July 14, 2014 - Sag Harbor, NY - Bay Street Theater is pleased to announce the success of its 23rd Annual Summer Gala, chaired by longstanding patrons of the theater and the arts, Christine Wächter-Campbell & Bill Campbell, and Pia & Jimmy Zankel, which took place in Sag Harbor at the Long Wharf on July 12, 2014 to benefit Bay Street’s Scott Schwartz New Directions Fund, which supports a myriad of new programming initiatives and educational offerings.
This year’s benefit featured a farm-to-table dinner prepared by Hamptons Chef Peter Ambrose, dancing with the Nancy Atlas Project Band, live entertainment by Broadway stars, Tony award-winning actress and singer Patina Miller, and Obie award winner and actress and singer, Tovah Feldshuh, who also acted as celebrity auctioneer, and exciting live and silent auctions.
“Our gala was a very successful night of bright stars both from above and inside the tent. We are very grateful to our Board of Trustees, our patrons and our honored guests who joined us to support the new Bay Street at this exciting time of expansion and renewal,” said Executive Director, Tracy Mitchell.
At the Pre-Gala VIP Cocktail Reception, which took place from 6:00 – 7:00 pm at the Theater, guests enjoyed performances by Tony award winner Patina Miller, who sang with special guest, Academy Award-winning composer/lyricist Stephen Schwartz, and by Obie award winner, Tovah Feldshuh, who was accompanied by Christine Cadarette on piano. The Arts Visionaries Honoree awards were presented to actress Kate Burton, artist April Gornik and lyricist Sheldon Harnick by actor, author, producer and director, Bob Balaban; playwright, screenwriter and novelist Marsha Norman; and actor and star of Travesties, Richard Kind, respectively.
The party continued with a silent auction extravaganza in the cocktail tent that was staged in the style of a backstage setting at the theater. At the end of the cocktail hour, guests were surprised with a flash mob dance event choreographed by Wendy Seyb, featuring dancers Jeremiah Ginn, Jessica Kennedy, Ashley Haycock, Daphne Lee, Megan MacPhee, Crystal Rodriguez, and Sidney Erik Wright. Approximately 400 guests followed the dancers into the colorful dinner tent to enjoy a farm-to-table dinner by Peter Ambrose, during which stirring speeches were delivered by Artistic Director, Scott Schwartz, and Executive Director, Tracy Mitchell highlighting Bay Street’s exciting new projects including The Scott Schwartz New Directions Fund, which supports new programming at Bay Street such as the New Works Festival; The Shakespeare Initiative, which will present The Tempest on August 16 (free to the community) and 17 (VIP benefit); Blackout at Bay Street, a new late night performance event launching this summer; and expanded educational initiatives including free student tickets for this fall’s Literature Live, which this year will present To Kill A Mockingbird. Schwartz also introduced the new Joseph Stein New Musicals Fund at Bay Street Theater, which has been recently launched to support the development and presentation of new musicals.
"The 23rd Annual Bay Street Gala was a great event and wonderful opportunity to share with our supporters and friends the new programs we have launched at Bay Street this summer,” said Artistic Director Scott Schwartz. “This really is the new Bay Street, a place of artistic innovation and live entertainment where the most exciting artists engage with our community in so many ways."
During the live auction, which was led by guest auctioneer, Tovah Feldshuh, guests bid on prizes including two VIP tickets to Broadway’s If/Then Broadway, which included a meet and greet with Tony award- winner Idina Menzel; a walk on role in Bay Street’s mainstage production, My Life is A Musical, which will run from July 29 through August 31; a one-week stay at a luxurious St. Bart’s Wimco Villa; a great stay in a Canopy Suite at the Four Seasons Costa Rica; and golf at The Bridge with Richard Kind. Winners of the live auction received bottles of champagne to toast their success. Before the guests danced to the spirited sounds of Nancy Atlas and the Nancy Atlas Project band, they were entertained with performances by Patina Miller and Stephen Schwartz, ballroom dancer James West, and the Flash Mob Dancers, listed previously.
Special guests of the evening included Bay Street Theater’s Board of Trustees as well as Stephen Schwartz, Patina Miller, Tovah Feldshuh, April Gornik, Eric Fischl, Kate Burton, Sheldon Harnick, Bob Balaban, Marsha Norman, Richard Kind, John Wiedman, Susan Stroman, Roy Furman, Joel and Michelle Cohen, Elisa Stein, Ellen and James Marcus, Steve Kroft, Janelle Reiring, Helene Wiener, Ralph Gibson, Toni Ross, Neda Young, Jo Anne Ross, Mary Jane Marcassiano, and many other notable members of the community.
Bay Street is extremely grateful for the support of its sponsors, who helped make the evening so memorable. Flowers were donated by Bridgehampton Florist. The wine was donated by Channing Daughters Winery, and the beer by Southampton Publick House. Additional sponsors included The American Hotel, Adornments, The Bridge Golf Course, Brown Jordan, East End Limousine, East Hampton Golf Club, Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica, Frosae Wine Sorbet, The Golden Pear, Harlow Restaurant, Heron Live with Kelly & Michael, Merrill DataSite, Nightcaps by SantaMarie, Pepalajefa, Peter Ambrose Events & Catering, Pierre’s Restaurant, Searles Graphics, Soho Grand Hotel, Suffolk County National Bank, Tamara Comolli, The Port of Egypt, Wimco Villas, Wolffer Estate Vineyard, Worth, and media sponsors including Dan’s Papers, Edible East End and Hampton Magazine.
Bay Street Theater is a year-round, not-for-profit professional theater and community cultural center which endeavors to innovate, educate, and entertain a diverse community through the practice of the performing arts. We serve as a social and cultural gathering place, an educational resource, and a home for a community of artists. Bay Street is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization and all donations are tax-deductible according to IRS regulations.