Tony Award nominee Bryce Pinkham,
Broadway stars Kelli Barrett, Lesli Margherita, Jessica Keenan Wynn and the Shapiro Sisters, and the Classical Theatre of Harlem join the starry lineup of the Theater Resources Unlimited 2015 TRU Love Benefit: Making Our Gardens Grow
Sunday, November 8, 2015 at 12 noon at Sardi's
Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) will celebrate its 24th year as a not-for-profit service organization with its annual gala, the TRU Love Benefit. This year's theme is Making Our Gardens Grow, and a stellar lineup of Broadway stars has joined the cast: Bryce Pinkham (The Heidi Chronicles, Tony nominee for A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder), Tony Award Winner and Grammy Nominee Milly Shapiro (Matilda), her Broadway-Star Sister Abigail Shapiro (The Grinch Who Stole Christmas), Broadway star Kelli Barrett (Dr. Zhivago, Wicked), Jessica Keenan Wynn (Beautiful, Heathers), Olivier Award winner Lesli Margherita (currently in Dames at Sea) and a performance by The Classical Theatre of Harlem. They join the originally announced lineup: winner of TV's "The Voice" Jermaine Paul, Obie-winner Nikkole Salter (In the Continuum), preeminent magician Todd Robbins (Play Dead), Howie Michael Smith (My Life Is a Musical) and cabaret favorite Lynn DiMenna. The show is co-hosted by cabaret's Sidney Myer and rapper Power Malu, directed by Kimberly Loren Eaton and David Elliot, with Musical Director Michael Lavine, production managed by Jesse Langston.
TRU will be recognizing three people who are each helping to change the landscape of theater in highly individual ways. The 2015 TRU Spirit of Theater Award, given to a member of the producing community who has demonstrated exceptional generosity, support and kindness to others in the business, will be awarded to producer Patrick Blake (The 39 Steps, Bedlam Theatre's Hamlet/St. Joan, Play Dead, My Life Is a Musical, The Exonerated, In the Continuum), also the founder of Rhymes Over Beats, a game-changing new hip hop theater company; the TRU Humanitarian Award will be presented to Teresa Eyring on behalf of one of American theater's pre-eminent service organizations, Theatre Communications Group (TCG); and the TRU Entrepreneur Award, given for consistency, unique thinking and innovation, will be presented to Linda Amiel Burns for 38 years of The Singing Experience, a unique cabaret workshop that helps ordinary people blossom into singing "stars."
The celebration will take place on Sunday November 8, 2015 at legendary Sardi's, 234 West 44th Street, between 7th and 8th Avenue. It will begin at noon with wine, drinks and hors d'oeuvres, followed by a 3-course luncheon and the awards ceremony and performances at 1pm. Tickets are on sale at http://www.truonline.org/TRULove15.htm.
"This year's honorees represent the level of selfless support and cultivation of others that we value," states TRU president Bob Ost. "We honor friend Pat Blake for pushing politically relevant subjects into the theater conversation with shows like The Exonerated and In the Continuum. Equally significant is his current commitment to nurturing artists of diversity and bringing hip hop into commercial theater through his company Rhymes Over Beats. And he has been dedicated to this even before Hamilton burst on the scene." Blake is also acknowledged for his dedication to TRU as a program director for their Producer Development and Mentorship Program, and for serving on the TRU Board of Directors.
Theatre Communications Group and executive director Teresa Eyring are honored for their efforts to nurture resident theaters around the country, strengthening them and offering a crucial bridge for development of new works that have nourished and fed the commercial theater and all theater. On a personal note, Ost states, "TCG serves as a standard and role model for all arts service organizations, and the work they have done is an inspiration for what TRU hopes to achieve on a much smaller grassroots level here in New York." Executive director Teresa Eyring has also made it a personal mission and organizational priority to champion a more equitable, diverse and inclusive theater field throughout the country.
Linda Amiel Burns will receive the TRU Entrepreneur Award for providing an artistic voice and confidence to hundreds of individuals by getting them out of their shells and up on a stage in her workshop The Singing Experience, which she has been tirelessly offering for 38 years. "Linda was also one of our original board members and helped us find our voice in our early development," adds Ost.
The Benefit Honoree Committee lending their names and support to this year's event include Tim Sanford of Playwrights Horizons, Georgia Buchanan of York Theatre Company, Brent Buell of Rhymes Over Beats, performers Sidney Myer and Lynn DiMenna, reviewer Sandi Durell, and producers Michael Alden, Doug Denoff, Jane Dubin, David Elliott, Patricia Klausner, Martin Platt, Ron Simons and Cheryl Wiesenfeld. The Benefit Producing Committee includes TRU vice-president Cheryl Davis, plus Kimberly Loren Eaton, Wendy Leopold, Tom Polum and Courtney Sweeting.
The proceeds from this event directly benefit the programs of Theater Resources Unlimited, a not-for-profit service organization that educates people in the business of the arts, with a focus on producers, emerging theater companies and self-producing artists. Programs include monthly panels, workshops, a Producer Development and Mentorship Program, a new plays and new musicals reading series and a community e-newsletter of jobs, services, resources and theater events.
Tickets for the event will be $200 Premium Patron Level reserved seating on the first tier near the stage and $175 ($150 for TRU members) for Patron Level reserved seating on the first tier sides and second tier. Non-reserved General Admission tickets, which also include luncheon, may be purchased for $125 ($110 for TRU members). Tickets, VIP tickets, journal ads and tables are available through the TRU Store at http://www.truonline.org/store.html
And be sure to check out the SILENT AUCTION...
For inquiries about the event, email TRUStaff1@gmail.com or call 212-714-7628. For more information about TRU membership and programs, visit www.truonline.org or call 212-714-7628.
Broadway Credits include: The original productions of Doctor Zhivago, Baby it's you!, Wicked, the Manhattan Theatre Club Revival of The Royal Family. Off-Broadway and Regional Credits include: Rock of Ages, the world premiere and Old Globe production of Ace, and Bright Lights, Big City.
KIMBERLY LOREN EATON
Developmental Director, Broadway Producer & Principal of Theatrum Mundi Productions. Most recently, Kimberly was involved with the producing team of Fun Home on Broadway, which won 5 Tony Awards. Select additional credits- Producing: The Velocity of Autumn (Broadway), The Forgetting Curve (Boston Center for the Arts, Calderwood Pavillion), Directing: Mrs. Stern Wanders the Prussian State Library, White Cotton, Wild & Willful Women, Closer, Once on This Island, The Music Man, Guys and Dolls, The Wild Duck. Former Artistic & Managing Director of the Off- Broadway Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater.
Co-Director, Perry Street Theatricals. Currently represented on Broadway with Dames At Sea. Previously, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Tony Award). Others productions include: Lend Me A Tenor The Musical (Gielgud, West End), In The Continuum (OBIE, Outer Critics), an oak tree (Barrow Street, OBIE), The Exonerated (Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics), Athol Fugard's Exits and Entrances (Edinburgh), Shylock, and Treason (Perry Street Theatre).
Michael Lavine (Music Director) has worked as a musical director, pianist, vocal coach and singer all over the world. He gives master classes on auditioning in New York, Los Angeles, Australia, Singapore, Manila, Martha's Vineyard and other locations. Michael musically directed productions of Rent, Sweeney Todd, and Thoroughly Modern Millie at the Shanghai Theatre Academy. He has accompanied Broadway and television star Bryan Batt in New Orleans, San Francisco, Australia, Hollywood and at 54 Below, Feinstein's, and the Metropolitan Room in New York. Michael conducted The Little Mermaid starring Emily Skinner at Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma. He also regularly plays for the Outer Critic's Circle Awards in New York and musically directed the Broadway Cares Teddy Bear Auction for its entire 15-year run. Michael has conducted orchestras in a number of cities around the country. He musically directed the Comden and Green musical Billion Dollar Baby at the York Theatre in New York City starring Kristin Chenoweth, Marc Kudisch and Debbie Gravitte and the Burton Lane/Alan Jay Lerner musical Carmelina, also at the York, for which he worked directly with Burton Lane. He shared the stage with Mimi Hines and Peter Howard (his mentor) at the Kennedy Center in a Rodgers and Hart revue, This Funny World. For the past several years, Michael has been producing a series of CD's called Lost Broadway and More recording songs from Broadway shows that have never been recorded before. The latest volume, with songs by Jule Styne and Comden & Green, is available at www.cdbaby.com, as is an earlier one, Michael Lavine and Friends. A graduate of Columbia University, Michael owns one of the largest privately held sheet music collections in the world. More details can be found at Michael's website, www.michaellavine.net.
Laurence Olivier Award Winner Lesli Margherita is currently starring as Mona Kent in Dames at Sea on Broadway at the Helen Hayes Theater, following a two year run as Mrs. Wormwood in Broadway's Matilda. Margherita trained at UCLA and was soon after chosen to star in MGM's television series Fame L.A. directed by Kenny Ortega. She has gone on to star and recur on numerous television shows and pilots including Major Crimes, The Suite Life on Deck, Charmed, NYPD Blue, The District, JAG, and On The Lot, produced by Steven Spielberg. Also well known for her theatre work, she played Inez in Zorro the Musical in London's West End, for which she won the Olivier.
Debuted on Broadway as Cindy Lou in Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
Tony Award Winner for outstanding Broadway debut in Broadway's Matilda, Grammy Nominee for the cast album of the same show, and one of the four Matildas who originated the role. In 2014, Abigail and Milly were recorded live at their concert The Shapiro Sisters Live at 54 Below, onto the album Live out Loud Cabaret.
Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) is a nonprofit organization created to help producers produce, emerging theater companies to emerge healthily and all theater professionals to understand and best navigate the business of theater. Our membership roster includes self-producing artists as well as career producers.
If you are a theater professional, take this opportunity to become a part of the leading professional development, mentorship, and networking organization in the industry!
Visit http://www.biddingowl.com/Auction/home.cfm?auctionID=5825 to view the items up for grabsincluding tickets to A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder,On Your Feet, The Gin Game, Dames at Sea, The King and I, dozens of Off-Broadway shows, as well as fine jewelry, vacation packages, and much more! Select items such as an $8000 Azamara cruise to anywhere in the world will be available for bidding only at the event itself.
Programs of Theater Resources Unlimited are supported in part by public funds awarded through the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, 9th district Council Member Inez Dickens; plus The Friars National Association Foundation and The Montage Foundation.
For more information about TRU membership and programs, visitwww.truonline.orgor call (212) 714-7628.