New 42nd Street Gala Honoring John Lithgow and The Rudin Family
On Monday, The New 42nd Street Gala honored the Rudin Family and John Lithgow at their annual benefit. The event took place in two of their gorgeous historic theaters. Guests were welcomed into the Lyric Theater for cocktails and an array of delicious bites. Everyone mingled over the sushi station, crowded around the dim sum, got very excited over mini pot pies (the lobster one was particularly good) and lined up for four different types of sliders. In addition, waitstaff passed around short rib bites, pasta and fish dishes. Then after everyone ate enough, it was time for dessert. Plates of milk and cookie shots, mini sorbet cones in colorful sprinkles, chocolate covered strawberries and other sweet treats paraded around the decorated theater lobby to the delight of patrons both young and old.
Soon it was showtime and everyone was ushered into The New Victory Theater next door, where guests were handed a can of champagne complete with mini straw and a box of candy, just in case you were feeling a little peckish after the cocktail hour feast. The gala paid tribute to New York almost as much as to it’s two honorees; Lithgow and the Rudins.
Receiving the Marian Heiskell Award and being honored for their work, the Rudin family has helped transform the Big Apple into one of the greatest cities in the world. Starting in 1902 with the purchase of the their first property on 54th street, the Rudin’s now have one of the largest and most respected portfolios of residential and commercial real-estate in New York. Contributing and helping develop ways to enrich the lives of New Yorkers and visitors alike, the Rudins have contributed both their time and financial resources to helping not-for-profit groups, artists, and cultural organizations and are even responsible for helping the city out of potential bankruptcy in 1977. The family continues to donate and help improve New York and the theater district.
The second honoree, John Lithgow was presented with The New Victory Arts Award for “Bringing kids to the arts and the arts to kids.” Lithgow is most known for his work on television and film, but he is also a well respected Broadway actor, and a children’s entertainer. He has written, recorded, and performed many award winning children’s books and songs including nine best selling picture books such as Marsupial Sue, Farkle McBride, and I’m a Manatee. Lithgow’s passion for theater and children is obvious when you hear him speak.
A rendition of three of Lithgow’s songs based on his children’s books were performed by Martha Plimpton, Norbert Leo Butz, and David Hyde Pierce and arranged by Jesse Kissel. The medley showcased Lithgow’s work while entertaining the theater full of supporters. The humorous songs were expertly performed to the delight of adults and children of all ages.
The show ended with John Lithgow and Sherie Rene Scott’s performance of Lullaby in Ragtime. The two were soon accompanied by the Children’s Choir of PS 503, a very fitting tribute to theater, New York, and children!
The New 42nd street is a nonprofit organization dedicated preserving the arts and historic theaters. Using performance art they have enriched the lives of children and their families, offering amazing performances, workshops, and educational programs. In addition they also developed The New Victory Usher Corps, a paid work experience and mentorship program for NYC youths, which recently received the 2014 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from First Lady Michelle Obama. Interested in getting involved or donating? Visit New42.org for more information on how you can help this amazing organization.