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Hamptons "Rocks The Dock" In Support Of Bay Street Theatre

Originally Posted: July 25, 2012

Douglas MacKaye Harrington

Roberta Wallach with her parents stage/screen legends Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson, Bay Street Artistic Director Murphy Davis, Tony Award winning actress Lillias White and playwright/director Paul Levine.

Sag Harbor - Bay Street Theatre's "Rock the Dock" fundraiser found sunny skies, bay breezes and enthusiastic supporters at the Long Wharf event that generates the major revenue for this seminal jewel on the necklace of the Hamptons' theatre scene.

After a year of questions whether Bay Street Theatre would even still call Sag Harbor home, Artistic Director Murphy Davis was effusive with gratitude and confidence at the 2012 summer gala, "It gives us a sense of stability as we look for our new home, we know we are solid here in a theatre we have been working in for year. A permanent home is what we are aiming for, but we are very grateful to Pat Malloy for extending the lease another 10 years."

Karen Lockwood, Playwright Joe Pintauro, Carol Whiteman, Pintauro's partner of 34 years Greg Therriault and Loraine Boyle, wife of the late actor Peter Boyle. (Photo: Douglas Harrington)

Regarding the importance of the annual gala Davis said, "It is our number one fundraiser, this is where we raise the largest portion of our unearned income, unearned meaning other than ticket sales which only amount to about a half of our operating costs. Every non-profit is in the same boat and we are so grateful for the outpouring of support we get every year at this fundraiser."

This year Bay Street revived Joe Pintauro's "Men's Lives" to critical acclaim and the playwright and Sag Harbor resident was, of course, on hand to support his local theatre. In regards to this production Pintauro has stated, "War was declared on the beaches of the East End when local Bay Men were forced to launch a courageous fight against the crushing effect of history and economics on their lives in the Hamptons. Today the crisis is even worse." Directed by Harris Yulin, the play was the inaugural production of Bay Street in 1992 and is based on fellow Hamptonian Peter Matthiessen's book of the same name.

According to Davis, "We thought this year was a perfect time to revive this wonderful play. Not only does it have a timeless message about the human condition, it is more pertinent today than ever. "Men's Lives" tells the tale of a family's struggle to maintain their way of life and fight for survival in these ever changing times. It is our way of honoring the Bay Men and their heritage, as well as the place where we all live. If you were here and saw our original production, come back. If you have never seen it, don't miss it!" The production will run through July 29, so your last chance to see this incredible play ends this week...go!

Bay Street Board of Trustees Chairman Frank Filipo, actress Aida Turturro and Suffolk County Bank President and CEO Howard C. Bluver. (Photo: Douglas Harrington)

Driving west all the way from her Montauk home for the gala, former "Sopranos" star Aida Turturro was thrilled to offer her support for Bay Street, "It is a great theatre and I plan on being here every year to support it. It is a lovely evening with nice people that love and support live theatre."

After the cocktail hour guests sat down for dinner and Davis assumed the role of Master of Ceremonies. During Davis' remarks actor and Bay Street Board Member Chris Bauer of "True Blood" came to the stage and thanked all the guests for supporting the work of the theatre, "You have picked a winner if you're supporting Bay Street Theatre. Thank you for your money, support, and applause."

Davis gave a special tribute to Board Chair Frank Filipo for his years of dedication to Bay Street. Davis also acknowledged other notables in attendance including legendary actors Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson, namesakes of the 99-seat off-season theatre within the main stage theatre, and actress, activist and board member Mercedes Ruehl, among many others.

Also on hand was Tony Award winner Lillias White who will be starring in Bay Street's next production, "Big Maybelle: Soul of the Blues." During dinner Ms. White preformed three songs from the play, written and directed by Paul Levine who was also in attendance, to cheers from the packed dockside tent. This one-woman show opens on August 7 and tickets are going fast.

Sponsor Diplomatico Rum created some concoctions that wowed the cocktail hour crowd. (Photo: Douglas Harrington)

There was a live auction, with Davis serving as auctioneer, that included a walk on role in "Big Maybelle: Soul of the Blues," a luxurious St. Bart's vacation provided by Wimco Villas, VIP Yankees tickets, golf with Richard Kind at The Bridge and the East Hampton Country Club, incredible getaways to New York City, Miami, New Orleans and the Dominican Republic, a catered cocktail party for 25 and a stay at the Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo.

This year's sponsors of "Rock the Dock" included Bai Brands, BMW Southampton, The Bridge, Bridgehampton Florist, Channing Daughters Winery, Dan's Papers, Diplomatico Rum, Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papgayo, Fresco by Scotto, Party Rentals Ltd, PCH Builders and Property Management, Peconic Landing, Searles Graphics, Soho Grand Hotel, Southampton Publick House, Sterling Affair Caterers, Suffolk County National Bank, The Today Show, Wimco Villas and Hamptons.com which has a year-round partnership with Bay Street. By the way, Diplomatico Rum was creating some concoctions that absolutely wowed the guests.

The overwhelming community support for Bay Street was reflected in the 75 silent auction items donated by local Hamptons restaurants and retail shops. There was literally something for everybody available for bid.

Over the past two decades Bay Street has produced some of the finest theatrical events in the East End including comedy, musical concerts and staged reading along with the outstanding live theatre that has resulted in several productions that have been taken to New York City. Bay Street is indeed one the Hamptons' precious cultural jewels that, as reflected by this year's overwhelming support of "Rock the Dock," is cherished by all who call this island paradise home, even if only for the weekends.

Sunny skies, bay breezes and enthusiastic supporters on the Long Wharf in Sag Harbor for "Rock the Dock" in support of Bay Street Theatre. (Photo: Douglas Harrington)

For more information, click here.

Frequently mistaken for the "Most Interesting Man in the World" from the Dos Equis commercials and the iconic gray-bearded Sean Connery, DMH is the Senior Contributing Editor at Hamptons.com. www.hamptons.com Hamptons HamptonsOnline HamptonsOnline

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