MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS - In celebration of its 50th Anniversary and outstanding legacy of rich arts programming, The Riverside Theatre will host an evening program and rooftop gala reception—themed From Legacy to Promise—on Monday, September 13, 7:00 p.m. at the historic Riverside Church, 91 Claremont Ave.(between 120th & 122nd St.) in Morningside Heights.
“The Riverside Theatre, in this 50th year anniversary, is honoring our past and those artists who have brought engaging and powerful, inspiring work to our stage,” said Jewel Kinch-Thomas, Executive Director of The Riverside Theatre. “From Legacy to Promise recognizes the foundation laid and aspires to be instrumental in shaping the new voices of captivating dance, theatre and film.”
Hosted by WNBC-TV’s DeMarco Morgan, the gala will honor: husband and wife recording duo Ashford & Simpson; renowned dancer/choreography Arthur Mitchell; dancer/choreographer and actress Carmen DeLavallade; and Obie Award-winning playwright/actor Daniel Beaty. Comedian Bill Cosby will be a special guest at the gala, which will also feature entertainment provided by Grammy Award-winning singer Patti Austin, Beaty and Ray Chew and his All-Star Band. Additionally, in tribute to both Arthur Mitchell and Carmen DeLavallade, a special dance work choreographed by Hope Boykin of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will be performed at the gala.
Throughout the year, the Theatre has celebrated its 50th Anniversary with a line-up of compelling presentations, including: “An Evening with Women of Excellence in the Arts,” an intimate discussion event with four exceptional women—Sonia Sanchez, Carmen DeLavallade, Hope Boykin and Eisa Davis; the New York premiere and month-long run of Daniel Beaty’s solo play THROUGH THE NIGHT, which received rave reviews and was extended at Riverside Theatre due to public demand; the New York Family Arts Festival; and a special limited performance run of EMERGENCY, an updated version of Beaty’s critically acclaimed solo play EMERGENCE-SEE!
Originally named the Cloister Theatre, The Riverside Theatre was founded in 1960 on the belief that the arts can be a transforming power in peoples’ lives and is committed to serving as a catalyst for cultural connections and social change. Highlights from the past ten seasons have included: the Katherine Dunham Tribute in honor of her 96th birthday; the Clark Terry Tribute hosted by the late Ossie Davis, with special guests Bill Cosby, Arturo Sandoval, Dianne Reeves, Nicholas Payton and Jon Faddis; the screening of The Rise & Fall of Jim Crow, in collaboration with Thirteen WNET and the National Council for Community & Justice; and the play Woza Albert!, in association with New Heritage Theatre.