Broadway titans will take the stage at Bryant Park Grill on Wednesday, November 6, for the Museum at Eldridge Street’s annual gala. In celebration of over a century of Jewish brilliance in arts and entertainment, the lively night will honor Alan Menken, the virtuosic composer, songwriter, and producer. Guests from the screen and stage, as well as longtime Museum supporters, will enjoy a cocktail hour, seated dinner and performances by some of Broadway’s best. An award ceremony will conclude the evening. The Museum will also honor longtime docent Roberta Berken.
In Mel Brooks’ words, it was an “avalanche of Jews” who infused the world of performing arts with the vim, vigor, and talent that continues to characterize the industry today. The Museum explores and celebrates the history of Jews coming to America and becoming American Jews; their indelible influence on entertainment is just one compelling aspect of that story.
ALAN MENKEN is a world-renowned composer of such stage musicals as God Bless You Mr. Rosewater, Little Shop of Horrors, Beauty and The Beast, A Christmas Carol, The Little Mermaid, Sister Act, Leap of Faith, Newsies, Aladdin, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, A Bronx Tale and Hercules. His film work includes The Little Mermaid, Beauty and The Beast (Animated), Newsies, Aladdin, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Enchanted, Tangled, Sausage Party, Beauty and The Beast (Live Version) and Aladdin (Live Version). His television credits include Sesame Street, Lincoln, The Neighbors, Galavant, Tangled. He is the recipient of a 2012 TONY Award, 8 Oscars ®, 11 Grammy® Awards, 7 Golden Globes, among many others. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame (and also received the Johnny Mercer Award), and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He holds Doctorates from NYU and the North Carolina School of the Arts. His upcoming projects include the Live Version of The Little Mermaid film and the Off Broadway revival of Little Shop of Horror.
ROBERTA BERKEN has served as a docent at the Museum at Eldridge Street for more than 19 years. Her extensive knowledge of Lower East Side history and the Museum serves her well as Master Docent, where she advises and trains new docents to lead tours and guide visitors through the Museum’s landmark building, the National Historic Landmark 1887 Eldridge Street Synagogue. Roberta holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Queens College and a Masters in Social Work from Adelphi University in Garden City, New York. She is a certified diplomate in Social Work for the State of New York, and served as the Social Work Coordinator at Huntington Hospital where she evaluated, coordinated and provided services for Oncology, Psychiatric and Dialysis patients and their families. She has been awarded by Hadassah and the American Red Cross for her work. Roberta served as a first responder after the attacks on September 11, 2001.