RED BANK — Two River Theater has announced the entertainment lineup for its annual spring fundraising event Saturday, May 13. Three-time Tony Award nominee and Emmy nominee Kate Burton, Broadway’s Eden Espinosa, three-time Tony nominee Christopher Fitzgerald, Barrymore Award winner and Drama Desk Award nominee Orville Mendoza, and Brazilian singer, actor, and songwriter Marina Pires will regale attendees with a fun-filled musical concert celebrating the announcement of Two River Theater’s 30th Anniversary 2023/2024 season.
In addition, special guest artists from the season will provide a sneak peek into the productions planned for Artistic Director Justin Waldman and Managing Director Nora DeVeau-Rosen’s first slate of programming in Red Bank. The night will kick off with a VIP cocktail hour on the Two River plaza at 6 p.m. and an exclusive post show dinner with a live appeal at 8 p.m.
“I am thrilled to welcome these dear friends and incredible artists to Red Bank to help usher in Two River’s 30th Anniversary Season,” says Artistic Director Justin Waldman. “Celebrating milestones, a season announcement, and sensational singing — It is sure to be an unforgettable night.”
Hackensack Meridian Health will be honored at the spring gala. This recognition is in appreciation of the health system’s unwavering commitment to providing exceptional care to patients and families throughout New Jersey, and for their continued support of Red Bank’s theater and arts community.
The event will be directed by James Vásquez, musical direction by Cynthia Meng, and stage managed by Alison Hassman.
• Kate Burton, an Emmy and Tony nominated actress, is best known for her TV work on “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal,” “Inventing Anna” and “The Dropout,” and she will soon be seen in the feature films Our Son and Dumb Money.
A graduate of Brown University and the Yale School of Drama, she spent 20 years at The Williamstown Theater Festival and appeared at The Huntington in Boston, The Ahmanson and Taper in Los Angeles and The Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor. On Broadway she was Tony nominated for her work in Hedda Gabler, The Elephant Man and The Constant Wife.
A labor activist and a professor of theater and a director at USC in LA, she has directed three evenings of Shakespeare and Tchaikovsky for the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Disney Hall and The Hollywood Bowl conducted by Gustavo Dudamel.
• Eden Espinosa is recognized for her critically acclaimed portrayal of Elphaba in Wicked on Broadway, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Other Broadway credits include originating the title role in Brooklyn the Musical, and Maureen Johnson in the closing company of Rent. Her regional credits include Eva Peron in Evita, Sadie Thompson in Rain, Emma Borden in Lizzie, Daniela in In the Heights and Mary in Merrily We Roll Along, Mama in The Gardens of Anuncia and most recently starring as Tamara De Lempicka in Lempicka, directed by Tony award winner Rachel Chavkin.
Her television appearances include “Law and Order,” “Ugly Betty,” and “Elementary.” Voiceover credits include Cassandra in “Tangled the Series,” “Robot Chicken,” “MAD TV,” “Elena of Avalor,” and “Titan Maximum” and received an Emmy Nomination for The Queen of Hearts in “Alice’s Wonderland Bakery.” Eden’s albums Look Around and Revelation, her album of original music, can be found on all streaming platforms and is available at www.edenespinosa.com Instagram @edenespinosa
• Christopher Fitzgerald, a three-time Tony nominee, most recently starred in the Encores! Production of Dear World and the Broadway revival of Company. He earned a Tony nomination and won the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards for his previous Broadway role as Ogie in Waitress.
He was Tony-nominated for prior roles in Young Frankenstein and Finian’s Rainbow, for which he received a second Drama Desk Award. His other Broadway credits include originating the role of Boq in Wicked; An Act of God; The Merchant of Venice opposite Al Pacino; Amour (Drama Desk nomination); and Chicago.
Off-Broadway and regional credits include the US premiere of Stephen Sondheim’s Saturday Night at Second Stage (Drama Desk nomination); the American premiere of Martin McDonagh’s The Cripple of Inishmaan at the Public; the renowned Steppenwolf production of McDonagh’s The Beauty Queen of Leenane; the US debut of Frank McGuinness’ Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme at Lincoln Center; the title roll in Barnum at the Chichester Festival Theatre in England and he spent 13 seasons with the Williamstown Theater Festival (MA), beginning as an apprentice in 1993.
In 2010, he starred in an all-male version of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, directed by his wife, Jessica Stone. Favorite productions include June Moon, Where’s Charley? and Dead End, among many others. His film credits include Girl Most Likely opposite Kristen Wiig and Annette Bening. He was a series regular on SyFy’s “Happy!”, DirecTV’s “Almost There” and WB’s “Twins”. He most recently recurred on “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and on Netflix in “Godless.”
• Orville Mendoza has performed on Broadway, Off-Broadway, toured all across the US as well as made regional theatre appearances from The Old Globe in San Diego to The 5th Avenue in Seattle to Long WharfTheater in New Haven. He’s originated roles in new musicals by Stephen Sondheim & John Weidman, Christopher Durang & Peter Melnick, Benj Pasek & Justin Paul, and Huey Lewis & The News.
He is a Barrymore Award winner and a Drama Desk Award nominee. Recent TV credits include “Billions,” “Dead Ringers,” and vocalist for “John Mulaney and the Sack Lunch Bunch” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” Most recently, Orville performed alongside Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks in her new work, Plays for the Plague Year, at The Public Theater. www.orvillemendoza.com
• Marina Pires is a Brazilian singer, actor, and songwriter based in New York’s Hudson Valley. As a songwriter, Marina’s lyrics have been featured in the Off-Broadway musical, A Never-Ending Line & on Broadway Records’ Songs by an Immigrant with Jaime Lozano. She performs regularly throughout NYC at Joe’s Pub, 54 Below, Greenroom 42, and Rockwood Music Hall, and nationally with her band The Heartstrings Project.
Past credits include: Ashley Amigo in How to Dance in Ohio (Syracuse Stage), Conchita in Anna in the Tropics (Barrington Stage), Gloria Estefan in On Your Feet! (Broadway First National Tour & Regional), PHISH (Madison Square Garden), Vanessa in In The Heights (Dallas Theatre Center), Evita (Asolo Rep), Rapunzel in Into The Woods (Arsht Center w/ Tituss Burgess). B.F.A. in Musical Theatre from Otterbein University. In her downtime, Marina loves to bake, hike, and write love poems. Follow @marinampires & MarinaPires.com
• Alison Hassman (Stage Manager) is thrilled to celebrate Two River. New York: Hamilton, The Nutcracker(New York City Ballet, Lincoln Center), Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, A Gentleman and his Ladies(Roundabout, with Alan Cumming), Cherry Lane, Westside Theatre, 59E59, the York, 24 Hour Play Company. Regional: McCarter, the Arden, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Two River, Delaware Theater Company, six seasons with Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Theater Horizon, Trinity Rep, Bucks County Playhouse, Bristol Riverside, Premiere Stages. Love to MDT.
• Cynthia Meng (Music Director) is a New York-based music director and pianist. Broadway: Company (2020 revival), Hadestown, Funny Girl, Kimberly Akimbo. Other recent favorites: Only Gold (MCC World Premiere), 1776 (American Repertory Theater), Suffs (Public Theater), The Last Five Years (Out of the Box Theatrics), Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Frozen (1st National Tour), Moulin Rouge! (Emerson Colonial), In The Green (Lincoln Center Theatre), Lempicka (developmental lab), Witness Uganda (Wallis Annenberg Center). Film: Associate Vocal Supervisor on Spirited, a Christmas movie from Apple TV+ featuring Will Ferrell, Ryan Reynolds, and Octavia Spencer. She also moonlights as a software engineer.
• James Vásquez is a Resident Artist of The Old Globe Theatre, where he recently directed Hair on the Lowell Davies Festival Stage, and Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! He received the Craig Noel Award for Outstanding Direction of a Musical in 2018 for In the Heights at Moonlight Stage Productions and in 2010 for Sweeney Todd at Cygnet Theatre Company. His other recent directing credits include Goodspeed Musicals, Dallas Theater Center, Denver Center Theatre Company, and The Children›s Theatre Company. Mr. Vásquez is an amateur gardener, lover of dogs, and graduate of The Juilliard School.
TICKET AND SPONSORSHIP INFORMATION
Gala sponsor packages range from $1,000 to $25,000. A limited number of dinner tickets are available for $400 a ticket and include the pre-show cocktail, the season preview and the sponsor dinner.
Season preview performance-only tickets are available for $70. For more information, visit the theater’s website or call the box office at 732-345-1400.
For information about Two River’s full access services, visit tworivertheater.org/accessibility.
Two River Theater’s 2022/23 Season Sponsor is Hackensack Meridian Health/Riverview Medical Center.
Two River Theater is supported in part by public support through the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Private support includes Bank of America, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Helen Clay Frick Foundation, The Merrill G. and Emita E. Hastings Foundation, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, Investors Foundation, Jewish Communal Fund, The Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, Manasquan Bank Charitable Foundation, OceanFirst Foundation, PNC Foundation, Springpoint Senior Living Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, The John Ben Snow Memorial Trust, The Stone Foundation of New Jersey, Stolfe Zeigler New Jersey Family Law Group, UMAMI Girl, Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey, Zager Fuchs, PC, Zynergy Retirement Planning, and many other generous foundations, corporations and individuals.