Over 380 guests attended The Old Globe’s 2014 Gala, “Summer Splendor,” on July 26 on the Globe’s historic campus in Balboa Park. When final proceeds and expenses are tallied, the black-tie event is expected to net more than $1 million for the theatre’s artistic and educational activities. Nina Doede, Deni Jacobs, and Sheryl White served as Co-Chairs for the Globe Gala, and lead underwriters for the evening wereAudrey Geisel, Darlene Marcos Shiley, Conrad Prebys and Debra Turner, and Sheryl and Harvey White, with many other guests making generous gifts.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I thank all of our friends in the San Diego community for their incredible support of The Old Globe,” said Board Chair Elaine Darwin. “Hundreds of people, donors and staff alike, devoted their time and efforts to make this event such a smashing success, and we are so grateful for their contributions. I would especially like to thank our Co-Chairs-Nina Doede,Deni Jacobs, and Sheryl White-for their tireless work to bring such a wonderful evening to life. From chatting with friends over cocktails, watching the incredible generosity of everyone raising their paddles before Ms. Benanti’s wonderful performance, through a marvelous meal and uninhibited dancing, to the amazing fireworks that closed the evening-the artistic heart and soul of our town was clearly on display!”
The evening began with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres on the Globe’s Copley Plaza, which was bedecked with floating paper lanterns. Guests were welcomed by the Gala Co-Chairs, along with Artistic Director Barry Edelstein and Managing Director Michael G. Murphy, and mingled on the plaza’s grand entrance as the sun set over Balboa Park.
Guests were then delighted by a surprise flash mob performance by Culture Shock Dance Troupe, San Diego’s premiere hip-hop dance company. Thirty-five young dancers, disguised as ushers, sprang into a choreographed dance, set to Pharrell Williams’s summer anthem “Happy,” from different points on the plaza, culminating in an exuberant performance on the central dance floor. The members of Culture Shock then led partygoers indoors to the next event of the evening.
Gala guests entered the Old Globe Theatre, part of the Conrad Prebys Theatre Center, for an exclusive concert on the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage by Tony Award winner Laura Benanti. Known for her roles on Broadway in Gypsy, Into the Woods, and In the Next Room, as well as starring roles on numerous television series, Benanti offered a one-night-only performance based on her smash hit New York cabaret (and new CD) In Constant Search of the Right Kind of Attention. Accompanied by Todd Almond, her set included musical theatre showstoppers such as “On the Street Where You Live” from My Fair Lady and “Unusual Way” from Nine, which she performed oppositeAntonio Banderas in the musical’s 2003 Broadway revival. She also sang a number of contemporary popular hits, likeLana Del Rey’s “Video Games,” Harry Chapin’s “Mister Tanner,” and a hilarious medley of songs by Beyoncé, Sisqo, Sir Mix-a-Lot, and more. She even accompanied herself on one of her own original numbers, “Ukulele Song,” and as an encore performed Joni Mitchell’s “Conversation” for the cheering crowd.
After the performance, guests exited the theatre directly onto Copley Plaza, which was transformed into a summertime paradise. Rich orange linens were adorned with shining silverware and gleaming glass plateware arranged around centerpieces featuring orange, yellow, and purple blooms and hoops of woven wood. The sumptuous dinner, catered by Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina, began with Corn and Basil Panna Cotta and Freshly Baked La Brea Artisan Breads, followed by entrées of Lemon and Herb-Crusted Sea Bass, Roasted Beef Filet, and Potato and Goat Cheese Gnocchi. The decadent meal ended with a plated Chocolate Trio. The dinner was complemented with a selection of wines, including 2009 GEN 7 Santa Barbara County Chardonnay “Reserve” and 2009 GEN 7 Cabernet Sauvignon “Reserve.” Gala guests then danced into the night to the lively music of Midnight Special on the Copley Plaza dance floor under a canopy of golden lights and lanterns, and the night sky lit up with a dazzling fireworks display that illuminated the entire Globe campus.
Prior to the Concert, a quick Paddle Raise was done by charming host Marty Levin. As Gala guests continued their generosity, an additional $200,000 was raised, adding to the amazing total guaranteeing the Globe’s wonderful productions and community outreach programs. Prior to the Gala and throughout the evening, Gala supporters were given the opportunity to contribute towards Globe Experiences, which provide exclusive access to backstage happenings at the Globe as well as unique experiences created specifically for this year’s event. Some of the Globe Experiences on offer were walk-on roles in the Globe’s annual production of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!; an onstage catered dinner for 30; a chance to sit in on a rehearsal led by Artistic Director Barry Edelstein; and backstage tours with Managing Director Michael G. Murphy. Globe Experiences have raised $101,000 so far, and many are still available to the general public on the Globe’s website:www.theoldglobe.org/events/2014_Globe_Experiences.aspx.