Bay Street Theater & Sag Harbor Center for the Arts’ 29th Annual Summer Gala, A Starry Night, will be the next summer soiree to be held virtually. On Wednesday, July 22, the extravaganza will include a red carpet pre-show, telethon, testimonials, and a myriad of exceptional special performances, of course. The excitement will commence at 7:30 p.m., with the Gala getting underway at 8 p.m.
The evening will encompass a tribute to the Broadway musicals of the 1970s, including a comedic nod to the celebrity telethon specials that were all the rage at the time. “For the past two years, Bay Street has celebrated Broadway by the decade in our summer Gala, and this year we’re thrilled to explore the vibrant and innovative musicals of the 1970s,” noted Bay Street Artistic Director Scott Schwartz. “Since this year the event will be broadcast online, we thought: how better to celebrate the 1970s than through a loving and satirical take on the telethons of that era?”
This year’s Gala will be penned by playwright Scooter Pietsch, whose new comedy, Windfall, was to make its world premiere during the 2020 Mainstage Season. It is expected to be showcased next year. Rich Ficara, a Director of Photography and Editor that has worked on NBC’s Nightline, World News Tonight, Good Morning America, and Frontline on PBS, will take on filming and editing.
“We are so excited to create a Gala which everyone can enjoy from coast to coast!” Bay Street’s Executive Director, Tracy Mitchell, who will serve as the Gala’s executive producer, relayed. “And hopefully donations will follow to support artists and keep theater thriving, even if it must be virtually these days.” Paul Anthony, Bay Street’s Sales and Sponsorship Manager, is lending his talents as associate producer, boom operator, and writer of interstitial sketches.
A Starry Night will star four-time Tony Award nominee and OBIE recipient Raul Esparza (Company, Leap of Faith, Arcadia, Speed-the-Plow, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Cabaret, and The Rocky Horror Show, Broadway), Tony Award winner, two-time Golden Globe Award nominee, and three-time Primetime Emmy Award nominee Ben Vereen (Pippin, Jesus Christ Superstar, Wicked, and Fosse, Broadway), Tony Award nominated actress, singer, and author Melissa Errico (Fair Lady, High Society and Les Miserables, Broadway; Make Someone Happy and Kiss Me Kate, Bay Street), multi-award-winning actress and singer Betty Buckley (Cats, Pippin, Carrie, Triumph of Love and Hello, Dolly!, Broadway; Theatre Hall of Fame inductee), Tony Award winning actor, singer, dancer, director, and choreographer André De Shields (Warp!, Ain’t Misbehavin’, The Full Monty, The Wiz, and Hadestown, Broadway), Tony Award nominee and Theatre World Award-winner Josh Young (Amazing Grace and Jesus Christ Superstar, Broadway), Hunter Parrish (Godspell, Broadway; TV and film: Weeds, Still Alice, This Is Us and Ratched), Trent Saunders (Disney’s Aladdin, Broadway; Godspell, ACT of CT; Evita, West End), Arianna Rosario (Evita, Bay Street; Kurt Weil’s Love Life, New York City Center; Cats, On Your Feet!, Cinderella, and West Side Story, Broadway), and Omar Lopez-Cepero (Evita, Bay Street; On Your Feet! American Idiot, and The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Broadway and Off-Broadway).
The Gala’s closing number will encompass Enhi Agwe, Kaden Amari Anderson, Kyle Barisich, Kelli Barrett, Jill Eikenberry, Dee Hoty, Josh Grisetti, Will Hantz, Jackie Hoffman, Meaghan LaFlam, Neal Mayer, Howard McGillin, Meaghan McInnes, Ethan Metz, Julia Motyka, Dakota Quackenbush, Lindsay Roberts, Steve Rosen, Anna Francesca Schiavoni, Erica Spyres, Bobby Conte Thornton, Rich Topol, Michael Tucker, Teal Wicks, and Cooki Winborn.
“With amazing performances from leading artists of then and now, songs from beloved musicals by some of the greatest writers of all time, and a playful script full of surprises, Bay Street Theater is excited to share its 29th Anniversary Gala with our local audience and musical theater lovers everywhere!” Schwartz added.
Andy Einhorn will helm the performances as musical director and A Starry Night will feature favorites from A Chorus Line, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Godspell, Pippin, Sweeney Todd, Pacific Overtures, A Little Night Music, and The Wiz.
Bay Street Theater’s Board of Trustees member and longtime Gala supporter Richard Kind will host. There will also be a special appearance from Academy Award-nominated actor, producer, and director Bob Balaban.
Proceeds from A Starry Night will champion Bay Street’s educational and theatrical programs. The evening will also support JBJ Soul Kitchen Food Bank, with ten percent of all proceeds being donated to the recently formed Wainscott-based Food Bank, which has aided thousands of food-insecure Long Island families since it launched in May.
There is no fee to attend virtually.
For more information, visit www.baystreet.org.