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Broadway stars shine at Westport Playhouse gala Monday

Updated 11:36 am, Thursday, September 12, 2013

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  • Christine Andreas. To perform at Westport Country Playhouse Gala. September 2013. Photo: Contributed Photo / Westport News
    Christine Andreas. To perform at Westport Country Playhouse Gala. September 2013. Photo: Contributed Photo

 

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Tony Award-winning Broadway stars will take the stage in a major Westport Country Playhouse fundraising event Monday, including actors who have received Tonys for "Oklahoma," "Assassins," "Fosse" and other Broadway hits.

The production, which begins at 7 p.m., will also include excerpts from Noah Racey's "PULSE," celebrating the joy of song and dance in American culture. "PULSE" combines classic standards and old-school hoofing with contemporary songs and orchestrations. Among the Broadway stars appearing in the gala production are Christine Andreas, Michael Cerveris, Rebecca Covington, Darius de Haas, Linda Gravátt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Desmond Richardson and Susan Kelechi Watson.

The evening theme, "Sophisticated Lady: A Gala Evening Honoring Phylicia Rashad," is a tribute evening to Tony Award-winner Phylicia Rashad, who directed Westport Country Playhouse's production of "A Raisin in the Sun" last fall.

Also honored at the event will be arts advocate and philanthropist Howard J. Aibel of Weston, who will be presented the Westport Country Playhouse Leadership Award.

Directing the production is Josh Rhodes who was choreographer for the film version of "Company," Broadway's "Cinderella," "First Date" and "Sondheim: The Birthday Concert." Music director is Mary-Mitchell Campbell who won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Orchestrations for "Company," and conductor is Ryan Fielding Garrett. Producer is Kevin Duncan.

The gala will include a cocktail party at 5:45 p.m., followed by dinner with the evening's artists and special guests at 8:30 p.m. A silent auction will be ongoing throughout the evening.

Proceeds will benefit the non-profit, professional theater, now in its 83rd season. The Gala Committee co-chairmen are Katia and John Friend and Judy and Scott Phares, all of Westport. Karen Parrella of Weston is auction chairwoman.

Tickets range from $2,500 to $250. Corporate sponsorship packages are also available. For more information or ticket purchases, contact Elizabeth Marks Juviler, special events coordinator, at 203-227-5137, ext. 123, or ejuviler@westportplayhouse.org.