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Joel Grey To Receive Inaugural Bay Street Summer Gala Lifetime Achievement Award

Nicole Barylski

Joel Grey will be honored with Bay Street's first Joel Grey Lifetime Achievement Award. (Photo: Timothy Greenfield Sanders)

On Saturday, July 6, Bay Street Theater & Sag Harbor Center for the Arts will host its 28th Annual Summer Gala, which will have a new location - Wölffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack.

Actor, host, writer, designer and producer Isaac Mizrahi will host the spectacular soiree, which will pay tribute to actor, singer, dancer, director, and photographer Joel Grey with the first Joel Grey Lifetime Achievement Award. The Tony winner's Broadway resume includes Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard (Roundabout Theatre Company), Anything Goes, Wicked, Chicago, George M!, and Cabaret, while Off-Broadway he directed The Normal Heart, in 1986, and co-directed the Tony Award-winning Broadway premiere in 2011. On the big screen, he appeared in Cabaret (Academy Award), Buffalo Bill and the Indians, Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins, Dancer in the Dark, The Seven Percent Solution, Man on a Swing, and many, many more. His photographs have been featured in four books, Pictures I Had to Take, Looking Hard at Unexamined Things, 1.3—Images From My Phone and The Billboard Papers, while his memoir, Master of Ceremonies, was released in 2016.

The evening will also celebrate Andrea K. Wahlquist, a Bay Street Theater Trustee, as well as Peconic Landing, who will be honored as a dedicated Community Partner.

While the Summer Gala may have found a new home, it will still feature its usual fabulous silent auction, cocktail party, live auction with celebrity auctioneer actor Richard Kind, dinner and dancing. There will also be highly anticipated special performances.

"This year's gala is titled 'If Your Friends Could See You Now,' and it will celebrate the Broadway musicals of the 1960s," Scott Schwartz, Bay Street Theater's Artistic Director, shared. "It's going to be so exciting to put together a dazzling dinner and performance, and to celebrate the legendary Joel Grey and our other honorees at the beautiful new Gala location at Wölffer Estate Vineyard."

Kellen Blair and Joe Kinosian (Murder for Two) have penned the evening's show, which will showcase choreography by Shannon Lewis (The Secret Silk, Stuck) who also starred as "Ursula" opposite Christina Applegate in the Broadway revival of Sweet Charity. As for tunes, beloved 1960s Broadway musicals, including Cabaret, Fiddler on the Roof, Hair, Man of La Mancha, Sweet Charity, and more, will be highlighted.

The Summer Gala performers will include Mauricio Martinez, who recently starred as 'Emilio Estefan' in the Broadway Musical On Your Feet! The Story Of Emilio & Gloria Estefan and can currently be seen in the Emmy winning NBC Universo's original TV series El Vato on Netflix; Samantha Massell, a New York based actress and singer who has appeared on Broadway, TV, movies, on the cabaret scene, and in a variety of commercials; Jon Peterson, who's appeared in Midnight at the Never Get, Cabaret, George M. Cohan Tonight and Half a Sixpence, The Sound of Music, A Chorus Line, Dames at Sea and more.

This year's live auction is sure to cause a bidding frenzy. Items include a week at the beach in St. Barth's for four at a luxury two-bedroom house, provided by WIMCO VILLAS, complete with unparalleled concierge service, and roundtrip flights to the island from San Juan on the high end Tradewind Aviation carrier. Other items include an eight-day cruise on Viking Cruise Lines for two, a walk on role in the Romeo & Juliet Project featuring the music of Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo with dinner for eight guests in Mashashimuet Park.

Each year the Summer Gala attracts a myriad of Broadway and film luminaries, including Arlene & Alan Alda, Julie Andrews, Alec Baldwin, Joy Behar, Bob Balaban, Mel Brooks, Kim Cattrall, Chevy Chase, Blythe Danner, Edie Falco, Jules Feiffer, Kelsey Grammer, Billy Joel, Star Jones, Richard Kind, Nathan Lane, Susan Lucci, Terrence McNally, Rosie O'Donnell, Mercedes Ruehl, Liev Schreiber, Stephen Schwartz, Aida Turturro, and Naomi Watts.

Board of Trustee member Mala Sander, along with her husband Jeff Sander, will serve as Gala Chairs.

The evening will also commemorate the creation of the Michael Downing Acting Apprenticeship Program, in memory of the young actor who appeared in the Theater's inaugural production, Men's Lives, and was an inspiration to all who knew him.

Tickets start at $450.

Proceeds from the Summer Gala support the year-round, not-for-profit professional theater and community cultural center's educational and theatrical programs. Bay Street's mission is to "innovate, educate, and entertain a diverse community through the practice of the performing arts."

Wölffer Estate Vineyard is located at 139 Sagg Road in Sagaponack. For more information, call 631-725-0818 or visit www.baystreet.org.

Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com NicoleBarylski NicoleBarylski

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