Blumenthal Performing Arts Gala to Honor William Ivey Long; Christine Ebersole, Andy Karl, Laura Osn
Blumenthal Performing Arts is thrilled to announce the star-studded lineup of performers who will grace the stage of Knight Theater February 24 in a lavish and original musical tribute to Carolinas' own William Ivey Long, Tony Award winning costume designer and Broadway icon.
Headliners include multiple Tony Award winning actress and singer Christine Ebersole, who was most recently nominated for Best Actress for her performance in War Paint. She will be joined by Andy Karl who recently starred as "Phil Connors" in the musical Groundhog Day on Broadway, a role he originated in London having won the 2017 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical.
The celebrity lineup continues with Laura Osnes who stared in the title role of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella on Broadway, in costumes designed by Long, for which she received a Drama Desk Award and her second Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical. Rounding out this all-star cast will be multiple GRAMMY Award winning gospel and R&B singer BeBe Winans, whose new Broadway musical Born For This includes Long as costume designer.
Charles Randolph-Wright, who directed Motown the Musical on Broadway and around the world, and who is a York, SC native, will direct the original production. Beloved Blumey Awards favorite David Dabbon is musical director, arranger and conductor.
The stars onstage will be joined by stars sending their greetings and admiration by video. They all share a profound admiration for the artistry, graciousness and excellence that has defined William Ivey Long's remarkable career.
"This is a signature event in our 25th Anniversary Season year of celebration. Our theater fans have loved William's designs in so many Broadway shows, whether in New York, Charlotte or around the world," said Blumenthal President/CEO Tom Gabbard. "Beyond his artistry, we are also celebrating the achievements of 'one of our own' who grew up in Rock Hill, SC. His family has deep roots in our community and were beloved arts leaders. That's an inspiring story to our kids today who are dreaming of what their futures might be."
The gala musical tribute will feature performances by local high school students who participate in the Blumenthal Performing Arts High School Musical Theater Awards (also known as the Blumeys), including 2017 Blumey Awards Best Actress and Jimmy Awards Best Dancer winner Anna Hertel.
His work has earned 15 Tony Award nominations and six Tony Awards for Best Costume Design. He won a Drama Desk Award and was nominated for an Emmy for his work on "GREASE Live!" broadcast on Fox TV. He re-imagined designs for "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" also for FOX, dressed Mick Jagger for The Rolling Stones tour "Steel Wheels," and designed for dance legends like Twyla Tharp and the NY City Ballet.
Among the Broadway shows designed by Mr. Long are: The Producers, Hairspray, Chicago, Cabaret, Cinderella, Crazy for You, Guys and Dolls, La Cage aux Folles, 9 to 5, Young Frankenstein, Nine, On the Twentieth, Bullets Over Broadway and Grey Gardens.
This event is part of the 25th Anniversary Season of Blumenthal Performing Arts. Season sponsors include Barings, The Doctor Family Foundation, Dale F. Halton Foundation, and Wells Fargo. The event is chaired by Susanne McGuire and the 25th Anniversary Steering Committee is chaired by Amy Blumenthal.
An exhibit of Mr. Long's work is currently on display at the Mint Museum in Charlotte.
Performance Tickets begin at $25 and can be purchased by phone at 704.372.1000 or online at BlumenthalArts.org. A $15 advance and night of Student Rush is also offered at BlumenthalArts.org/rush.
ABOUT BLUMENTHAL PERFORMING ARTS
Blumenthal Performing Arts serves the Carolinas as a leading cultural, entertainment and education provider. For more information, call (704) 372-1000 or visit BlumenthalArts.org. Blumenthal Performing Arts receives operating support from the Arts & Science Council and the North Carolina Arts Council. Generous support is also provided by PNC Bank, sponsor of PNC Broadway Lights and PNC Celebrity Series.