Sonnet Repertory Theatre presents their Tenth Annual Benefit and Cabaret on Monday, November 14, bringing together a diverse and talented group of performers and composers at Joe's Pub to honor award-winning director and teacher, Gerald Freedman. Celebrating Freedman's career, this evening will feature some of Broadway's greatest talents and legends, including: Jennifer Ferrin, Penny Fuller, HAl Holbrook, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Jeremy Jordan, Kevin Kline, Terrence Mann, John Mauceri, Estelle Parsons, Austin Pendleton, Wesley Taylor, Alfred Uhry, Price Waldman, and more, including special tributes by Olympia Dukakis and Chita Rivera.
Gerald Freedman is a strong proponent of Sonnet Rep's mission: classic theatre for the modern planet. All proceeds from the event will go towards Sonnet Repertory Theatre's 2012 key initiatives, including producing exciting, accessible classic theater, and enriching their ever-growing educational initiatives, designed to nurture arts and classical language appreciation among New York City's school children. As a non-profit organization, SRT seeks to promote classic theatre to a contemporary audience by producing insightful and relevant interpretations, while also providing diverse and challenging creative opportunities.
Sonnet Repertory Theatre's Tenth Annual Benefit & Cabaret will take place Monday, November 14, at Joe's Pub (425 Lafayette Street, between Astor Place and West 4th). Doors open at 6:00pm with an exclusive raffle, and performances are scheduled to begin at 7:00pm. Tickets are $75 Premium; $50 Reserved. (In addition to the ticket price, there is a $12 dining or two-drink minimum). To purchase tickets, please visit the Joe's Pub website: www.joespub.com.
Gerald Freedman is an Obie Award-winning director and holds the distinction as the first American invited to direct at London's Globe Theatre. He is regarded nationally for productions of classic drama, musicals, operas, new plays and television. Freedman has staged 26 of Shakespeare's plays, along with dozens of other world classics. He served as leading director of Joseph Papp's New York Shakespeare Festival from 1960 through 1971, and artistic director from 1968 through 1971. He was also co-artistic director of John Houseman's The Acting Company from 1974 through 1977, artistic director of the American Shakespeare Theatre from 1978 through 1979, and artistic director of the Great Lakes Theater Festival from 1985 through 1997.
Freedman has directed celebrated actors such as Olympia Dukakis, James Earl Jones, Stacy Keach, Julie Harris, Charles Durning, Sam Waterston, Patti LuPone, Mandy Patinkin, Jean Stapleton, William Hurt, Carroll O'Connor and Kevin Kline. He made theatre history with the off-Broadway premiere of the landmark rock musical Hair, which opened The Public Theatre in 1967. Other Broadway work includes: The Robber Bridegroom, The Grand Tour with Joel Grey, the revival of West Side Story, co-directed with Jerome Robbins, the premiere of Arthur Miller's The Creation of the World and Other Business, and Shaw's Mrs. Warren's Profession with Lynn Redgrave and Edward Herrmann. Productions for the Great Lakes Theater Festival include King Lear with HAl Holbrook, which went on to the Roundabout Theatre.
In addition, Freedman has directed opera productions for the Opera Society of Washington at the Kennedy Center, the San Francisco Opera Company, and New York City Opera (revivals of Brigadoon and South Pacific).
Freedman is the current Dean of Drama at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. He has also taught at Yale University and The Juilliard School, and currently serves on the Kennedy Center New Play Committee, is a member of the College of Fellows of the American Theatre, and a participant in the Oomoto Institute, Kameoka, Japan.
The host of the evening is Wesley Taylor, a Richard Rodgers and Jerry Bock Award-winning actor, who can be seen on Steven Spielberg's new NBC show "SMASH," starring Debra Messing, Angelica Houston, Christian Borle and Katherine McPhee.
Taylor made his Broadway debut in Rock of Ages, where he originated the role of German city developer, Franz. Taylor won a Theatre World Award for this role, and was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award. He also originated the role of Lucas Beineke in Broadway's The Addams Family, and has appeared on television in "One Life to Live," "Live! with Regis and Kelly," "The Today Show," "Good Morning America," and "Late Night with Conan O'Brien."