The Hasty Pudding Institute of 1770 held their annual Order of the Golden Sphinx Gala at the Plaza Hotel in New York City earlier this week.
Legendary Music Producer and SONY Entertainment Music Chief Creative Officer Clive Davis was the 2015 recipient of the Order of the Golden Sphinx award, the highest honor bestowed by the Institute, which recognizes individuals in the entertainment industry for their extraordinary contributions to the performing arts.
The evening included a number of lively and memorable performances, including the now traditional opening number “Your Lucky Night” written and composed by Larry O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin, and performed by CBS’s Mo Rocca with current and past cast members of the Hasty Pudding Theatricals and Harvard Krokodiloes. Larry, Nell and Mo are all alumni of the Hasty Pudding. The Harvard Krokodiloes showcased the impressive vocals and quirky choreography that has made them famous the world over with renditions of “I’ve Got the World on a String” and “Sing, Sing, Sing” arranged by the students themselves. The evening concluded on a high note with a special tribute song arranged by Larry O’Keefe and Dan Ring, “Clive Davis’ State Of Mind”, a mash up of Barry Manilow’s “Mandy” with Jay Z’s and Alicia Keys’s “Empire State of Mind” with new original lyrics hailing a "Music genius that dreams are made of ’, performed by the Theatricals and Krokodiloes and led by Pudding alum Matt DaSilva.
Upon being presented with the Order of the Golden Sphinx award by Andrew Farkas, Chairman & Grand Sphinx of the Hasty Pudding Institute, Clive Davis gave a gracious and heartfelt thank-you speech and treated the audience with a wonderful surprise performance of “A Song For You” by his new artist Avery Wilson, 19, who brought the house down.
In addition to being a celebration of talent, the Order of the Golden Sphinx gala is also the opportunity for the Hasty Pudding Institute of 1770 to present its philanthropic work and thank its supporters. This year the Pudding doubled its Philanthropic giving, expanding its grants to BAM’s Arts + Justice program, the Arthur Miller Foundation and Institute of Play, The West End House Boys & Girls Club, and renewing its Fellowships with The Black List and the American Repertory Theatre. The Institute also announced new grants and partnerships with Ghetto Film School (the first Film High-school in the land) and the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company’s Shakespeare OFF the Common program.
In typical Pudding fashion, guests were served the traditional “Hasty Pudding” for dessert and the event concluded in a brisk 95 minutes. Attendees to the event included Clive Davis’s family, Adrienne Arsht, Tita Cahn, TruTV’s Rikki Klieman, Courtney B. Vance, Victor Garber, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Dr. Jennifer Mieres, Stanley Buchthal, Jeff Blau and Bruce Biel from RELATED (one of the evening’s main sponsors with Beacon Capital Partners, Equinox and Soul Cycle), Denise Rich, Ann and Andrew Tisch, and Arnold Stiefel, to name just a few.
The Hasty Pudding Institute of 1770’s philanthropic mission is to provide educational and developmental support in all aspects of the performing arts for the underprivileged, to encourage satire and comedy, and to cultivate young talent around the world. The Institute is comprised of The Hasty Pudding Club (the oldest social club in the United States), The Hasty Pudding Theatricals (the third oldest theater group in the world, after the Comedie Francaise and the Oberammergau Passion Players) and the Harvard Krokodiloes (the foremost collegiate a cappella group in the United States). Over the last two centuries, it has grown into a premiere performing arts organization, a patron of the arts and comedy, and an advocate for satire and discourse as tools for change worldwide.
For more information about the Hasty Pudding Institute of 1770, click here.