DEBRA MESSING & KATHY NAJIMY
with BRIAN NASH at the piano
Aug 4 @ 6:30 PM
Mark Cortale Proudly Presents AN EVENING WITH DEBRA MESSING & KATHY NAJIMY for one night only on August 4th as part of The Town Hall series. Join two these two Great Friends and extraordinary talents for an evening of conversation, riveting monologues and Q&A with Brian Nash at the piano. Our 2019 Town Hall series is raising funds for Sandy Hook Promise https://www.sandyhookpromise.org
Debra Messing is best known for her role on NBC’s Emmy Award-winning and Golden Globe-nominated comedy series Will & Grace.
Last Fall, Messing reprised her role as Grace Adler after 11 years on NBC’s revival of Will & Grace alongside the entire original creative team, and currently in its second season. The first reprised season of Will & Grace premiered on Thursday, September 28, 2017, to more than 10 million viewers, prompting an early Season 2 and Season 3 pickup. Additionally, Messing recently has been nominated for a 2019 Golden Globe Award in the category of Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series Musical or Comedy, as well as a 2019 Critics Choice Award in the category of Best Actress in a Comedy Series on behalf of her role.
Recently, Messing appeared in the feature film thriller, Searching, alongside John Cho. The film, directed by Aneesh Chaganty, premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival where it won the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize and was subsequently acquired by Sony Pictures for $5 million. The film was be released in theaters on August 24, 2018.
Last year, Messing starred in ABCs three-hour remake of Dirty Dancing, as Marjorie Houseman. Dirty Dancing aired on May 24, 2017.
Other TV credits include starring in the NBC series The Mysteries of Laura, for two seasons. In 2012 and 2013, Messing starred as Julia Houston in NBC’s Smash, a musical drama about the creation of a new Broadway show. In 2007, Messing starred in the successful acclaimed miniseries, The Starter Wife, for the USA Network, which then returned as a regular series in 2008. Messing received a Golden Globe and Emmy nomination for her performance as Molly Kagan.
In 2014, Messing made her own Broadway debut in the Tony Award-nominated production of John Patrick Shanley’s Outside Mullingar. Other theater credits include Donald Marguiles Pulitzer Prize finalist Collected Stories, and Paul Rudnick’s Off-Broadway play The Naked Truth.
Messing’s film work includes the box office hit Along Came Polly and The Wedding Date. Messing starred in The Women and the family comedy, Nothing Like The Holidays. She also co-starred in Woody Allens Hollywood Ending, and The Mothman Prophecies. Messing won a Best Featured Actress Award for her work in the 2015 Indie drama Like Sunday Like Rain.
Messing is the Global Health Ambassador for Population Services International (PSI) focusing on HIV/AIDS. She has traveled extensively in Africa in this role and in 2010 testified before the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Africa and Global Health. She was also a key speaker at the 2012 AIDS conference in DC. Other charities Messing supports include HRC (Human Rights Campaign), Everytown for Gun Safety, and Joyful Heart Foundation. She was honored with The Trevor Life Award for her contributions to the LGBT community.
Messing attended Brandeis University and received her MFA from NYU. She resides in New York.
Kathy Najimy is known for her memorable performances in over 25 films including Sister Act, Hocus Pocus, RatRace, WALL-E and more. She is proud to have been named Ms. Magazine WOMAN OF THE YEAR and the NYC Lily Awards Actor/Activist of the year.
Najmy currently can be seen in the Netflix hit film: Dumplin and the new untitled Sia Furler project. Ms. Najimy currently recurred for 4 years on HBO’s VEEP, as well as recurring roles on YOUNGER, Graves and The Good Witch. She starred for a season on Unforgettable as the captain of the NYC crimes police force.
For TV she voiced Peggy Hill (14 seasons) on the Emmy Award-winning Fox hit King of the Hill, for which she received several Awards. She also starred as Olive Massery for three seasons on Veronicas Closet, with Kirstie Alley, was on a season of the Big C and Numb3rs, and is renowned as the Evil Witch in Disney’s hit: The Descendants.
In the theater, she starred as legendary Mae West on Broadway in the hit play Dirty Blonde to critical acclaim and later reprised the role in the West Coast premiere at The Old Globe Theater (Outer Critics Circle Best Actress). With Mo Gaffney, Najimy starred in and wrote The Kathy and Mo Show, her long-running feminist off-Broadway play, garnering an Obie Award and was filmed for two Hit HBO specials: Parallel Lives and Kathy and Mo: The Darkside (Ace and ACA awards for Actor and Executive Producer).
Kathy is currently producing a series for Television based on The Womens Movement, created the currently running hit on off-Broadway Gloria: A Life- about the life of Gloria Steinem. Najimy is helming a documentary: Blue Woman Red Town: A journey into America to meet the 53% of white married women who voted for Trump and she recently finished directing her first original short film: “The Secret Club”.
Najimy is internationally known for her portrayal of Sister Mary Patrick in the blockbuster hits Sister Act and Sister Act 2, which won her an American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Actress and the Hollywood Women’s Press Club – Female Discovery of the Year.
Her resume includes work in over 20 films including starring roles in Hocus Pocus, Rat Race, Tyler Perrys Madea Christmas and Say Uncle (Philadelphia Film Festival Best Actress), and has appeared in Hope Floats, Nevada, Step Up 3D, Zack and Reba, This Is My Life, The Fisher King, Soapdish, The Hard Way, Bam Bam and Celeste, Two Sisters, Its Pat, The Wedding Planner with Jennifer Lopez, Jeffrey, The Big K, and HBO’s If These Walls Could Talk 2 with Ellen DeGeneres. The films Blowtorch and Clutter and appeared in The Guilt Trip with Barbra Streisand.
Additional TV projects include: Five, directed by Jennifer Aniston; Desperate Housewives; Drop Dead Diva; Franklin and Bash; Ugly Betty; Socio; Men At Work; Mr. Sunshine; and a recurring role on ABCs hit show Make It or Break It.
Additionally, Najimy sang and danced as Elmo’s stepmother on Foxs special Cinderelmo, and also sang and danced her way through the opening number of the 1995 Academy Awards with Tim Curry. In 1993, she starred in the Emmy Award-winning TNT musical special In Search of Dr. Seuss.
Najimy was featured in a three-part arc on Chicago Hope and in Disneys: The Scream Team with Eric Idle and appeared in the television series She TV, Fool for Love, That’s So Raven, and Early Edition, and was featured in three episodes of the hit sitcom Ellen.
Najimy has performed on Broadway and at Madison Square Garden to benefit V Day in The Vagina Monologues. Najimy is currently writing her solo show for the New York City stage, Lift Up Your Skirt.
Kathy Najimy directed the east and west coast premieres of the acclaimed off-Broadway hit Back to Bacharach and David, as well as several other stage projects.
She starred in Pixar’s Oscar-winning animated feature WALL-E and has voiced characters for the animated features Tinkerbell, Brother Bear 2, Cats Don’t Dance, and The Jungle Book. For TV: The Sissy Duckling, Oswald, Hey Arnold!, Pepper Ann, Smart Animals, Hercules, American Dad, Little Bill, Tangled and many more.
For her over 40 years of AIDS activism, Najimy has been honored with the GMHC Howard Ashman Lifetime achievement award, the L.A. Shantis Founder award as well as the LA Gay and Lesbian Center’s Distinguished Achievement award. She is an enthusiastic supporter of womens and girls rights, AIDS awareness, animal rights, and a womans right to choose, and frequently travels around the country to keynote speak on these issues. She is currently helping helm the movement to abolish the New York City carriage horses. Najimy has lent her support to a variety of worthy organizations that include: NYClass, Project Angel Food, APLA, GLAAD, Human Rights Campaign Fund, Broadway Cares, Equity Fights AIDS, The Ms. Foundation, AMFAR, Planned Parenthood, Voters for Choice, and NARAL. As a proud Lebanese American, she has received awards from the ACC and The ADC and been honored with their Comedy Lifetime Achievement Award. She has posed twice for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animal (PETA)s popular campaign Id Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur, and, in 2000, she received PETA’s Humanitarian of the Year Award from Sir Paul McCartney. Kathy is currently a member and speaker for Times Up NYC.
Najimy has been published in The New York Times, as well as several national magazines. She contributed a chapter to the book The Choices We Made, which was released on the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. She contributed a monologue to Standing on Ceremony The Gay Marriage Plays. On tape, she voiced Wally Lamb’s best-selling novel She’s Come Undone.
She is tournament champion of Bravo Celebrity Poker Showdown, winning $100,000 for V-DAY (ending violence against women) and also won another $100,000 for at-risk teen girls as the first champion of the CBS Game Show Marathon.
Kathy lives in NYC with her husband of 24 years Dan Finnerty(The Dan Band) and their 22-year-old daughter singer/songwriter/actor Samia.