American Songbook Association will honor Tony winner Betty Buckley, a guardian of the Great American Songbook who has also championed new songwriters, with the ASA Lifetime Achievement Award October 2 at its Fourth Annual Gala at New York’s Merkin Hall
at the Kaufman Music Center.
Actor, music director, conductor, talk-show host, and Playbill columnist Seth Rudetsky will also receive the Bill Sensenbrenner Dream Maker Award—given annually to a leader in the art and business communities who exhibits a passion for investing in the cultural capital of our youth—at the fall benefit, which begins at 7:30 PM.
The evening will feature appearances/performances by F. Murry Abraham, Bryan Batt, Jason Robert Brown, Carolee Carmello, Veanne Cox, Paul Hecht, Bonnie Milligan, Ken Page, Kurt Peterson, Rudetsky, Stephen Schwartz, Mario Cantone, Elizabeth Davis, Jerry Dixon, Paul Hecht, Howard McGillin, Scott Schwartz, Jennifer Simard, and Michael Wilson.
Texas native Betty Buckley, seen in an acclaimed performance as Dolly Gallagher Levi in the national tour of the Tony-winning revival of Hello, Dolly!, won her Tony Award for her performance as Grizabella in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats, later earning another nomination for her work in the musical Triumph of Love. She starred in both the London and New York productions of Sunset Boulevard, earning an Olivier nomination for her take on the ill-fated silent-screen star Norma Desmond. London audiences have also enjoyed Buckley's work in Promises, Promises and Dear World, and her other Broadway credits include Carrie, Song & Dance, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, 1776, and Promises, Promises. A 2012 Theatre Hall of Fame inductee and the 2017 recipient of the Julie Harris Award from The Actors Fund for Artistic Achievement, Buckley's most recent screen credits include Split, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, The Cleaning Lady, Supergirl, The Film Crew, Preacher, Chicago Med, The Leftovers, Getting On, Pretty Little Liars, and The Happening. She has been awarded two honorary doctorates of fine arts for her contribution to the musical theatre by Marymount College and the Boston Conservatory of Music.
Rudetsky is the host of Sirius/XM Satellite Radio’s On Broadway
as well as Seth Speaks on Sirius/XM Stars. As a pianist, he has played for more than a dozen Broadway shows, including Ragtime, Les Misérables, and The Phantom of the Opera. He was the artistic producer/music director for the first five annual Entertainment Community Fund fall concerts, including Dreamgirls and Hair. With husband James Wesley, he also created and hosted the pandemic fundraising, award-winning talk show, Stars in the House.
American Songbook Association Inc. seeks to preserve, promote, and advance the legacy of American popular music, the Great American Songbook (classic and new), and the unique art form of cabaret.