Around Town: Arena Stage’s Gala to Honor Mayor Muriel Bowser

by Kathryn Sanders

The theater’s 2018 benefit will feature awards and multiple performances.

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D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser speaks at the 50th Anniversary of the MLK Assassination

Broadway legend Maurice Hines will be back on the Arena Stage on May 10, as Master of Ceremonies for the theater’s annual gala.

Actor, singer, director and choreographer Hines is no stranger to the Arena (he’s performed there in three different shows).

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And he’s happy to be back in the District.

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“Anytime that I’m at Arena Stage is always a special time for me,” Hines says.

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“It’s a joy to be back at a theater that I call my theatrical home.”

The Arena hosts a gala each year to raise money for the theater’s award-winning programming, and includes a cocktail reception, performance, and three-course seated dinner. This year’s event will also pay tribute to Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser, with a presentation of the Beth Newburger Schwartz Award, an honor that celebrates female community leaders.

“[Mayor Bowser] exemplifies the best qualities of leadership in the ways she has brought disparate groups of citizens together to move our city forward,” says Newburger Schwartz. “From her groundbreaking work that has given new life to the Southwest Waterfront, to her thoughtful policies that produce better schools and housing for our children and their families, she has created the vibrant community that is Washington today and it is my pleasure to present her with this award.”

Audiences will be also treated to a performance by singer Mary McBride and her band, which blends blues, gospel and country with old school rock. The District native is back in town following her Home Tour, a series of concerts focused on serving communities who are living in “non-traditional” housing, which includes long-term mental health care centers, homeless shelters, homes for people living with HIV/AIDS, and prisons.

“I am honored to be performing in my hometown in Washington at Arena Stage, which, through its tremendous performances and generous spirit, makes every single person who walks through its doors feel instantly at home,” McBride says.

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The Arena Stage Gala is on Thursday, May 10, 2018 at 1101 6th St SW, Washington, DC 20024. Cocktails start at 5:30pm.

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