THE VINEYARD THEATRE TO HONOR LEGENDARY COMPOSER JOHN KANDER AND THE WORK OF KANDER AND EBB WITH STAR-STUDDED TRIBUTE AT THE HUDSON THEATER

John Kander — the renowned, Tony Award-winning composer of such beloved musicals as CHICAGO, CABARET, KISS OF THE SPIDERWOMAN and many others — will be honored by Vineyard Theatre at the company’s annual Gala on Monday, March 8th beginning at 6 PM at the Hudson Theater (145 West 44th Street) in Manhattan, it has been announced by Douglas Aibel, Artistic Director of Vineyard Theatre. David Hyde Pierce — Tony Award-winner for his appearance in the musical CURTAINS by John Kander and his collaborator, the late Fred Ebb — will host.

A host of top-name theatre artists are expected to perform and pay tribute to Mr. Kander and the work of Kander and Ebb at the March 8th Gala, a benefit for the Vineyard Theatre.  That roster of participants will be announced at a later date.

Vineyard Theatre recently announced that the new musical THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS – written by composer John Kander and lyricist Fred Ebb – will be given it’s world premiere production at The Vineyard, with previews beginning February 12th prior to an official opening March 10th. Tony Award-winner Susan Stroman will direct and choreograph the musical with a book by David Thompson.  THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS marks the second time Vineyard Theatre has produced a Kander and Ebb musical; their FLORA, THE RED MENACE was given a critically acclaimed production during The Vineyard’s 1987-1988 season.

Vineyard Theatre – the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning theatre company – is one of the nation’s leading theatres dedicated to developing and presenting new plays and musicals.

Previous Vineyard Theatre Gala honorees include luminaries such as Tony Award winner Marian Seldes (who appeared at The Vineyard in THREE TALL WOMEN); playwrights Edward Albee and Paula Vogel (each who won Pulitzer Prizes for their plays at The Vineyard, THREE TALL WOMEN in 1993 and HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE in 1998 respectively); Tony nominee Kathleen Chalfant (a member of the theatre’s Board of Directors, and has previously appeared in The Vineyard’s productions of True History & Real Adventures and THE PARTY) and Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon. The Vineyard’s past Galas have also featured performances and special appearances by stars such as Eartha Kitt, Lewis Black, Penny Fuller, John Guare, Julianne Moore, Bart Freundlich, Lili Taylor, Anna Paquin, S. Epatha Merkerson, Judy Kuhn, Cheyenne Jackson, Michael Berresse, Joe Morton, Paul Rudd, Patricia Clarkson, Betty Buckley and the cast of [title of show], among others.

John Kander and Fred Ebb wrote some of the most beloved and enduring musicals in theatre history during their four decade-long partnership, the longest of its kind in musical theatre history. Their works include:  FLORA, THE RED MENACE; Cabaret (two Tony Awards – Best Musical and Best Composer and Lyricist); ZORBA; CHICAGO (Olivier Award); WOMAN OF THE YEAR (Tony Award, Best Original Score); KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN (Tony Award, Best Original Score); CURTAINS; THE VISIT and ALL ABOUT US. Kander and Ebb also collaborated for film and television on such memorable works as “Liza With a Z” (Emmy Award); HBO’s “Liza Minnelli’s Stepping Out” (Emmy Award); the films “Funny Lady” (Oscar nominated for How Lucky Can You Get); Lucky Lady; New York, New York; Stepping Out and Chicago (Oscar nominated for Best Song). They are the recipients of two Grammy Awards – for the Original Cast Album of CABARET and for the Musical Show Album of CHICAGO, and in 1998, they received the Kennedy Center Honors award for Lifetime Achievement.

Vineyard Theatre’s Board Chair is Jill S. Gabbe (gabbegroup) and the President is Ken Greiner (Dalton, Greiner, Hartman, Maher & Co). Vice-President and Gala Chair, Rick Dean (Scotia Capital, retired), leads The Vineyard’s Gala Committee, which includes Board members Kathleen Chalfant (Actress), Jane Chesnutt (Woman’s Day), Dozier Hasty (Everything Brooklyn Media), Richard McCune (City National Bank), David Schwartz (Debevoise & Plimpton), Jeffrey Steinman (Rudin Management), Annette Stover (Euro RSCG Worldwide) and Norma V. Rosenberg (Vistage Group).

Vineyard Theatre is the recipient of the Tony Award for the musical AVENUE Q, and continues as producer of the musical’s current production at New World Stages in New York. Additionally, The Vineyard has produced the musical [title of show] on Broadway. Regarded as one of the nation’s leading non-profit theatre companies dedicated to developing and producing bold new plays and musicals, The Vineyard has produced the Pulitzer Prize-winning productions of Edward Albee’s THREE TALL WOMEN and Paula Vogel’s HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE. The Vineyard has consistently premiered provocative, groundbreaking works and developed innovative educational collaborations. Recent productions include last season’s acclaimed WIG OUT! by Tarell Alvin McCraney and The Civilians’ THIS BEAUTIFUL CITY.

Vineyard Theatre opened its 2009-10 season with the critically acclaimed A BOY AND HIS SOUL, written and performed by Colman Domingo. The Vineyard recently announced that Domingo’s play is expected to receive a commercial Off-Broadway production later this season. This spring, in addition to the aforementioned production of THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS, The Vineyard will produce the world premiere of Adam Rapp’s THE METAL CHILDREN, and the new musical THE BURNT PART BOYS, by Mariana Elder, Nathan Tysen and Chris Miller, directed by Joe Calarco; which will be a co-production with Playwrights Horizons.

Vineyard Theatre is under the guidance of Douglas Aibel, Artistic Director, and Jennifer Garvey-Blackwell, Executive Director.

Tickets for the evening range from $500-$1,000 and tables from $5,000-$25,000. For reservations and more information, please contact Scott Pyne at 212-353-3366 x242 or visit www.vineyardtheatre.org.

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