For: Palo Alto Players
Honorees: Connie and the David Faussone
Featuring: Julia Faussone, Nick Kenrick, Jessica LaFever, Jaake Margo, Joey McDaniel, Tarif Pappu, Greg Zema
When: 6 p.m. Saturday, March 24, 2018
Where: Mitchell Park Community Center, 3700 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto
Tickets: Early bird ticket (before March 16): $125 ($50 tax deductible); Early bird table of 10 (before March 16): $1,250 ($500 tax deductible). March 16 and after, $150 per seat, $1,500 for table of 10. Call 650-329-0891 or visit http://www.paplayers.org/gala-2018
Produced by: Palo Alto Players
Directed by: Janie Scott
Choreographed by: Zendrex Llado
Music direction by: Lauren Bevilacqua
Featuring: Jason Mooney, Jessica LaFever, Sven Schutz, Izetta Klein, Joey McDaniel, Jimmy Mason, Jessica Whittemore, Barbara Heninger, Stephen Kanaski, Shawn Bender, Nick Rodrigues, Robbie Regin, Shannon Kelly, Breanna van Gastel, Lauren Arnold, Alex Cox, Amanda Nguyen, Victor Ragsdale
When: April 27 through May 13, 2018
Where: Lucie Stern Theater, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto
Tickets: $25-$55; call 650-329-0891 or visit www.paplayers.org.
fun was had at Players gala
were part of the entertainment on March 24
Great fun was had and a very nice chunk of change was raised on March 24, 2018, at the third annual Palo Alto Players Gala Benefit.
The event, held at Mitchell Park Community Center in Palo Alto, raised an estimated gross of $85,000, according to Players Managing Director Elizabeth Santana, $30,000 more than last year’s event.
"Ticket sales only cover about 60 percent of our operating costs," Santana explained. "We look to generous donors to bridge that gap."
Helping to bridge that gap on March 24 were 150 attendees who bid on auction items, sipped wine and chatted in the courtyard, dined in the main room, and were entertained by a number of performers from various Players productions.
On hand, for instance, were all of the "Million Dollar Quartet" — Nick Kenrick (who was Jerry Lee Lewis), Jaake Margo (Elvis Presley), Tony Pappu (Carl Perkins), and Greg Zema (Johnny Cash) — along with Jessica LaFever (Elvis’s girlfriend).
LaFever and Joey McDaniel, who also entertained, will both be in the Players production of "Rock of Ages," which is to run April 27 through May 13, 2018, at the Lucie Stern Theatre.
Also on hand to entertain was Julia Faussone, who sang "Hold On," from "The Secret Garden."
Faussoune is the daughter of Connie and the late David Faussone, who were the evening’s Leading Players honorees. She spoke on their behalf. The Faussones have been donors and season-ticket holders at Palo Alto Players for more than 25 years.
A particularly fun bit was when auctioneer Tim Leahy turned the 50/50 raffle into an event, getting all the people with the number 5 starting their tickets to stand up, then slowly weeding out the non-winners by adding an extra number per round until the winning ticket was identified.
"People bought 50/50 raffle tickets during the silent auction/happy hour," Santana explained. "We sold $1,000 in raffle tickets. The winner got 50% ($500). The winner was Laura Fechete — one of our board members!"
The gala end with the song "Don't Stop Believin'" from "Rock of Ages," performed by the "Million Dollar Quartet."
"It just so happens that Jessica LaFever (Dianne from Quartet) is playing the lead (Sherrie) in ‘Rock of Ages,’" said Santana. "That is how we ended the night and everyone joined in to sing — there were cast members of ‘Rock of Ages’ as guests."
Email John Orr at email@example.com