25th Anniversary Gala Celebration Benefits THE ACTORS FUND
Stars of Broadway and Cabaret came out to pay tribute to Jamie deRoy, an award-winning cabaret performer and Tony Award-winning producer, as she celebrated the 25th anniversary of her Multi MAC award-winning Variety Show Jamie deRoy & friends, as well as her "40th Annual 30th Birthday" (you do the math) on Monday, November 9th at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College. Barry Kleinbort directed the beautifully paced evening that began with a smashing film montage of Jamie through the years, along with many of her renowned guests. The Ervin Drake’s song "It Was A Very Good Year," with special lyrics by Kleinbort accompanied the film, and was used for clever transitions throughout the evening.
The celebration featured performances by friends of Jamie’s through the years, award winning stars, that included Joy Behar, Larry Gatlin, Michele Lee, Jay Johnson, Luba Mason, Robert Cucciolo, Daisy Jopling, and special surprise guest Tony Award winning leading man Brian Stokes Mitchell. Mitchell a central leading man on Broadway since the 1990’s as well a TV and film star saluted Jamie with one his favorite songs, "What A Wonderful World," which he dedicated to Jamie in honor of her birthday, calling her the female equivalent of a male "silver fox."
After keeping the evening moving briskly with her inimitable style and witty stories, Jamie closed out the show with her signature theme song "Jews Don’t Camp," and Joseph Benincasa, President of The Actor’s Fund," came onto the stage to pay tribute to Jamie with a bouquet of flowers. Ron Abel, on the piano, also served as musical director with a full band behind the performers. An after party was held at the Redeye Grill on Seventh Avenue at 56th Street.
Proceeds from the evening benefited The Actors Fund’s new program, The Jamie deRoy & friends Cabaret Initiative. The program was created to assist people working in the cabaret industry who seek help for medical needs and concerns made available through the comprehensive services and programs at The Actors Fund. PC
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Photography: Barry Gordin