Things were happening all over the Bay Street theater on July 8. There were sing-a-longs over here. Isaac Mizrahi was auctioning off some valuables over there. People were on-stage, backstage, in the lobby, in the seats.

Scott Schwartz, artistic director of the theater (photo credit, Barry Gordin)

It was the long-delayed Annual Summer Gala, postponed for four years because of covid restrictions. This year there were three honorees. Dame Julie Andrews was given the first Julie Andrews Lifetime Achievement Award. Now for those who do not know about the Bay Street Theater, a non-profit, 299-seat theater in Sag Harbor, there might be some consternation here.

Donna Karan (photo Barry Gordin)

What does Julie Andrews have to do with Sag Harbor’s little nonprofit theater, people might ask. And the answer is: plenty. The theater was founded in 1991 by the actress Cybil Christopher, the mother of Kate Burton. Kate Burton is, of course, the daughter of Richard Burton. Now we get into the deep waters of the English theater scene. The other founders of the Bay Street Theater are Emma Walton Hamilton and Stephen Hamilton.

Stephen, Hope and Emma Walton Hamilton (photo Barry Gordin)

Stephen Hamilton is a theater professional of long standing. He has been an actor off-Broadway, and on film and television. He has taught acting at the Ensemble Studio Theater in New York. His wife, Emma Watson Hamilton, has theater in her lineage on both sides. Her father is the theatrical and film designer Tony Walton. And her mother is … Julie Andrews.

Jamie deRoy (photo Barry Gordin)

When Cybil Christopher, Emma and Stephen Hamilton were working on the Bay Street Theater in the early days, ticket holders were sometimes surprised to find Emma’s mom lending a hand. That’s how involved Julie Andrews was in the launch of the Bay Street Theater.

So Emma Walton Hamilton, now a successful children’s book author, accepted the award on her mother’s behalf. And Dame Andrews, age 87, spoke remotely from Walton-on-Thames, in Surrey.

Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick were on hand to accept the Joel Grey Lifetime Achievement award for their theater work. Party-goers were thrilled to be able to rub elbows with the couple.

Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker, honorees (photo Barry Gordin)

Carol Konner, a board member, was given an award for her contributions as a philanthropist. Because the show can’t go on unless someone is able to turn on the lights.


Greg and Carol Konner (photo Barry Gordin)

Performers included Derrick Davis as emcee, who performed with Max Chlumecky, Lora Lee Gayer, Samantha Massell, and Matthew Scott. Ms. Gayer, who grew up in Naples, FL, told her hometown newspaper that she feels most alive when she is on stage, a sentiment shared by most actors.

Lora Lee Gayer (photo Barry Gordin)

Other guests included the designer Donna Karan, Countess Luann de Lesseps, Steve & Karol Todrys, Bonnie Comley of BroadwayHD,  the producer Jamie deRoy, and Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. and his wife, Nancylynn.

Countess Luann de Lesseps (photo Barry Gordin)