The Public Theater’s annual gala will be a one-night-only performance of Elizabeth Swados’ 1978 musical Runaways, directed by Sam Pinkleton with choreography by Ani Taj and creative advisement by Jeanine Tesori. The gala, which celebrates the groundbreaking musical's 40th anniversary, will be held June 11 at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park.
Pinkleton, Taj, and Tesori collaborated on the 2016 Encores! revival of Runaways at New York City Center. The production was staged just a few months after Swados' death.
Runaways depicts the experiences of runaway children. Swados spent several months observing and interviewing child runaways in New York City in the creation of the piece, creating an eclectic score that weaves reggae, hip-hop, soul music, and spoken-word poetry.
Runaways debuted at the Public in February 1978 before transferring to Broadway the same year, earning five Tony nominations: Best Musical, Book of a Musical, Original Score, Choreography, and Direction.
The Public's annual gala will celebrate Leonard Tow, founder and chairman of The Tow Foundation. Marcia Dunn, Susan Edelstein, Kenny Leon, Wendi Rose, Josh Sapan, and Susan and Peter J. Solomon will serve as Gala Chairs.