Last night, Jennifer Hudson, Frank Langella, Matthew Broderick, Annette Bening, Alfred Molina, Louis Gosset Jr., and more theatre greats took the stage at Los Angeles’ Ahmanson Theatre to celebrate Center Theatre Group’s 50th Anniversary. The exclusive event—Co-Chaired by NBC Entertainment Chairman and Center Theatre Group board member Robert Greenblatt and fellow Center Theatre Group board member Sue Tsao—included a one-night-only production from writer, director and producer Robert Egan, followed by dinner in downtown Los Angeles’ Grand Park.
Fresh off her announcement as coach on NBC’s “The Voice,” Jennifer Hudson brought the house down with her closing number, “I Know Where I’ve Been,” from Hairspray. Matthew Broderick performed a scene from Brighton Beach Memoirs with Tyne Daly and Annette Bening. Edward James Olmos and Alma Martinez performed a scene from Zoot Suit.
Backstage the energy was festive and contagious as performers greeted one another with big hugs and watched each other’s performances from the wings. Everyone from performers to staff to the audience joined in as Merle Dandridge, Ben Schrader, Barrett Foa, Christy Romano and Doug LaBrecque sang Rent’s “Seasons of Love.”
The full cast included: Jon Robin Baitz, Annette Bening, Sir Matthew Bourne, Matthew Broderick, Bill Cain, Anthony Crivello, Culture Clash, Tyne Daly, Merle Dandridge, Tim Dang, Keith David, Shaila Essley, Barrett Foa, Davis Gaines, Louis Gossett Jr., Harry Groener, Charlie Hofheimer, Clint Holmes, Jennifer Hudson, Gregory Itzin, Doug LaBrecque, Frank Langella, Tzi Ma, Alan Mandell, Dakin Matthews, Francis McDormand, Alfred Molina, Richard Montoya, Edward James Olmos, Valerie Perri, Phylicia Rashad, Christy Carlson Romano, Thomas Sadoski, Christina Saffran, Ric Salinas, Benjamin Schrader, Herbert Siguenza, Jimmy Smits, Shoshannah Stern, Paul Oakley Stovall, Rodney To, Lisa Vroman, Ed Waterstreet, and Aryana Williams.