Westonites honor Terrence McNally at playhouse gala

From left, Elaine and Christopher Plummer of Weston, Anne Keefe, playhouse artistic advisor, and James Naughton of Weston at the recent Westport Country Playhouse gala celebrating the writing and works of Terrence McNally. —Kathleen O’Rourke photo

A packed house honored the theatrical achievements of award-winning playwright Terrence McNally at Westport Country Playhouse’s fund-raising gala, “The Full McNally: A Celebration of the Writing and Works of Terrence McNally,” on Monday evening, Sept. 24.

Mr. McNally, winner of Tony Awards for his plays Love! Valour! Compassion! and Master Class, and his books for the musicals Ragtime and Kiss of the Spiderwoman, was honored with a gift from Westport Country Playhouse, presented by playwright Chad Beguelin, who recently premiered his new play Harbor at the playhouse, and is a two-time Tony Award nominee for scripting the Broadway musical The Wedding Singer.

Surprise guest was Nathan Lane, whose professional association with McNally includes roles in The Lisbon Traviata (Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel awards); Bad Habits; Lips Together, Teeth Apart; Love! Valour! Compassion! (Obie, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards); Dedication or the Stuff of Dreams (Drama Desk nomination); and the film version of Frankie and Johnny.

Mr. Lane took the stage to salute Mr. McNally with remarks ranging from poignant to hilarious, such as, “Terrence McNally is the love child of a wild party between the Lunts and Noel Coward!”

Hosting the event were actors Tyne Daly and Richard Thomas, who have appeared in McNally plays.

Among the attendees were Westonites Elaine and Christopher Plummer and James Naughton.

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