The Shakespeare Theatre Company hosted The Harman Center for the Arts Annual Gala on Oct. 3. Helen Lee Henderson accepted the Sidney Harman Award for Philanthropy in the Arts on behalf of the HRH Foundation. The gala performance featured performers interpreting Shakespeare’s Italian plays. René Auberjonois was an amusing master of ceremonies. The all-star program included the Julliard Jazz Artists Diploma Ensemble, leading artists with the ABT and National Ballet of Canada and Frederica Von Stade, who was breathtaking on her farewell tour. Artistic Director Michael Kahn in his introduction of Annette Bening, to whom he presented The William Shakespeare Award for Classical Theatre, said that “a classically trained actor can do anything.” Ms. Bening proved him correct with a moving excerpt as Juliet which brought the audience to its feet. Everyone proceeded to a superb Italian repast and dancing at the National Building Museum, transformed into Venice for the evening.