La Jolla Playhouse to launch honoree program at gala


La Jolla Playhouse will roll out a new format for its annual gala on March 27 to begin a tradition of honoring alumni artists and benefactors who have helped put the Playhouse at the forefront of American theater.

The La Jolla Playhouse Honors 2010 inaugural benefactor honoree will be

Joan and Irwin Jacobs and their family

  1. This year’s artist honorees include actors

Jefferson Mays

, UCSD M.F.A. graduate and Tony Award winner for Doug Wright’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, “I Am My Own Wife,” which originated at the Playhouse as the theater’s first Page to Stage production;

Neil Patrick Harris,

who starred in La Jolla Playhouse’s productions of “Rent” and “Luck, Pluck and Virtue” and Emmy Award-nominated star of the television series “How I Met Your Mother”;

Charlayne Woodard

, who has made numerous Playhouse appearances and premiered her award-winning production of “The Night Watcher” here in 2008; and renowned costume and set designer

Susan Hilferty

, who designed numerous Playhouse productions, including “Creditors,” “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” “Fortinbras,” “A Lesson from Aloes” and “The Captain’s Tiger,” among many others.

The star-studded event will take place at La Jolla Playhouse, starting with a reception under the stars in the Sheila and Hughes Potiker Lobby and Courtyard at 6 p.m., followed by dinner in the Potiker Theatre, featuring a gourmet cuisine by Wolfgang Puck Catering accompanied by hand-selected fine wines at 7 p.m.

The evening caps off with a theatrical production in the Mandell Weiss Theatre at 8:30 pm, highlighted by performances by selected honorees and such special guests as Playhouse Director Emeritus Des McAnuff and his Red Dirt Band.

Debby and Deni Jacobs are the gala co-chairs. Proceeds from the event will benefit La Jolla Playhouse’s New Play Development and Educational & Outreach Programs. The gala is sponsored by Qualcomm. Other corporate supporters include DLA Piper LLP, Van Cleef & Arpels and Merrill Lynch.

For more information and tickets ($500-$5,000), contact Jennifer Tom at (858) 550-1070, ext. 143, or

About the Playhouse

The La Jolla Playhouse is known for its tradition of creating adventurous new work in regional theater. The Playhouse was founded in 1947 by Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire and Mel Ferrer, and is one of the most respected, not-for-profit theaters in the country. Located on the UCSD campus, La Jolla Playhouse is made up of three performance spaces: the Mandell Weiss Theatre; the Mandell Weiss Forum Theatre; and the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Center for La Jolla Playhouse, a state-of-the-art theater complex that features the Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre.