New Dramatists 64th Anniversary Spring Luncheon
By: Isa Goldberg
I don’t know about you, but if I were seeking someone in the theater to get warm and fuzzy with, I wouldn’t choose a lawyer. Certainly not one with the reputation for being among Broadway’s most prominent power brokers. Such is the reputation of Seth Gelblum, this year’s New Dramatists’ honoree.
Regardless, New Dramatists’ 64th Anniversary Spring Luncheon, Tuesday, May 21st, 2013 at the Marriott Marquis was warm, friendly and encouraging. And while Mr. Gelblum himself may not be your idea of a teddy bear, he has at heart a lot in common with a handful of spark plugs and 3-alarm chili. Still, his bearing remains more reticent than overpowering, more "menschy" than cutthroat.
Gelblum, outsiders may not realize, is that gentleman of the theater whose love for the art, and sense of humanity combined with a great sense of humor have made him the mover and a shaker behind such hit show as "The Producers," "Fiddler on the Roof," and "The Book of Mormon," among many others.
As the current chairman of New Dramatists, he is recognized for rescuing them from their financial and operational woes in the 90’s, and as the prime mover in advancing the organization’s mission in nurturing emerging playwrights. To this day, New Dramatists upholds their reputation for supporting the work of gifted young writers, fostering the careers of such Pulitzer, Tony, Drama Desk and Obie Award winning playwrights as Horton Foote, John Guare, Lynn Nottage and Annie Baker, to mention but a few.
To celebrate the organization’s remarkable achievements and Seth Gelblum’s beneficent contributions, the event’s guests included Tonya Pinkins, Keith Carradine, Tom Hanks and Julie Taymor, among the lengthy list of luminaries. And many more who enjoyed the frisee (a lovely salad with a light vinaigrette) which arrived along with the promise of a new frisson, led by a generation of sparkling young playwrights.
Photography By Barry Gordin
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