UPDATE, Wednesday afternoon: The Roundabout Theatre Company today issued this clarification regarding the Michael Kors/Lance Le Pere bequest: “Michael Kors and Lance Le Pere made a $1.5 million gift to Roundabout’s 50th Anniversary campaign, and more specifically, to its Musical Theatre Fund, to support the development and production of musicals on RTC stages. As recognition for this generous gift, Roundabout has named the Sondheim Theatre lounge in their honor.”
PREVIOUS, TUESDAY, 8:48 AM: Ensuring that, as Philadelphia Story playwright Philip Barry might have put it, the privileged class will continue to enjoy its privileges, fashion magnate Michael and his husband Lance Le Pere have donated $1.5 million to the Roundabout Theatre Company. The gift to the nonprofit, which operates three Broadway and two off-Broadway theaters, will finance a new VIP Patron’s Lounge at the group’s Stephen Sondheim Theatre, currently home to the hit commercial musical, Beautiful.
“We are deeply grateful for Michael and Lance’s commitment to Roundabout’s 50th Anniversary Campaign,” Roundabout artistic director and CEO Todd Haimes said in announcing the bequest. “They have been generous supporters of Roundabout over the last decade, and I am so honored that Michael and Lance have made this incredible gift. It will ensure that Roundabout can remain at the forefront of American theater.”
The Roundabout has mounted six Sondheim musicals and held more than a dozen workshops of his work, counting itself the largest single producer of the composer/lyricist’s work.
“We are lifelong theater enthusiasts and we are enormous fans of the amazing work produced by Roundabout Theatre Company,” Kors and Le Pere added in a joint statement.
The space, to be named the Michael Kors and Lance Le Pere Lounge and completed next year, is being conceived by Frank Webb at White Webb and will comply with the building’s LEED-gold certification. When construction is complete in 2017, VIP Lounges will be available in all Roundabout venues, and enjoyed by Roundabout’s most generous supporters, including Chairman’s Circle, Artistic Director’s Circle, and Corporate Club members.