Primary Stages to Honor Harris at Nov. 6 Gala; Dee, Ireland and Edelman Perform from Member of the Wedding

News   Primary Stages to Honor Harris at Nov. 6 Gala; Dee, Ireland and Edelman Perform from Member of the Wedding
Off-Broadway's Primary Stages will honor stage leading lady Julie Harris at the company's 22nd anniversary gala benefit Nov. 6.

"Each year, we honor an artist who has made significant contributions to the American theatre and the development of new plays in particular," said Primary Stages artistic director Andrew Leynse. "The legendary Julie Harris is most deserving of such an honor."

The event will take place in Tavern on the Green's Crystal Room Nov. 6 at 6:30 PM. There will also be a silent auction, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and dinner at the event.

Harris made her stage debut with It's a Gift in 1945 and has garnered ten Tony Award nominations and five wins — the most honored performer in the prize's history. Her awards were for her turns in I Am a Camera (1952), The Lark (1956), Forty Carats (1969), The Last of Mrs. Lincoln (1973) and The Belle of Amherst (1977).

She received an Academy Award nomination for her sceen debut in "The Member of the Wedding" (Harris starred in the stage production as well) and also appeared in "East of Eden," "Requiem for a Heavyweight" and "The Bel Jar." Television audiences may remember her for her role on "Knot's Landing."

The evening will include testimonials by Anne Jackson and Eli Wallach, Elizabeth Wilson, Samuel "Biff" Liff and Marian Seldes as well as clips from a special tribute to Miss Harris' film work and a scene and musical number from The Member of the Wedding, performed by Ruby Dee, Marin Ireland and Gregg Edelman. Past honorees have included playwrights Horton Foote, A.R. Gurney, John Guare, Wendy Wasserstein and Terrence McNally, playwright-actor Harvey Fierstein, director-choreographer Susan Stroman, songwriters Betty Comden and Adolph Green, composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim and Primary Stages founder and executive producer Casey Childs.

Primary Stages' current season began with the world premiere of A. R. Gurney's Indian Blood and now continues with Southern Comforts (through Nov. 4). The New York premiere of the Christopher Durang and Peter Melnick musical Adrift in Macao directed by Sheryl Kaller is slated for a Jan. 23-March 4, 2007 run. The 2006-2007 lineup was to end with the world premiere of Terrence McNally's new play Deuce starring Marian Seldes, but the work will now debut on Broadway.

Tickets (individual and VIP tables) are available ($300-$10,000) by calling Primary Stages board chair Sue Breger at (212) 840-9705. For more information about Primary Stages, visit the website at

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