LOS ANGELES, Oct. 31, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- East met West when NYU's Tisch School of the Arts honored alumni, Academy Award winner Oliver Stone and award-winning producer Liza Chasin, president of U.S. production at Working Title Films, at its annual benefit gala, taking place this year in Los Angeles.
Tisch alumna and star of ABC's Grey's Anatomy Chandra Wilson co-hosted the benefit, together with alumnus and Tony and Grammy Award winning actor, Steve Kazee.
More than 350 guests entered the ballroom, transformed into a dramatic, jaw-dropping, multi-dimensional homage to the Big Apple.
The real stars of the evening were the current Tisch students, singing, dancing and stomping their way through a montage of show-stopping numbers, each met with thunderous applause. Their opening, "New York City Mash Up" was an eight minute salute to NYC themed songs, against a video background of iconic New York City landmarks.
Co-host Steve Kazee performed the Oscar winning "Falling Slowly" with backup from Tisch students.
Honorary Chair Steve Tisch welcomed attendees before Kazee introduced Universal Pictures Chairman Donna Langley who presented the Tisch Big Apple Award to Liza Chasin. "I remember I asked around about film schools and everyone told me, 'if you want to work in the business, go to LA, but if you love film go to Tisch.' I chose love and fortunately for me, I got the best of both!"
Award-winning writer and Tisch alumnus, Stanley Weiser presented to his writing partner, Oliver Stone. After the chiding of Steve Tisch and his NY Giants, Stone explained the difficulty he had adjusting to life after Viet Nam, but learned about the Tisch film school. "I entered back into civilization at Tisch. Forty years later, I'm still here…still trying to write and direct…still waiting for that bell to ring or that ax to fall."
Dean Mary Schmidt Campbell (retiring in August, 2014 after a 23 year career as the driving force behind Tisch) summed up the Tisch experience. "When Tisch students become Tisch graduates, they repay us over and over. They have changed the way we think about some of the central ideas of our time. Chances are their work has touched you in some way."
SOURCE NYU Tisch School of the Arts