Tony Nominees HOWARD McGILLIN and NANCY OPEL To Perform At George Street Playhouse Annual Gala Sunday, May 6

by Patricia Bradford

New Brunswick, NJ – Attendees of George Street Playhouse’s Annual Gala have come to expect some top-notch entertainment at the annual event. The New Brunswick theatre will hold their annual fete on Sunday, May 6 at The Heldrich in New Brunswick, and they announced today that Tony Award nominees HOWARD McGILLIN and NANCY OPEL will perform at the Gala Evening. Past performers have included Rita Moreno, Bernadette Peters, Tyne Daly, Sandy Duncan, Kelly Bishop, Brian D’Arcy-James, Alison Fraser, Penny Fuller, Anne Jackson, Anne Meara and Jerry Stiller, Lauren Bacall and Chita Rivera, among others. Other performers will be announced at a later date. Notable celebrities scheduled to attend the event include Tony Award-winning actor DAVID HYDE PIERCE, who made his directorial debut at GSP with It Shoulda Been You at the beginning of the season, and the Honorable THOMAS H. KEAN, the former New Jersey Governor, who will be on hand to bestow his eponymous Arts Advocacy Award to the evening’s honoree, WILLIAM V.ENGEL.

The Black Tie affair at The Heldrich (located right across the street from George Street Playhouse)begins at 5 pm with a cocktail reception and silent auction. Dinner follows at 6:30 pm with the Cabaret performance commencing at 7:30. Individual tickets as well as tables of ten are available. For further information contact Justine McCarthy, GSP Manager of Special Events, at (732) 846-2895, extension 144.

“We are incredibly grateful to Howard and Nancy – who are both performing on their time off from their shows (Mr. McGillin is at George Street Playhouse in The 39 Steps, Ms. Opel is on Broadway in Memphis) for our Gala,” said Artistic Director, David Saint. “The donation of their time and talent is very much appreciated, and will be a wonderful treat for our patrons.”

Howard McGillin returns to George Street Playhouse after appearing earlier this season in It Shoulda Been You, and immediately following his appearance as Mr. Applegate, better known as the Devil, in Damn Yankees at Paper Mill Playhouse. He is perhaps best known for his record-setting performance in the title role of The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. Other Broadway appearances have included She Loves Me, The Kiss Of The Spider Woman, The Secret Garden, Anything Goes (Tony and Drama Desk nominations), The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Tony and Drama Desk nominations, Theatre World Award) and Sunday in the Park with George. On London’s West End, Howard starred in Mack and Mabel and Anything Goes. He appeared in Stephen Sondheim’s musical Bounce in its world premiere at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago and later in its Kennedy Center run in Washington, D.C., (nominated for a Helen Hayes Award). He made his New York theatrical debut in the New York Shakespeare Festival’s production of La Bohème (nominated for a Drama Desk Award). Howard has narrated numerous episodes of Nature for PBS, and has also provided voices for the animated feature films South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut and The Swan Princess. His solo CD Howard McGillin: Where Time Stands Still is available online at

Nancy Opel is currently on Broadway in Memphis. She created the dual role of Mayor Babs Belgoody and Ma Ferd in the world premiere of The Toxic Avenger at George Street Playhouse, moving with the production in New York (garnering a Drama Desk nomination), and most recently reprising the roles in The Alley Theatre production earlier this year. She recently appeared in the title role of The Drowsy Chaperone on the First National tour. Previous work includes: Mazeppa and Miss Crachitt in the Patti LuPone/City Center production of Gypsy, OBIE award – My Deah, Tony nomination -Urinetown, Drama Desk nomination- Polish Joke. Other Broadway credits include: Fiddler on the Roof revival (Molina/Fierstein), Triumph of Love, Anything Goes, Sunday in the Park with George, Evita, others. Off Broadway she has appeared in many plays and musicals, most notably David Ives’ All in the Timing and Mere Mortals. She previously appeared at George Street Playhouse in Loot and A.R. Gurney’s Darlene and The Guest Lecturer.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director David Saint, George Street Playhouse has become a nationally recognized theatre, presenting an acclaimed mainstage season while providing an artistic home for established and emerging theatre artists. Noted Arts Administrator Norma Kaplan was appointed Managing Director in September 2011. Founded in 1974, the Playhouse has been well represented by numerous productions both on and off-Broadway – recent productions include the Outer Critics’ Circle Best Musical Award-winner The Toxic Avenger, the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Drama League nominated production of The Spitfire Grill and the recent Broadway hit and Tony® and Pulitzer Prize winning play Proof by David Auburn, which was developed at GSP during the 1999 Next Stage Series of new plays. In addition to its mainstage season, GSP’s Touring Theatre features four issue-oriented productions that are seen by more than 40,000 students annually. George Street Playhouse programming is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, and by its lead season sponsor, Johnson & Johnson. The Star Ledger is the Official Print Media Sponsor of George Street Playhouse.

George Street Playhouse Annual Gala Benefit

Sunday, May 6, 2012 beginning at 5 pm

Event is dedicated to the memory of world-renowned playwright Arthur Laurents

and honors philanthropist and arts advocate William V. Engel with the Thomas H. Kean Arts Advocacy Award

Howard McGillin and Nancy Opel to perform during cabaret portion of the evening; celebrity attendees include actor/director David Hyde Pierce and the Honorable Thomas H. Kean

At The Heldrich, New Brunswick, NJ

For tickets and information contact Justine McCarthy 732-846-2895, ext. 144


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