Today, Nancy Rhodes, Artistic Director announced that the Honorary Chairs, Sheldon Harnick and Maury Yeston join Encompass New Opera Theatre in celebrating Alan Menken's life in the American theatre, film and recording world tonight, October 21, 2012 at the National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South, New York City.
Drinks and hors d'oeuvres will be served at 6:00, followed by entertainment at 7:00. Champagne and dessert will be served at the conclusion of the tribute. All tickets are $350.00.
Joining in the celebration and performing songs of Alan Menken or offering recollections are award winning cabaret performers KLea Blackhurst & Jason Graae; Tituss Burgess (The Little Mermaid); Tony Award winner lyricist Jack Feldman (Newsies); Kara Lindsay (Newsies); Lindsay Mendez (Dogfight, Godspell); Ron Raines (Follies); lyricist Glenn Slater, (The Little Mermaid, Leap of Faith, Sister Act); Tony Award winner and composer/lyricist Maury Yeston (Nine, Titanic, Death Takes A Holiday); Tony Award winner Karen Ziemba (Contact, Curtains) and many more to be announced. The music director/pianist is Beth Ertz who will be supported by John Miller on Bass.
The legendary composer Alan Menken has created some of the most beloved songs and musical scores of our time for both stage and screen. Nurtured at the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, he wrote and captured the imagination of audiences in the late 1970's with God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, Real Life Funnies, and the hit musical Little Shop of Horrors (with collaborator Howard Ashman), garnering the BMI Career Achievement Award.
Mr. Menken's musical career on Broadway includes Newsies, (Tony Award winner for Best Original Score); Sister Act and Leap of Faith in 2012 alone. Previous Broadway shows include The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast and a recent revival of Little Shop of Horrors. He was awarded eight Academy Awards (four each for Best Original Score and Best Original Song), ten Grammys and seven Golden Globes for his musicals, songs and film scores.
In 2001, he was named a Disney Legend for his scoring of numerous films for Walt Disney Productions: The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Hercules. More recent Disney films include Home on the Range, Enchanted and Tangled. Encompass is delighted that Disney Theatrical Productions will be the benefit's Gold Sponsor for the event as a salute to Alan Menken for his work with the Disney organization.
In 2010, Alan Menken received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.