Encompass New Opera Theatre Salutes Joel Grey & Jeanine Tesori



By: Sandi Durell


In a musical program featuring celebs from Broadway, Television and Film, the National Arts Club was filled to capacity in celebrating another Gala year on October 26th as they honored Joel Grey and Jeanine Tesori.

Artistic Director Nancy Rhodes has been the driving force behind Encompass and with the help of Gala Co-Chair Harriet Slaughter, and produced by ASCAP’s Michael Kerker, the evening unfolded with a who’s who of entertainment, including a special appearance by Sheldon Harnick and recollections by Ms. Tesori’s writing partner, Lisa Kron.

Joel Grey, a legend in musical theater since the 30s (no he doesn’t look his age), won a Tony Award for ‘Cabaret’ and a Tony Nomination for ‘George M!’ He’s appeared in numerous productions and co-directed, with George C. Wolfe, the brilliant Tony nominated and Drama Desk Awarded Broadway premiere of Larry Kramer’s ‘The Normal Heart.’ Joel is also an accomplished photographer.

Jeanine Tesori has written four Tony Nominated scores for Broadway including ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie,’ ‘Caroline, or Change,’ ‘Shrek the Musical,’ ‘Violet’ and most recently ‘Fun Home’ at the Public Theater, coming to Broadway this spring. She is Founding Artistic Director of Encores! Off-Center at New York City Center.

Take a look at who was on the program in the photo montage above!

Joanne Borts, Patrick Breen, Jeffry Denman, David Garrison, Judy Kuhn, Karen Mason, Michael McElroy, Bebe Neuwirth, Tonya Pinkins, David Pittsinger, Patricia Shuman, Christopher Sieber, Betsy Wolfe and young Assata Alston.

Beth Ertz was Music Director/Pianist with Jay Leonhart on bass. Additional pianists included Scott Cady and Christopher Fenwick.

The new home for Encompass will be at Baruch Performing Arts Center, premiering with “A Wake or A Wedding” Nov. 6 – 16  www.encompassopera.org Ovation Tix: 866 811 4111

(Music provided via ITunes)