This October, Primary Stages hosted its annual Gala to honor Tony Nominees Danny Burstein and Rebecca Luker; Board Member Eleanor Holtzman, and Corporate Advisory Board Member Jose M. Toro. The evening took place at Tribeca 360° with views overlooking downtown and the Hudson River. Here is a recap of the evening’s events filled with performances, tributes, and so much more.
The Gala kicked off with words from our Artistic Director Andrew Leynse and our Executive Director Shane Hudson.
Tim Daly, from our current production of Theresa Rebeck’s Downstairs, introduced Laura Osnes for a lovely performance of “Honey Bun” from South Pacific.
Primary Stages Founder Casey Childs presented the first award of the night to Eleanor Holtzman. Eleanor is a member of Primary Stages Board of Directors and a trailblazing marketing executive. We are grateful for her dedicated guidance and support as we continue to engage new audiences for the future of the company.
Playwright Leah Nanako Winkler and director Morgan Gould of the upcoming Primary Stages production of God Said This, introduced Quentin Earl Darrington for a beautiful performance of “Some Enchanted Evening”, also from South Pacific.
Sharon Washington, performer and playwright of last season’s Feeding the Dragon, and our current Tow Foundation Playwright-in-Residence, introduced a video presentation of the Primary Stages Student Matinee Program.
Emmy-winning writer, comedian and Primary Stages Einhorn School of Performing Arts instructor Judy Gold took charge as the auctioneer for the Paddle Raise! Thank you to everyone who contributed to our Student Matinee Program! (Our highest ever!)
Board President Jose Mendez presented an award to Jose M. Toro. We are thankful to have him as a founding member of the Primary Stages Corporate Advisory board.
Sarna Lapine, director of our upcoming production of Little Women, took the stage to introduce Kate Baldwin with a performance of one of honoree Rebecca Luker’s favorite songs, “When I’m Dead.”
Tony Nominee Rebecca Luker was unfortunately unable to be there in person, but she joined us via video to receive her award. Rebecca is known for her Broadway roles in Mary Poppins and The Music Man, among others. She joined us at Primary Stages for A.R. Gurney’s Indian Blood in 2006.
Kecia Lewis-Evans performed a special mash-up from The Drowsy Chaperone and Cinderella and reminisced about her long friendship with Danny Burstein, which goes all the way back to high school.
At last, Joel Grey presented the final award of the evening to Tony Nominee Danny Burstein. Danny was most recently on Broadway as Tevye in the revival of Fiddler on Roof, and has an extensive resume of outstanding performances.
Primary Stages favorite Charles Busch (The Tribute Artist) and Board member Janet Rosen teamed up to announce the launch of our 35th Anniversary Campaign for the Future of Primary Stages. The campaign was established to stimulate strategic growth and fully support our artistic, educational, and outreach efforts, as well as organizational infrastructure for an artistically adventurous and prosperous future.
All good things must come to an end. Shane Hudson and Andrew Leynse returned to close the evening, but there was one last special surprise! Delicious pumpkin bread for breakfast the next morning from our pals at The Good Batch.
Thank you to all who came to this year’s Gala and participated in our Paddle Raise and Silent Auction. If you want to learn more about supporting Primary Stages, visit our website.