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Benefit Gala


 

 

2016 BENEFIT GALA

A Musical Celebration of Broadway honoring 

DAVID HYDE PIERCE

 

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2016

THE PLAZA

768 Fifth Avenue • New York City

THE STARRY CAST THAT TRIBUTE TO MR PIERCE INCLUDED: 

TYNE DALY  BILLY PORTER BEBE NEUWIRTH 

CHRISTOPHER DURANG ♦ ‚ÄčF. MURRAY ABRAHAM 

CHRISTOPHER SIEBER ♦ HARRIET HARRIS ♦  DARYL ROTH

HANK AZARIA ♦ SIERRA BOGGESS ♦ MONTEGO GLOVER

KRISTINE NIELSEN ♦ DEBRA MONK ♦ KATE BALDWIN

BEN PLATT ♦ PERI GILPIN ♦ JOHN BOLTON

LEA DELARIA  BRANDON URANOWITZ ♦ ADAM KANTOR

 
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The Drama League of New York's 33rd annual Benefit Gala was held on Monday evening, November 7, 2016 at The Plaza (768 Fifth Avenue) in New York City. This year, we honored a titan of stage and screen, the Tony® and Emmy® Award-winner, David Hyde Pierce. 

Exclusive and elegant, this once-in-a-century black-tie gala — featured a cocktail reception, a silent auction, a specially-crafted three-course meal, and a fully-staged musical tribute to Mr. Pierce.  Featuring acclaimed performers from Broadway, the West End, and Hollywood, funds raised by The Drama League Benefit Gala supports The Drama League’s educational initiatives for promising young artists, including the award-winning Directors Project.

The Drama League Benefit Gala helps to raise funds to support the educational training programs of The Drama League Directors Project.  The award-winning initiative, which began in 1982 and whose alumni now number over 300, has been instrumental in launching the careers of Tony® Award winners Sam Gold (Fun HomeThe Glass Menagerie), Diane Paulus (Waitress), Pam MacKinnon (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?Amélie), Michael Mayer (Hedwig and the Angry InchBurn This), and John Rando (On The Town)Tony Award nominees Mark Brokaw (Heisenberg), Christopher Ashley (Come From Away), Moritz von Steulpnagel (Hand to God) and Alex Timbers (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson); and OBIE and Emmy Award winners Rachel Chavkin (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812), Lear deBessonet, R.J. Cutler, and Anne Kaufmann (A Life), to name a few.  ‘Drama League Directors’ have been honored with Tony, Emmy, Grammy, Obie, Peabody, Drama Desk, GLAAD, Drama League, New York Drama Critics Circle, Outer Critics, Evening Standard, Lucille Lortel, Bessie, Princess Grace, Garland, Drama-Logue, Barrymore, Helen Hayes, Elliot Norton, and Joseph Jefferson Awards, and have directed films and plays that received Academy Award nominations and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Our 2016 Honoree - David Hyde Pierce

Emmy® and Tony® Award winner David Hyde Pierce made his professional and Broadway debut in 1982 as the waiter in Christopher Durang's Beyond Therapy, and will return to the Great White Way in the Spring of 2017 as Horace Vandergelder in the revival of Hello, Dolly!, opposite Bette Midler. He will be seen Off-Broadway this fall in Adam Bock’s “A Life,” which will play at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater for Playwrights’ Horizons.

Pierce won the Tony® Award for his role as Lieutenant Frank Cioffi in the Musical Comedy, Curtains, before going on to appear in the Manhattan Theatre Club revival of the 1930's comedy Accent on Youth. In 2010, Pierce starred in the acclaimed London and Broadway productions of La Bête. He returned to Off-Broadway in the Vineyard Theatre's 2013 production of The Landing, a new musical from John Kander. He went on to create roles in the off-Broadway productions of That's it Folks!, The Author's VoiceMaderatiZero Positive, and Elliot Loves before returning to Broadway in The Heidi Chronicles. In 2005, he originated the role of Sir Robin in the Broadway production of Monty Python's Spamalot. For his performance, Pierce was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical.

In addition to his work in new plays, Pierce has appeared in Hamlet and Much Ado (New York Shakespeare Festival), Holiday and Camille (Long Wharf Theatre), Candida (Goodman Theatre), The SeagullTartuffeCyrano, and Midsummer's Night's Dream (Guthrie Theatre), and Peter Brook's The Cherry Orchard in New York, Moscow, Leningrad, and Tokyo. In Los Angeles, he appeared in Terrence McNally's It's Only a Play at the Doolittle Theatre and in the Geffen Playhouse production of Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks with Uta Hagen.

Pierce made his Broadway directorial debut with Barbara Anselmi and Brian Hargrove’s original musical It Shoulda Been You, which opened last spring at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre and ran through the summer. Pierce first directed the show at the George Street Playhouse, starring Tyne Daly and Harriet Harris, who reprised their roles on Broadway. He most recently helmed David Lindsay-Abaire’s new dark comedy, “Ripcord,” for Manhattan Theater Club. The show, which starred Mary-Louise Burke and Holland Taylor as mismatched roommates in an assisted living facility, played a limited engagement in the winter of 2015. Pierce's other directing credits include Christopher Durang's Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike at Los Angeles's Mark Taper Forum (Pierce originated the role of Vanya on Broadway, and was nominated for a Tony® Award for his performance), as well as a reimagining of “The Importance of Being Earnest” for the Williamstown Theatre Festival, in which he set the play in Prohibition era times.

Pierce's film credits include "Bright Lights, Big City," "Crossing Delancey," "Little Man Tate," "Sleepless in Seattle," "Wolf," "Nixon," "Isn't She Great," "Wet, Hot, American Summer," “Full Frontal," "Down With Love," "A Bug's Life," "Osmosis Jones," "Treasure Planet," and the Sundance Film Festival Selection "The Perfect Host.”

His television credits include a short but happy stint on Norman Lear's political satire "The Powers That Be," and a long but happy stint on "Frasier," for which he earned four Emmy® Awards and the American Comedy, Television Critics, Viewers for Quality Television and Screen Actors Guild Awards. He returned to series television in 2014 with a guest arc on the critically acclaimed CBS drama "The Good Wife." He also reprised his role in last summer’s Netflix reboot of "Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp.”

Pierce has worked with The Alzheimer's Association for nearly twenty years. As a board member and national spokesperson, he has worked with the Association in its mission to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. In 2010, he was awarded the Tony®Awards' Isabelle Stevenson Award for his work with the Association.

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The Drama League of New York, since 1916, has been at the forefront of the American Theatre community, providing talent, audiences, and prosperous support. It is one of the nation’s oldest continuously-operating, not-for-profit arts advocacy and education organizations. Through its programs, initiatives and events, The Drama League serves over 3,000 artists and 15,000 audience members each season with over 150 events and programs. 

The 2016 Gala Chairpersons are Anna May Feige and Stan Ponte, with vice-chairs Rebecca A. Gillan, Kathy Henderson, Mary Jain, Kari Nettles, Joseph and Lauren Pizza, Resolution Life, Elaine C. and W. Weldon Wilson, and Nadine Wong. 

Resolution Life is the proud Lead Season Sponsor of The Drama League. We gratefully thank them and all our generous sponsors for their support. 

 

Lead Season Sponsor

 

Gala Sponsors

OFFICIAL AIR LINE OF THE DRAMA LEAGUE

 

OFFICIAL MAKE-UP PARTNER OF THE DRAMA LEAGUE

 

OFFICIAL FLORIST OF THE DRAMA LEAGUE

 

 

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