Who: Jelani Alladin, Jacqueline Antaramian, Antonio Banderas, Laura Benanti, Kim Blanck, Ally Bonino, Danielle Brooks, Jenn Colella, Elvis Costello, Daniel Craig, Alysha Deslorieux, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Holly Gould, Danai Gurira, Stephanie Hsu, David Henry Hwang, Oscar Isaac, Nikki M. James, Alicia Keys, John Leguizamo, John Lithgow, Audra McDonald, Grace McLean, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Kelli O’Hara, Mia Pak, Suzan-Lori Parks, David Hyde Pierce, Phylicia Rashad, Liev Schreiber, Martin Sheen, Phillipa Soo, Meryl Streep, Trudie Styler, Sting, Will Swenson, Shaina Taub, Kuhoo Verma, Ada Westfall, Kate Wetherhead
What: Virtual celebration and fundraiser
Where: Public Theater, Facebook, YouTube
When: Tuesday, October 20, free (donations accepted), 8:00
Why: Originally planned for June 1 but delayed because of the Black Lives Matter movement, the Public Theater is now holding its gala fundraiser online on October 20. “Forward. Together.” features appearances and performances by a wide range of actors, musicians, playwrights, and other creators, sharing songs and stories, from Lin-Manuel Miranda, Antonio Banderas, Elvis Costello, Daniel Craig, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and John Leguizamo to Danielle Brooks, Jenn Colella, Audra McDonald, Phillipa Soo, Meryl Streep, and Suzan-Lori Parks, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg. One of the highlights will be Jelani Alladin performing a brand-new song from the Public Works production of Hercules. The cochairs are Kwame Anthony Appiah, Candia Fisher, Joanna Fisher, Laure Sudreau, and Lynne Wheat, honoring Audrey and Zygi Wilf and Sam Waterston; the evening is directed by Kenny Leon, with music direction by Ted Sperling.
Admission is free but donations will be accepted; twenty-five percent of the proceeds will go to eight Public Works partner organizations and Hunts Point Alliance for Children. You can also participate in the online auction, where you can bid on such items as a virtual conversation with Queen Latifah and Lee Daniels, a coffee chat with Liev Schreiber, ten years of premium reserved tickets to the Delacorte for Shakespeare in the Park, a private Zoom cooking class with Andrew Carmellini, and lunch (on Zoom or in person) with Public Theater artistic director Oskar Eustis. The Public has presented several outstanding productions during the pandemic, including The Line, What Do We Need to Talk About?, and the current audio play Shipwreck, so give if you can to help support this ongoing dream from Joe Papp.