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Huntington Theatre Company honors 30-Year Managing Director Michael Maso at 2012 Spotlight Spectacular Gala Hosted By Tony Award Winner Joanna Gleason. Yvette Freeman, Huntington's "Ma Rainey," to perform.

(BOSTON) — Huntington Theatre Company will honor 30-year managing director Michael Maso with its highest honor, the Wimberly Award, at its 2012 Spotlight Spectacular gala hosted by Tony Award-winning Broadway star Joanna Gleason (Sons of the Prophet, Into the Woods,"The West Wing") on Monday, April 2 at 6pm at Boston's Park Plaza Hotel. Yvette Freeman, star of the Huntington's upcoming production of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, will provide entertainment. More of the evening's exciting entertainment will be announced shortly.

As managing director, Michael Maso has led the Huntington's administrative and financial operations since 1982, producing more than 160 plays in partnership with three artistic directors and leading the Huntington's ten-year drive to build the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, which opened in September 2004. In recognition of these efforts, he was honored by the Boston Herald as 2004's Theatre Man of the Year. During his tenure, he grew the organization to its current operating budget of $13.2 million and secured the Huntington's place as one of the nation's most respected and admired regional theatre companies.

Chaired by Huntington Overseers Marsha Feinberg and Fancy Zilberfarb and designed by Rafanelli Events, the 2012 Spotlight Spectacular will feature a cocktail reception, silent and live auctions offering unique items, a seated dinner, a tribute to Mr. Maso, exciting entertainment, and dancing. The 2011 Spotlight Spectacular sold out and raised over $850,000 for the Huntington, including its award-winning youth, education, and community initiatives that reach more than 25,000 annually. Last year, over 500 guests danced the night away in celebration of the Huntington after being entertained by Lauren Molina (Candide) and stage, film, and screen star Zach Braff. This year's celebration promises to be even bigger and better.

"Michael Maso is the reason that the Huntington leads the national theatre community from Boston," says Huntington Board of Trustees President Mitchell J. Roberts. "A remarkable man, teacher, mentor, producer, and deep talent, Michael gives far more than imaginable to our organization and to the city. We owe him deep gratitude for all of his contributions, and look forward to honoring him at the Spotlight Spectacular."

"Michael is insightful, giving, and deeply intelligent," says Huntington Artistic Director Peter DuBois. "More than anything, I value his passion for risk and change — the pillars of making great, alive, and passionate theatre. When a new idea enters the room he is first to engage it with curiosity and excitement. His legendary sense of humor is icing on the cake. I couldn't imagine a better partner in creating art and leading the Huntington."

The 2012 Spotlight Spectacular's online auction will open for bidding at huntingtontheatre.org/auction in March. Online, silent, and live auction items available last year included a walk-on role in the Huntington's hit fall production of Candide; a cocktail party for 30 with trustees Doris Kearns Goodwin (Team of Rivals) and Richard N. Goodwin (Two Men of Florence); a Broadway package including a private flight to New York, tickets to All New People, and drinks with Artistic Director Peter DuBois and playwright Zach Braff; and much more. The gala will also offer an opportunity for guests to "Sponsor-a-Class" in support of the Huntington's Student Matinee Series.

Table prices range from $7,500 to $50,000 and individual ticket prices range from $500 to $2,500. For more information about the event, to sponsor a table, or to purchase tickets, contact Shaine Belli at 617 273 1536 or sbelli@huntingtontheatre.bu.edu.

ABOUT THE HUNTINGTON

Since its founding in 1982, the Huntington Theatre Company has developed into Boston's leading theatre company. Bringing together superb local and national talent, the Huntington produces a mix of groundbreaking new works and classics made current. Led by Artistic Director Peter DuBois and Managing Director Michael Maso, the Huntington creates award-winning productions, runs nationally renowned programs in education and new play development, and serves the local theatre community through its operation of the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. The Huntington is in residence at Boston University. For more information, visit huntingtontheatre.org.

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