Needham Community Theatre has announced that it has awarded the first Needham Theatre “Hall of Fame Award” for excellence in professional theater to Tony Award winner and Needham native Gerard Alessandrini.
Gerard Alessandrini grew up in Needham and joined NCT in his teens, appearing in "Kismet" in 1971 and in "Fiddler on the Roof" (as Tevye) the next year. After graduating from the Boston Conservatory in 1976, Gerard moved to New York City and worked as an actor for several years.
In 1981 he wrote a musical review that led to the opening of a show he called "Forbidden Broadway" on New York’s Upper West Side. That musical revue ran for an astonishing 2332 performances across many NYC locations, and was performed almost continuously for 25 years with frequent updates, including the latest, "Forbidden Broadway: The Next Generation," which was performed in New York City in 2019 and 2020. It has also toured nationally and internationally.
In addition to "Forbidden Broadway," Gerard has had many other professional theatrical achievements, including the musical "Spamilton," which opened in New York in 2016 and played in Boston at the Huntington Theater in 2019.
Gerard was awarded a Tony Award for Excellence in Theater in 2006, and has also been awarded an Obie Award, two Lucille Lortel Awards, and seven Drama Desk Awards.
Despite his busy professional career, Gerard has maintained his relationship with NCT over the years, returning one year to play Emile de Becque in an NCT-staged play reading of "South Pacific," and customizing "Forbidden Broadway Comes to Needham: The Farce Awakens" in 2016. In February 2021, Gerard performed in NCT’s first virtual musical revue, "A Little Bit of Fun," and received the Needham Theatre “Hall of Fame” award.