Anything Goes
John Orr / Triviana
This fake piano was used by TheatreWorks in "Upright Grand," in July 2012. For Anything Goes, it stood guard over the costume department on October 20, 2012. John Orr checked: The keys don't really work. They don't even move! Sad, really.
Anything Goes
Drew Altizer / TheatreWorks
Event co-chairs Judy Heyboer, Lynn Szekely-Goode, and Gayla Lorthridge Wood, from left, at TheatreWorks' 10th annual Anything Goes gala, October 20, 2012, at the theater company's Menlo Park scene shop. It was the last of the gala's for that space, as TheatreWorks has made the move to Redwood City.
Anything Goes

Costumed fundraiser for TheatreWorks.
Guests are invited to pick an outfit from one of TheatreWorks' past productions to wear to the party. Featuring: Entertainment by James Monroe Iglehart, from the TheatreWorks and Broadway casts of "Memphis"; auctioneer Brendan Milburn of GrooveLily; music for dancing by Pride & Joy; Catering by Grace Street Catering.
When: 5:30 p.m.-midnight, October 20, 2012
Where: TheatreWorks Scene Shop, 1100 Hamilton Court, Menlo Park, California.
Tickets: $275-$500. Tables: $2,750-$10,000. Contact TheatreWorks Special Events Department at 650-463-7159 or email
Anything Goes
John Orr / Triviana Arts & Entertainment
This is the Moroccan Orange Salad with dates, radish, lime, watercress and mint, at Anything Goes on October 20, 2012. Didn't take long to eat it, but it was delicious. You'll note there are three glasses at this place setting: Canadian whiskey, water and red wine. That's how you know it's where John Orr was sitting.
Anything Goes
John Orr / Triviana Arts & Entertainment
This is the dual entree for Anything Goes, on October 20, 2012: Coriander seared Walu and NY strip, with crushed potatoes, wilted greens and caramelized onion relish. Good stuff. The shadows are from John's Crown of Oberon.

Click on images to see larger versions.
Anything Goes
Drew Altizer / TheatreWorks
Jenny Dearborn and John Tarlton are all dolled up for Anything Goes at TheatreWorks, on October 20, 2012, at TheatreWorks' soon-to-be-deserted scene shop.
Partying for the greater good
Anything Goes gala was a blast, and raised some dough for a very good cause: TheatreWorks
October 23, 2012

The big fun of attending Anything Goes, the TheatreWorks costume gala, was in seeing all the nice people dressed up in their often amazing costumes.

Most of the costumes came from TheatreWorks own cache of hundreds of thousands of costumes, collected over the 42 years of its greatly productive history.

Anything Goes
John Orr / Triviana Arts & Entertainment
Part of Cinderella's lovely brocaded dress at Anything Goes on October 20, 2012, and part of Cinderella's lovely napkin.

There were lots of guys at the Saturday, October 20, 2012, event in military garb - with high hats that bespoke West Point, or European monarchies or American high school marching bands. A few London Bobbies and a cowboy or three.

Among the women - sure, there were a few witches, including one with the cute red-and-white striped socks, like in "The Wizard of Oz" - but mostly there was a great amount of classic beauty. Cinderella. African queens. Antibellum ball gowns. Slinky costume dresses that would have looked at home on Audrey Hepburn.

And it was such a delight to see everybody parading around and smiling at each other.

Me? I was dressed as Oberon, king of the fairies, the guy in Shakespeare's "Midsummer Night's Dream" who tricks his wife, Titiana, into falling in love with Bottom, who's been given the head of an ass. In fact, my one joke I could come up with was to tell guys, "Gee, I was going to give you the head of an ass, but I see someone's beaten me to it!"

I used the joke three times and received only modest, perhaps polite laughter. And one fellow I used it on kept looking at me with considerable suspicion for the rest of the evening.

As one of my tablemates asked me, "You don't get out much, do you?"

Uh, no.

Anything Goes
Riley Orr / Triviana Arts & Entertainment
John Orr tries on a Christmas wreath and some fake leaves at Michael's in Sunnyvale to use as his crown of Oberon at Anything Goes.

Still, it was fun, and I didn't break any goblets or chairs or anything (A new personal record!). I was wearing a costume that was used by TheatreWorks for "Shakespeare in Hollywood," in early 2005. I didn't have the headpiece that Don Carrier wore in that show, so I hit Michael's before the party and bought a fake green door wreath and some gold leaves and wired them together. It worked, I think. But I had to put my BonTaj Roule cap underneath it, to keep the wreath from scratching my skin. With the gold leaves sticking up, I was about seven feet tall, I think.

When I wore the costume, a lot of people smiled at me. When I took it off, because it was hotter and heavier than a sleeping bag, revealing the Hawaiian shirt underneath, people looked at me with considerable suspicion.

And yes, the 400 or so people there were very nice.

Because, ya know, they were there to help TheatreWorks. Money raised from this event will go to help TheatreWorks stage plays, sure, but also to help fund the troupe's many education programs, including "Oskar and the Big Bully Battle," a show that tours to schools, and helps children have some fun while learning something worthwhile. Anything Goes raised $270,805 this year, a record, said an official keeper of such information.

It's a pretty good party for attendees. I was there on a press pass, but most people paid at least $275 each to get in. Some paid much more. A large chunk of the ticket price is tax-deductible, which is good if you happen to have income.

And they get a very good party, in what was the scene shop for TheatreWorks for many years, with huge stage pieces hanging on all the walls, and props sitting here and there. Behind the stage were the colorful backdrops from the "Twelfth Night" that Founder and Artistic Director Robert Kelley directed in December 2007.

They get an open bar. They get an excellent meal catered by Grace Street Catering. They get to be entertained by James Monroe Iglehart, a TheatreWorks favorite who went off to Broadway with the show "Memphis." Later, they get to dance, to the funk/soul band Pride & Joy.

And, they get more opportunities to give more money to TheatreWorks, in a live auction.

The way that works is, people donate great stuff to TheatreWorks, and then TheatreWorks auctions off the stuff to raise dough. I guess more charity deductions are involved, and that's a good thing. The fun part of this is that Brendan Milburn was the auctioneer. Milburn is one third of the great band and theater creators GrooveLily, and he was very amusing. Auctioning off two nights at the Peter Michael Winery on the slopes of Mount St. Helena, a trip that includes a reservation at the French Laundry restaurant, Milburn pointed out that "anybody would give their left arm for this, and this way, you get to go, and keep your left arm."

Anything Goes
Drew Altizer / TheatreWorks
Honorees Wally Niemasik and Julie Kaufman at TheatreWorks 10th annual gala, Anything Goes on October 20, 2012. Those are TheatreWorks props in the background.

Such a deal!

Auctioning a trip to The Masters Tournament, he pointed out, "I think I know something about it" - golf - because, "I played miniature golf once."

The evening also included a toast to Julie Kaufman and Willy Niemasik, longtime TheatreWorks supporters. Founder Robert Kelley presented them with an engraved crystal bowl from Tiffany & Co.

Niemasik, dressed in colorful surgeon's garb, noted that he's been dealing with pancreatic cancer of late, and spending a lot of time at Stanford Hospital - and that he's learned it's better to be a doctor than to be a patient.

He gave a very nice speech, in which he said that when he and Kaufman give donations to Stanford Hospital for research and development "we know it will benefit future generations. But when we look at our giving to TheatreWorks, we know that we are helping not only for the future - our support of TheatreWorks goes to creating the plays we're watching right now.It helps build the theater culture in Silicon Valley, which is something we can all enjoy."

Hear, hear.

Anything Goes
Drew Altizer / TheatreWorks
Tom Leep selects a strawberry layer cake for his tablemates, who placed the highest bid for first pick in the Dessert Dash at TheatreWorks' annual Anything Goes gala, held October 20, 2012, at TheatreWorks' scene shop in Menlo Park.


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