This morning, Friday, November 5th, Tony Award winner Bill Irwin rehearsed a special vaudeville routine with 4th graders at PS/IS 111. On November 5th, Irwin will team up with the children to rehearse the finale of The New 42nd Street Gala, celebrating The New Victory Theater Education Program, at which Irwin will receive the first-ever New Victory Arts Award.
The New 42nd Street® Gala on Monday, November 8, 2010, will honor Tony Award winning actor Bill Irwin. The annual event, which this year celebrates The New Victory Theater® Education Program, will launch with a 6:15 p.m. cocktail reception followed by a 7:00 p.m. performance honoring Irwin at The New Victory Theater, 209 West 42nd Street. Nathan Lane, Jonathan Demme, new vaudeville troupe The Handsome Little Devils and Full Circle Productions (under the direction of Gabriel "Kwikstep" Dionisio and Ana "Rokafella" Garcia) are among the talent who will offer tribute to Irwin. After accepting his award, Irwin will take the stage with 12 4th graders from PS/IS 111 to present a special musical vaudeville finale, the product of student workshops led by Irwin with children from The New Victory Education Residency program. Immediately following the performance, a dinner reception honoring Irwin will take place at the New 42nd Street Studios. The dinner reception will feature a musical performance by Lucie Arnaz: Latin Roots.
Co-Chairs for the event are Margaret Munzer Loeb and Daniel S. Loeb, Fiona and Eric Rudin, Liev Schreiber, and Diane and Marc Spilker. Vice-Chairs are Jonathan Demme, Anne Hathaway, Phoebe Cates Kline and Kevin Kline, Nathan Lane, Terrence McNally and Tom Kirdahy, Kathleen Turner, and Lynn and Sam Waterston. Thomson Reuters is the Gala Corporate Sponsor.
Cora Cahan, President of The New 42nd Street, has said, "Bill Irwin has honored The New 42nd Street by allowing us to honor him with the presentation of the first-ever New Victory Arts Award in recognition of all he has done over the years to bring kids to the arts and the arts to kids."
Since the New Vic opened in 1995, the nationally recognized, award-winning New Victory Education Program has partnered with 475 schools and after-schools and served 333,000 students and teachers. The comprehensive program provides pre-K-12th grade students access to exemplary live theatergoing experiences and correlating model arts education activities that turn the classroom into a stage. The high quality, compelling arts curriculum aligns with New York City Department of Education's Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in the Arts. During the 2010-11 season, The New Vic School Partnership Program will continue to provide opportunities for 33,000 students to attend 91 weekday school-time shows at the cost of only $2.00 per student/per show, as well as to participate in 850 free pre- and post-performance In-Classroom Workshops led by New Vic Teaching Artists.
Bill Irwin is a founding member of The New 42nd Street Board of Directors as well as a founding member of Kraken Theatre Ensemble and San Francisco's Pickle Family Circus. His original works include Fool Moon, Largely New York, The Harlequin Studies, Mr. Fox: A Rumination, The Happiness Lecture, and The Regard of Flight. Other theater credits include Broadway productions of Waiting for Godot, Bye, Bye Birdie, The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?, and Accidental Death of an Anarchist; Broadway and West End revivals of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (2005 Tony Award, Helen Hayes Award); Waiting for Godot at Lincoln Center Theater; and 5-6-7-8 Dance!, Scapin, The Tempest, Garden of Earthly Delights, Texts for Nothing, A Flea in Her Ear, The Seagull, A Man's a Man, and 3 Cuckolds. The 2003-04 Signature Theatre season was devoted to his original work. His television credits include Lights Out, Bill Irwin: Clown Prince (PBS's Great Performances), Third Rock from the Sun, Northern Exposure, Sesame Street, Elmo's World, The Regard of Flight, The Cosby Show, The Laramie Project, Subway Stories, Bette Midler: Mondo Beyondo, Law & Order, Life on Mars, CSI, and the closing ceremony of the 1996 Olympic Games. Film credits include Rachel Getting Married, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Igby Goes Down, Lady in the Water, Dark Matter, Raving, Across the Universe, Popeye, Eight Men Out, Silent Tongue, Illuminata, My Blue Heaven, A New Life, Scenes from a Mall, and Stepping Out. He has been granted a National Endowment for the Arts Choreographers Fellowship, as well as Guggenheim, Fulbright, and MacArthur fellowships.
Photos: (c) 2010 Alexis Buatti Ramos