Rob Marshall and Julie Andrews

NEW YORK - “Another Opening of Another Theatre Club Gala…”  but the Roundabout Theatre Company rewrote the script last week with a highly successful fundraiser at the cavernous Hammerstein Ballroom. Kathleen Marshall, director of the Roundabout’s current hit production of Anything Goes, and also the sister of the honoree, Rob Marshall, created a brilliant, fast-moving show, including superb performances by Donna Murphy, Kelli O’Hara, Christine Baranski, Bernadette Peters, and other stars of stage and screen.

Rob Marshall interviewed by Martin Short in his Jiminy Glick persona

What distinguished this event was the design and implementation of the actual honoring process. Martin Short, who also acted as host of the event, in his Jiminy Glick persona, “interviewed” Rob Marshall, posing questions of a personal nature, which must remain unreported, in a hilarious and ultimately friendly roasting of the night’s “victim.”  Rescued eventually from his Glick disembowelment by none other than Julie Andrews, Marshall, whose credits have included Kiss of the Spider Woman, Cabaret, Little me, Victor/Victoria and Chicago, accepted his Jason Robards Award for Excellence in Theatre with disarming grace and welcome brevity.

Guests bid on theatrical and culinary opportunities, waving to this auctioneer with elegant white feathered plumes, which contained ballpoint pens, allowing bidders to acknowledge their purchases and donations, to the tune of $331,500, in writing.  A popular item was to have your phone-answering message recorded by Alec Baldwin, who came on stage and persuaded some dozen other stars to offer the same opportunity, gathering $25,000 towards the evening’s total of $2.2 million at the fall of the curtain.

Tags:Philanthropy, New York, Events