The Shubert Organization's President Philip J. Smith will be the guest of honor at the Actors' Fund annual gala, this one titled "Mr. Smith Goes to the Plaza." Held Nov. 13 at the Plaza Hotel, the event will also grant Kevin Spacey the Fund's Artistic Achievement Award. Related Companies, L.P. will get the Corporate Citizen Award. 1999's Artistic Achievement winner, Bernadette Peters, is the event's honorary chair.
Smith is second in command at the Shubert Organization, the largest owner of Broadway theatres (they own 16). The company, founded in 1973 from the theatre holdings of Levi, Samuel, and Jacob Shubert, makes it home above the Sam S. Shubert Theatre on 44th Street. The Shubert Organization also manages theatres in Washington, DC (The National Theatre) and Los Angeles (the Shubert Theatre), among others.
A Tony and Oscar winner, Spacey last appeared on New York stages in the 1999 revival of The Iceman Cometh. His monetary gift to the Off-Broadway play Cobb allowed the bioplay to extend its initial run and remount this fall. The popular actor who took lead roles in "American Beauty," "Pay It Forward," "L.A. Confidential" and "The Usual Suspects" won a Tony Award for his turn in Lost in Yonkers and two Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actor in 1996 for "Usual Suspects" and Best Lead Actor in 2000 for "American Beauty."
The Related Companies, L.P. develops properties in the New York area including luxury residencies on the Upper West and East Sides, Greenwich Village and Tribeca. The company can be found on the web at http://www.relatedrentals.com.
Expected at the event are such notables as Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bebe Neuwirth, Jeff ridges, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Jason Robards, Zoe Caldwell, Celeste Holm, Rex Reed, Cy Feuer, Sherie Rene Scott, Lillias White, Rocco Landesman, Liz Callaway, David Geffen, Mary Rodgers and Jerry Orbach, according to the Andrea & Associates firm. Tickets are $750 and up and benefit the Actors' Fund of America. For more information, call (212) 245-6570. The Plaza Hotel is located at 59th Street and Fifth Avenue. The Actor's Fund of American is on the web at http://www.actorsfund.org/.
1999's gala honored producer Cameron Mackintosh with songs sung from Mackintosh productions by the likes of Michael Crawford, Dame Edna, Lea Salonga and Peters. Past galas have included "The Music of the Knight" for the-then "Sir" Andrew Lloyd Webber and "Jerry's Turn" dedicated to The Shubert Organization Chairman Gerald Schoenfeld.