Tomlin Hosts NCFT Gala; Honors Lane & Lee, 4/19


National Corporate Theatre Fund (NCTF) will hold its Annual Chairman's Awards Gala and benefit on Monday, April 19 at the St. Regis New York hotel. This year, NCTF Chairman James S. Turley, Chairman & CEO of Ernst & Young, will honor Nathan Lane (returning to Broadway this season in The Addams Family), set designer EuGene Lee (Wicked) and Wells Fargo & Company. Accepting the award on behalf of Wells Fargo will be Joe Kirk, Regional President for New York and Connecticut. All net proceeds of the event will be distributed as the NCTF/WELLS FARGO FUND FOR NEW AMERICAN THEATRE.

Hosted by Award-winning actress Lily Tomlin (Currently starring in FX's "Damages" and a producer of the upcoming Off-Broadway play, My Trip Down the Pink Carpet), this black-tie event will begin with cocktails at 6:30 PM followed by dinner and presentations at 7:30 PM. The gala will feature a silent auction filled with exciting prize packages.

Bruce Whitacre, NCTF Executive Director, said, "Nathan Lane has done so much to make theatre a preeminent American art form, from his outstanding work in the plays of Terrence McNally nearly twenty years ago, to his Broadway career in such shows as The Producers. Now, he is starring in a major new musical that will be a highlight of this season. How fortunate for us he can be part of our evening! EuGene Lee has been a sustaining force in American regional theater, with an outstanding New York and international career as well. He exemplifies how an artist and the National Theatre can collaborate to the delight of audiences for generations. Wells Fargo is a new arrival to our area, but we know from the experiences of our member theatres that they are an ideal corporate partner for the arts. It is our great pleasure to welcome them to the East Coast, and acknowledge their leadership in theatre."

Honoree Nathan Lane's Broadway credits include Present Laughter (Drama Desk nom.), Merlin, The Wind in the Willows, Some Americans Abroad, On Borrowed Time, Guys and Dolls (Tony nomination, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards), Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Love! Valour! Compassion! (Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards), The Man Who Came to Dinner, The Producers (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Olivier Awards), The Frogs, The Odd Couple, Butley, November and Waiting For Godot (Outer Critics Circle nom.). Off Broadway credits include Dedication or the Stuff of Dreams (Drama Desk nomination), Trumbo, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Measure for Measure (Bayfield Award), Luv, the Musical, She Stoops to Conquer, The Common Pursuit, The Film Society, Mizlansky/Zilinsky, In a Pig's Valise, The Lisbon Traviata (Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel Awards), Bad Habits, Lips Together, Teeth Apart, Love! Valour! Compassion! (Obie Award), Do Re Mi at Encores! and recipient of the 1992 Obie Award for Sustained Excellence. Lane has received five Emmy nominations, two Emmy Awards and a People's Choice Award. He has been in more than 30 films including The Birdcage (Golden Globe nomination, Screen Actors Guild and American Comedy Awards), Ironweed, Frankie and Johnny, Mousehunt, Jeffrey, The Lion King, Stuart Little, Nicholas Nickleby (National Board of Review Ensemble Acting Award), Swing Vote and The Producers (Golden Globe nomination). Lane was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and recently inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame.

Honoree EuGene Lee. holds BFA degrees from the Art Institute of Chicago and Carnegie Mellon, an MFA from Yale Drama School, and three honorary doctorates. He has been the production designer for NBC's "Saturday Night Live" since 1974. He has received three Tony Awards, for Leonard Bernstein's Candide, Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd and Stephen Schwartz's Wicked. Other honors include the American Theatre Wing's Design Award, the Outer Critics' Circle Award, the Drama Desk Award, the Lucille Lortel Award, the Pell Award and the Elliot Norton Award for Sustained Excellence. He was recently inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame in New York. He is currently represented, not only on Broadway, but also internationally, by the musical Wicked, with 8 companies currently performing worldwide. Other New York theatre work includes The Normal Heart; Agnes of God; Showboat; Ragtime; Ruby Sunrise; Grandchild of Kings; A Moon For the Misbegotten; The Designated Mourner; The Hairy Ape; A Number; Drunk Enough to Say I Love You; Crime and Punishment; Beast; A Midsummer Night's Dream; The Homecoming; You're Welcome, America; and Book of Grace. Films include Coppola's Hammett, Huston's Mr. North and Malle's Vanya on 42nd Street. He lives with his wife Brooke in Providence, where they raised their two sons. He originally made Providence his home because of his commitment to Trinity Repertory Company, and American regional theater remains his passion. For this 2009-2010 season, he designed projects at Long Wharf Theatre, Arena Stage, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, the Goodman Theatre, the Public Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, and Trinity Repertory Company. This NCTF Achievement in Theatre Award will be presented by Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar Eustis.

Wells Fargo & Company, recipient of the Corporate Leadership Award, is a diversified financial services company with $1.2 trillion in assets, providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance through more than 10,000 stores and 12,000 ATMs and the internet ( across North America and internationally. The Company promotes economic growth and self-sufficiency, education, social services, the arts and the environment in thousands of communities across North America. In 2009, the Company gave $202 million in grants to 18,000 nonprofits, and team members contributed more than 1.2 million volunteer hours around the country. Accepting on behalf of Wells Fargo & Company will be Joe Kirk, Regional President for New York and Connecticut. Mr. Kirk joined Wachovia in 1992 and is responsible for all retail banking activity as well as leading partnerships with other lines of business to bring a holistic approach to customers' financial needs and community initiatives in his markets. Throughout his career, he has held leadership positions including Retail Banking Executive for the Tri-State area, Retail Banking Director, Consumer Banking Regional Manager and Regional Operations Manager. An active community leader, Mr. Kirk has served as board member of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce since 2004; he was elected Secretary in 2007 and Vice President in 2008. He is a past director on the board of Junior Achievement of Hudson Valley, New York, where he was recognized with a ‘Director Achievement' award in 2001. He was also recognized by New York Women's Agenda with an ‘Honorable MEN-tion' award in 2005 for his work in supporting the career development of women in the workforce. This NCTF Corporate Leadership Award will be presented by Michael Ritchie, Artistic Director of NCTF member, Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles..

The Gala will also feature an opportunity to share in a sneak preview of an excerpt from JOHNNY BASEBALL, the new musical about the Red Sox, premiering at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, MA this spring. Performances begin May 14 and run through June 27. Music by Robert Reale, lyrics by Willie Reale, book by Richard Dresser, story by Richard Dresser and Willie Reale, and directed by Diane Paulus.

Co-chairs of the 2010 Chairman's Awards Gala are Elaine Stritch, Cisco Systems and Ernst & Young.

The Gala Committee includes: Mitchell J. Auslander, John R. Dutt, Richard Fitzburgh, Gretchen Shugart, John Thomopoulos and Isabelle Winkles.

NCTF is an association of ten of America's finest not-for-profit theatres dedicated to increasing the participation of corporations and their employees in supporting theatre across the country and in New York. Member theatres include: Actors Theatre of Louisville, American Conservatory Theater, American Repertory Theater, Center Theatre Group, The Cleveland Play House, Guthrie Theater, Long Wharf Theatre, The Old Globe, Seattle Repertory Theatre, and Trinity Repertory Company.

The NCTF Annual Chairman's Awards Gala and benefit honoring Nathan Lane, EuGene Lee and Wells Fargo & Company will take place Monday, April 19 at the St Regis New York (2 East 55th Street @ Fifth Avenue). For reservations to this black-tie event, please call Todd Rosen at (212) 750-6895 or email Individual tickets are $1,000 - $2,500 and reserved tables are $10,000 - $25,000. For more information, please visit

Photo Credit: Walter McBride/Retna Ltd.