Around The Town

Encompass Opera Gala

By: Maryann Lopinto

March 28, 2023: On Sunday, March 26th the Encompass Opera Company presented its 19th musical Salute at the National Arts Gramercy Park South with a reception, dinner and musical program. The Encompass has celebrated 47 years of creative theatre. Striving to nurture new composers, librettists and musical works by outstanding American and international composer. Encompass New Opera Theatre was founded in 1975 by director Nancy Rhodes, producer Roger Cunningham and renowned composer VIrgi Thomson with the mission to create, develop, and produce productions of new music theatre and contemporary opera.

Marc Shaiman Marilyn Maye, Scott Wittmam

By: Maryann Lopinto

March 28, 2023: On Sunday, March 26th the Encompass Opera Company presented its 19th musical Salute at the National Arts Gramercy Park South with a reception, dinner and musical program. The Encompass has celebrated 47 years of creative theatre. Striving to nurture new composers, librettists and musical works by outstanding American and international composer. Encompass New Opera Theatre was founded in 1975 by director Nancy Rhodes, producer Roger Cunningham and renowned composer VIrgi Thomson with the mission to create, develop, and produce productions of new music theatre and contemporary opera. 

This years honorees were Broadway composers, Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman whose Broadway shows consist of “Hairspray”, “Catch Me If You Can”, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and the current “Some Like It Hot” which just opened on Broadway.  on TV “Smash” which will be on Broadway, “Saturday Live”.  The motion picture “Mary Poppins Returns” in which they were nominated for two Oscars, a BAFTA, a Golden Globe, and a Grammy and many other motion pictures.

Annie Golden

Also honored was highly praised singer, actress, director, arranger, educator Marilyn Maye.  She appeared on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson 76 times and has recorded 7 albums, cds and 34 Singles.  She is a regular at 54 Below, will be back in April to celebrate her 95th birthday and still is going strong.  Just this past week she made her Carnegie Hall debut with the New York Pops and it was sold out.

Past honorees included, Sheldon Harnick, John Kander, Charles Strouse, Maury Yeston, Jerry Herman, Joseph Stein, Alan Menken, Marvin Hamlish, Stephen Flaherty, Lynn Ahrens, Richard Maltby Jr, Terrrance McNally, Jeanine Tesori, Bartlette Sher.  Performers such as Christine Eborsole, Barbara Cook, Estelle Parsons, Laura Benanti and last year Chita Rivera and Danny Burstein, all Broadway Royalty.

Melissa Errico

 Broadway and cabaret, jazz performers performed.  Those saluting Marilyn Maye, Gabrielle Stravelli, Klea Blackhurst, Melissa Errico, Steve Ross, Oswaldo Iraheta, Sidney Myer, Sandy Stewart with her son Bill Charlap and backed on the piano Alex Rybeck. Will Friedwald introduced Marilyn Maye.  Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman were saluted by Annie Golden, Derek Kleha, and from “Some Like It Hot” Natasha Yvette Williams, Devon Hadsell, Gabi Campo, J. Harrison Ghee and Adrianna Hicks with Marc Shaiman accompaning them and singing two songs himself.  They were presented with the award by Richard Malby, Jr.  The evening was hosted by Midge Woolsey.

Richard Maltby Jr.
Natasha Yvette Williams
Sidney Myer