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Bay Street Theater’s 23rd Annual Summer Gala Celebrates The "New Bay Street"

Lindsay Andarakis

Steven Schwartz and Patina Miller. (Photo: Lenny Stucker)

Longtime patrons of the theater and the arts, Christine Wächter-Campbell, Bill Campbell, Pia Zankel and Jimmy Zankel, chaired Bay Street Theater's 23rd Annual Summer Gala on Saturday, July 12, 2014. The soiree, which commemorated the "New Bay Street," took place at the Long Wharf in Sag Harbor. Proceeds from the soiree benefited Bay Street's Scott Schwartz New Directions Fund, which supports many new programming initiatives as well as educational offerings. The expanded educational initiatives include free student tickets for this fall's Literature Live, which will present To Kill A Mockingbird this year.

During this year's benefit, guests enjoyed a delicious farm-to-table dinner prepared by Hamptons Chef, Peter Ambrose, danced to the Nancy Atlas Project Band and enjoyed live entertainment by Broadway stars, Tony award-winning actress and singer Patina Miller, and Obie award winner, actress and singer, Tovah Feldshuh, who also acted as celebrity auctioneer, during thrilling live and silent auctions. Christine Cadarette accompanied Feldshuh on the piano.

"Our gala was a very successful night of bright stars both from above and inside the tent," remarked the Executive Director of Bay Street, Tracy Mitchell. "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."

Kate Burton, Sheldon Hornick and April Gornik. (Photo: Barry Gordin)

This year, the Arts Visionaries Honoree awards were awarded to actress Kate Burton, artist April Gornik and lyricist Sheldon Harnick by the actor, author, producer and director Bob Balaban, playwright, screenwriter and novelist Marsha Norman, and actor and star of Travesties, Richard Kind.

After the awards, there was a silent auction display in the cocktail tent that was staged in the style of a backstage setting at the theater. When the cocktail hour finished, guests were surprised with a flash mob dance event that was choreographed by Wendy Seyb, and featured dancers, Jeremiah Ginn, Jessica Kennedy, Ashley Haycock, Daphne Lee, Megan MacPhee, Crystal Rodriguez and Sidney Erik Wright. Guests followed the flash mob dancers into the vibrant dinner tent. During the meal, inspiring speeches were delivered by Bay Street's Artistic Director, Scott Schwartz, and Bay Street's Executive Director, Tracy Mitchell that highlighted Bay Street's stimulating new projects that include, 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 16th (free to the community) and 17th (VIP benefit), Blackout at Bay Street, a new late night performance event launching this summer. 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 the 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."

Lance Gotko, Tracy Mitchell and Paul Caddell. (Photo: Barry Gordin)

The live auction was led by guest auctioneer, Tovah Feldshuh, and guests were able to bid on prizes that included two VIP tickets to Broadway's If/Then, which included a meet and greet with Tony award winning actress, Idina Menzel, a walk on role in Bay Street's main stage production, My Life is A Musical, which will run from Tuesday, July 29 through Sunday, August 31, a one-week stay at a luxurious St. Bart's Wimco Villa; a stay in a Canopy Suite at the Four Seasons Costa Rica and golf at The Bridge with Richard Kind.

Other special guests of the evening included Bay Street Theater's Board of Trustees, 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 and Mary Jane Marcassiano.

The evening was made possible and so memorable thanks to the help of the local community. Bridgehampton Florist donated flowers, 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 and Catering, Pierre's Restaurant, Searles Graphics, Soho Grand Hotel, Suffolk County National Bank, Tamara Comolli, The Port of Egypt, Wimco Villas, Wölffer Estate Vineyard and Worth. Media sponsors included Dan's Papers, Edible East End and Hamptons Magazine.

Bay Street is located at 1 Bay Street in Sag Harbor. For more information, call 631-725-9500 or visit www.baystreet.org.


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