award winner Tyne Daly (Master Class) and Richard Thomas (Unusual Acts of Devotion) 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") directs the evening's entertainment. Mary-Mitchell Campbell (Company, The Addams Family, Sweeney Todd) is musical director.
The line-up promises Mazzie (Ragtime, Carrie), Gets (Amour, The Story of My Life), Skinner (The Full Monty, Side Show), Glover (Love! Valour! Compassion!), as well as Santino Fontana (Cinderella), Lindsay Mendez (Dogfight), Sean Palmer (The Little Mermaid) and Camille Zamora.
The ensemble includes Kristine Bendul, Cicily Daniels, Kurt Froman, Stephanie Gibson, Danette Holden, Adam Jepsen, Aaron Libby, T. Oliver Reid, Ariel Reid, Cody Williams, Ally Bonino, Brandon Contreras, Richard Crandle and Maggie McNeil.
The evening also includes appearances by John Kander, who collaborated with McNally on The Rink, Kiss of the Spider Woman and The Visit, as well as The Full Monty director Jack O'Brien, 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.
All proceeds 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 previous 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Purchase gala tickets online at westportplayhouse.org/gala.
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