American Ballet Theatre to host glittering virtual gala, starring Tony Bennett and Jennifer Garner

12 May 2020, 11:10 | Updated: 12 May 2020, 12:12

American Ballet Theatre to virtually host star-studded 80th-anniversary gala

By Helena Asprou

Starring Tony Bennett and Jennifer Garner, the gala marks the 80th anniversary of the great American Ballet Theatre.

The American Ballet Theatre is celebrating its 80th anniversary with a spectacular virtual gala, after being forced to cancel its spring season due to COVID-19.

As well as playing rare footage from the company’s incredible history, the one-hour show, ABT: Together Tonight, will feature stunning performances from some of ballet’s greatest dancers.

Legendary big band singer Tony Bennett will sing a cover of Frank Sinatra’s ‘Fly Me To The Moon’ to accompany Jessica Lang’s pas de deux ‘Let Me Sing Forevermore’, performed by ballet couple Catherine Hurlin and Aran Bell from New York’s Central Park.

While the gala was originally set to take place at the city’s iconic Metropolitan Opera House, now it will be live streamed to millions of people worldwide via ABT’s YouTube channel tonight at 7pm EST (midnight BST).

Read more: You can now learn to dance in quarantine with free ballet classes >

Tony Award-winning actress, Cynthia Erivo (The Color Purple, Harriet), will also sing ‘America The Beautiful’ to a curated ABT dance clip.

Other guests appearing on the night include American actresses Jennifer Garner and Kelly Ripa (both self-confessed ballet fans), the members of ABT’s orchestra and dancers such as Misty Copeland and Isabella Boylston, who will be bringing the magic of ballet direct to our living rooms.

All proceeds raised from American Ballet Theatre’s virtual gala will be donated to the company’s Crisis Relief Fund, supporting its talented artists, hardworking crew and faculty members as many face financial hardships in light of the pandemic.

Audiences will also be able to place bids on signed memorabilia from stars, virtual experiences such as a private makeup lesson with ABT’s wig and makeup supervisor, and a luxury holiday to Paris (once we’re all allowed to fly again).

Watch ABT: Together Tonight via YouTube on Tuesday 12 May at 7pm EST (midnight BST).