Even the rain (and the Tony Awards the night before) couldn't stop the star-filled celebration of The Public Theater's annual Gala on the Green event in Central Park on June 12! The evening featured performances by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Christopher Jackson, Brandon Victor Dixon, Maleah Joi Moon, and Anne Uzele.
Upon arrival, guests were welcomed with the music stylings of Alex Nguyen on the trumpet, Dennis Pol playing guitar, and Marty Jaffe playing bass. The local New York flower truck company Hometown Flowers invited guests to create their own flower crowns, which were worn by many throughout the event.
The evening officially opened with remarks from Public Theater Board Chair Luis A. Miranda Jr, who is celebrating his first year as a board chair. He introduced his son Lin-Manuel Miranda to the stage to perform New York, New York's opening number "Cheering For Me Now," which he wrote alongside John Kander for the Tony-nominated musical.
Stars of the upcoming Alicia Keys musical Hell's Kitchen Brandon Victor Dixon and Maleah Joi Moon performed Keys' hit "If I Ain't Got You," which will be one of the many songs featured in The Public Theater's production next season.
Community Leadership Award Honoree Marlla Torres gave a speech on the importance of teaching Shakespeare to children, and her experience working with the Hunts Point Alliance for Children.
Next, Darren Walker was honored for his work as the president of The Ford Foundation, a global philanthropy that has distributed billions of dollars over the last eight decades to reduce inequality in communities worldwide. Hamilton alum Christopher Jackson sang "Superwoman" as a tribute to Walker, who is an avid Stevie Wonder fan.
Finally, just as the rain started to come down, Anna Uzele ended the evening with a performance of New York, New York's titular song (under the cover of an umbrella.)
The evening raised a total of $2.9 million for The Public Theater, which will support its ongoing programs and productions heading into the 2023-2024 season. The Public is current producing its annual Shakespeare in the Park season, which this year has begun with Hamlet.