Drama League promises cavalcade of legiters
Kristin Chenoweth is getting a bio-tuner — but it’s a one-off affair that’s part of the Drama League’s 28th annual fundraising gala.The legit nonprofit’s yearly “Musical Celebration of Broadway” focuses on the body of work of a single performer, this year concentrating on the multimedia success of Broadway fave (and a star of upcoming ABC dramedy “GCB”) Chenoweth. “The performance is built around her career, and it really ends up being a full, one-night-only musical,” says Drama League exec director Gabriel Shanks. Among the legit names on tap to appear are Norm Lewis, Laura Benanti, Cheyenne Jackson, Elaine Paige and a team of current and original cast members of “Wicked” including Joel Grey. Plus, there’ll be a cameo from “Sesame Street” puppeteer Kevin Clash and Elmo, the muppet with whom Chenoweth has a longstanding relationship, as chronicled by segs on the PBS kidvid staple. Although the Drama League might be best-known for its annual round of awards in the spring, coin from the fundraiser goes toward supporting the org’s Directors Project, the education program for up-and-coming helmers that has nurtured the careers of directors including Michael Mayer (“Smash”), Diane Paulus (“Porgy and Bess”) and Alex Timbers (“Peter and the Starcatcher”). Established in 1984, the multifaceted initiative includes residencies, training regimens focused on new works or musical theater, and an assistant directors program, among others. The Chenoweth gala is set for Feb. 6 at Gotham’s Pierre Hotel.
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