On Sunday night December 16, The Alvin Ailey American Dance
Theater honored its longtime impresario, Paul Szilard, at a pre-performance ceremony and post-performance
reception at City
Center, which also
celebrated his 95th birthday.
Attending were celebrities from the theater and dance
worlds. Szilard, who is, in addition, currently producing a 50th
Anniversary World Tour of West Side Story, is exclusive international
representative for the Ailey company, and has introduced it to 68 countries
over the past 37 years. He was given a crystal award by Artistic Director
Judith Jamison and praised by her and Chairman of the Board Emeritus Stanley
Plesent for his loyalty and dedication to the company through the years.
Guests included many longtime friends: Chita Rivera, along with Tony
Mordente (who will both attend a West Side Story reunion in New
York this week) and their daughter Lisa
Mordente; Liliane Montevecchi,
looking terrific; George S. Irving;
Donald Saddler; Tony Award-winning director/choreographer Joey McKneely (director of the West
Side Story world tour, also Broadway's The Boy From Oz, Wild
Party, The Life, Smokey Joe's Cafe); Jacques D'Amboise; West Side Story co-producer Michael Brenner, who flew in from
Europe; lyricist Susan Birkenhead;
Judith Jamison and many Ailey dancers.
Sharon Gersten Luckman, Executive Director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance
Theater, made a toast, then there was also a multi-layered birthday cake and
"Happy Birthday" sung.
West Side Story, which has won rave reviews throughout its tour in Asia,
and is now selling out at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris through January 1, is produced by Paul
Szilard Productions in collaboration with Michael Brenner for BB Promotions."
Photos by Kwame Brathwaite
At post-show reception: Liliane Montevecchi, Paul Szilard, Chita Rivera
Post-show reception: George S. Irving, Donald Saddler, Vicki Reiss of The Shubert Foundation, Jacques D'Amboise
Joey McKneely, George S. Irving, Judith Jamison, Michael Brenner (co-producer of West Side Story)
Birthday cake: Amadea Edwards of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and Paul Szilard
Pre-Performance: Paul Szilard, Judith Jamison onstage at City Center
Post-Performance Reception: Lisa Mordente, Tony Mordente, Chita Rivera