Lorna Luft to Headline Gala
Paper Mill Playhouse ‘Center Stage Celebration’ May 4th 2012
Actress and Singer Lorna Luft to Headline Gala
New Jersey Theatre Alliance (John McEwen) and Charles Pascarella Honored
(Millburn, NJ) Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee-Producing Artistic Director, Todd Schmidt-Managing Director) is hosting its largest fundraising event of the year, The Center Stage Celebration Gala Benefit on Friday, May 4th, proudly sponsored by Hilton Short Hills. Tables and individual tickets are now on sale. For more information on Paper Mill Playhouse’s Center Stage Celebration Gala Benefit or to purchase individual tickets, tables or auction items, please contact Leigh Schaedel at 973-315-1663,
or visit Paper Mill Playhouse’s website, www.papermill.org. Paper Mill Playhouse is not-for-profit arts charity that relies on philanthropic support to make their breathtaking productions, professional training programs and celebrated arts education curriculum possible. All proceeds from the celebration support these programs.
The Center Stage Celebration Gala Benefit is a true celebration of the arts and a star-studded evening to be remembered,” stated Mark S. Hoebee, Paper Mill Playhouse Producing Artistic Director. “The annual benefit will offer an evening of dinner, dancing, live and silent auctions and entertainment by students from Paper Mill Playhouse’s arts education programs, The Eddie Bruce Band and headlining this enchanting evening is star of stage and screen, recording artist, Lorna Luft.”
Lorna Luft, who recently starred in Paper Mill Playhouse’s production of White Christmas will headline the Center Stage Celebration Gala Benefit through song and stories. Lorna Luft’s acclaimed career has encompassed virtually every arena of entertainment. A celebrated concert performer, stage, film and television actress, best selling author, recording artist and Emmy nominated producer – she continues to triumph in every medium with critics labeling her one of the most vibrant, versatile and exciting artists on stage today. Born to legendary entertainer Judy Garland and producer Sid Luft, music and entertainment was an integral part of her childhood. At age 11 she made her television debut singing on her mother’s series, The Judy Garland Show. At 16, already a seasoned performer, she shared the bill with her mom on Broadway in a fabled month-long concert engagement at New York's famed Palace Theater.
By 19, she was stopping the show on her own; starring on Broadway in Neil Simon’s hit musical Promises, Promises. She continued on the New York stage as Peppermint Patty in the musical Snoopy and then took a dramatic turn alongside Farrah Fawcett in Extremities. Lorna is a gifted live performer frequently featured as a concert artist at the world’s most prestigious venues including The Hollywood Bowl, Madison Square Garden, Carnegie Hall, The London Palladium, and L’Olympia in Paris. In films, she is most remembered by fans of all ages as Pink Lady “Paulette Rebchuck” in the camp classic Grease 2. In 1998, Lorna added a new dimension to her multi-faceted career, that of NY Times best-selling author upon the release of her critically acclaimed memoir -- Me and My Shadows.
The Eddie Bruce Band marries a smoking hot dance ensemble, concert quality vocalists and masterful musicians that drive the dance floor. For more than 25 years, The Eddie Bruce Band has been performing his unique repertoire of music that ranges from Top 40, R & B, Disco and house music to Swing and Sinatra. Eddie Bruce’s interest in music began when he was a child, and he has never wavered from this passion. He has blended his natural entrepreneurial skills with his love of music and created one of the most successful orchestras in the region and one of the best reputations as a much sought-after performer. A regular at Caesar's in Atlantic City, the Eddie Bruce Orchestra has also performed at Bally's Park Place, the Etess Arena of Trump Taj Mahal as well as such major events as the prestigious Grand Gala Opening of the Kimmel Center for The Performing Arts in Philadelphia.
Finally, students from Paper Mill Playhouse’s Theatre School, Summer Musical Theater Conservatory and Artist Training programs will deliver a memorable performance during the celebration. The education and outreach programs of Paper Mill Playhouse serve over 35,000 young people and educators annually in all regions of the state through in-school residencies, training and recognition programs, as well as our Children's Theatre Series. For 25 years, Paper Mill Playhouse has been helping students of all ages and skill levels develop their passion for performance and communication— qualities that are invaluable in every career, from Broadway to the boardroom. Artist training programs include: The Paper Mill Theatre School, The Adopt-a-School Project, The Rising Star Awards, Summer Musical Theatre Conservatory, August Musical Theatre Intensive, Guest Artist Master Classes and Professional Development Seminars.
“The Center Stage Celebration Gala Benefit is a wonderful event to commemorate the many facets of Paper Mill Playhouse, from our critically acclaimed productions to our award-winning education and access programs, this wonderful fundraising event supports our work in the community,” commented Paper Mill Playhouse Managing Director Todd Schmidt. “Attending Paper Mill Playhouse’s celebration is a rewarding way to support our not-for-profit arts organization.”
For over seven decades Paper Mill Playhouse has been one of the nation’s leading not-for-profit theaters. They continue to bring world-class artists and outstanding musicals and plays to the community while enriching the lives of over 50,000 young people each year through renowned education outreach, artists training and access programs.
2012 Celebration Honorees
Byrne Kean Arts Advocate Award
*John McEwen and The New Jersey Theatre Alliance
The Byrne Kean Arts Advocate Award is presented to organizations and individuals for their passionate work on behalf of New Jersey’s arts community.
Frank Carrington Excellence in the Arts Award
Named after Paper Mill Playhouse’s co-founder and first Executive Producer, this award is given to an artist who has been a member of the Paper Mill family and also accomplished great things in the entertainment industry. Previous Carrington winners include Alan Menken and Lynn Redgrave.
Antoinette Scudder Patron of the Arts Award
Named after our co-founder who purchased the derelict Diamond Paper Mill and transformed it into the Paper Mill Playhouse, this award will be given to a patron of the arts, either individual or foundation.
Charles Pascarella is the founding partner of the Pascarella Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors. In 1977 he joined what has become, through many mergers and acquisitions, Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC. Since then his career has been marked with several notable distinctions. In 1978 he became a Certified Financial Planner; in 1990 he was promoted to what is now a Managing Director at Wells Fargo, as well as earning the prestigious designation of Certified Investment Management Analyst through the Wharton School of Business.
Charles has served as the President of the New Jersey Chapter of the International Association of Financial Planners. He is a longtime supporter of Paper Mill Playhouse and a former Board member. He currently serves on the Boards of the Morris Museum and Morris Catholic High School. He is also on the finance committee serving the Bishop of the Diocese of Paterson.
John McEwen and The New Jersey Theatre Alliance will receive the Byrne Kean Arts Advocate Award. The New Jersey Theatre Alliance supports a thriving statewide professional theatre community with a wealth of resources. The Alliance provides innovative, collaborative and engaging programming for theatres and their diverse audiences. The first statewide service organization in the United States devoted to professional not-for-profit theatre, the Alliance provides innovative, collaborative and engaging programming for theatres and their diverse audiences.
John McEwen serves as the executive director of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance. Under John’s leadership, the Alliance developed the nation’s first statewide online discount ticketing program for the performing arts—njArtsTix.org. Prior to the Alliance, John served as VP for Development of the New Jersey Network Foundation and Director of Development for Paper Mill Playhouse. John is the founder and chairman of the New Jersey Arts Access Task Force, vice president of ArtPRIDE, Trustee of Partnership in Philanthropy, the New Jersey Fund for the Blind, and Montclair State University’s School of the Arts.
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The reception and silent auction begin at 6:00pm followed by dinner and dancing featuring The Eddie Bruce Band. The 2012 Celebration sponsor is Hilton Short Hills. “We are thrilled to partner with Hilton Short Hills on our Center Stage Celebration,” said gala co-chair Jane Higgins. “The support of Hilton Short Hills is priceless. They are a true community partner.”
For more information on Paper Mill Playhouse’s Center Stage Celebration Gala Benefit or to purchase individual tickets, tables, contribute to our silent auction or make a donation, please contact Leigh Schaedel at 973-315-1663,
or visit Paper Mill Playhouse’s website, www.papermill.org. If you are interested in making donations to Center Stage Celebration live or silent auctions please contact Jennifer Musumeci at 973-315-2457 or
PAPER MILL PLAYHOUSE, a not-for-profit arts organization, is one of the country’s leading regional theaters. Paper Mill Playhouse programs are 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 funds from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support is provided by the generous contributions of numerous corporations, foundations, and individuals. Paper Mill Playhouse is a member of Theatre Communications Group, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, the Council of Stock Theatres, and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.
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