The event comes on the heels of an agreement allowing Highland Farm in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, where world-renowned lyricist and humanitarian Oscar Hammerstein lived and worked, to be used for museum activities. Funds raised at the benefit will be used to acquire Highland Farm for this effort; restore the house, barn, and property; and populate the museum.
The evening includes a 6pm cocktail party, followed by a concert at 7pm with performances by original Broadway stars of Cinderella, Laura Osnes (Bandstand), and Ann Harada (Avenue Q). The concert will also feature Erich Bergen (Madam Secretary), Liz Larsen (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical), Telly Leung (In Transit), Alexandra Silber (Fiddler on the Roof), James Snyder (In Transit), Sal Viviano (The Full Monty), and Betsy Wolfe (Falsettos). Emmy Award winner Lance Horne will serve as music director.
Ted Chapin, president and chief creative officer of the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization, and William Hammerstein, Esq., president of the nonprofit (and grandson of Oscar Hammerstein II), will be the evening's honorary hosts. The program is produced by Steve Schonberg, Kristine Lewis, and Brenda Gelles.
"A small number of us have fought long and hard to get to this point in transforming Highland Farm into a museum and education center," said William Hammerstein. "So, it is especially gratifying to see so many stars help us raise funds to make it a reality. I don’t think there could be a better time for a museum honoring Oscar Hammerstein II. With the country so divided, we need more places to find common ground. Oscar Hammerstein was a man for all people, whose work created powerful bonds in communities and around the world, and continues to do so still. He seems to bring out our best. It’s magical."