Stars To Turn Out For Phylicia Rashad At Westport Event

Hartford Courant

Westport Country Playhouse is known for bringing out the big names for its annual fundraiser.

This year’s lineup celebrating the career of actor-director Phylicia Rashad on Sept. 16 includes: Lin-Manuel Miranda (Tony Award-winning composer/lyricist for “In the Heights,” co-composer/co-lyricist for “Bring It On: The Musical”), Christine Andreas (Tony Award nominee for “Oklahoma”; “My Fair Lady,” “On Your Toes”; “La Cage aux Folles”); and Michael Cerveris (Tony Award winner for “Assassins”; “Sweeney Todd,” “Road Show,” “Evita”).

Also featured are Rebecca Covington (“Motown: The Musical”); Darius de Haas (the Playhouse’s “Twelfth Night”; Obie Award winner for “Running Man”; Linda Gravátt (the Playhouse’s “A Raisin in the Sun,” Broadway’s “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” “King Hedley II.”); Desmond Richardson (Tony Award nominee for “Fosse”; “Movin’ Out,” film version of “Chicago,” former principal dancer for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and American Ballet Theatre); and Susan Kelechi Watson (the Playhouse’s “A Raisin in the Sun,” “Twelfth Night”; Broadway’s “A Naked Girl on the Appian Way”).

Rashad directed “A Raisin in the Sun” at the Westport theater last year. She will stage August Wilson’s “Fences” at New Haven’s Long Wharf Theatre at the end of this year.

The Westport program will include excerpts from Noah Racey’s “PULSE,” described as “celebrating the universal joy of song and dance in American culture." Directing the gala’s entertainment is Josh Rhodes (choreographer for the film version of “Company”; Broadway’s “Cinderella,” “First Date”). ] Celebrity guests expected are Danielle Ferland, Joanna Gleason, James Naughton and Chris Sarandon.

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