Maybe she's not a first lady of the theatre, but Sharon Stone, the star of "Basic Instinct" and "Sphere," will emcee the American Conservatory Theatre's Oct. 1 benefit, "Starry Starry Night." She's not the only Hollywood big timer on the San Francisco company's list, either; Winona Ryder, a former student of A.C.T.'s conservatory, is the event's honorary chair.
Following a cocktail reception at Victor's Place, followed by sit-down dinner in Alexandra's, the "Starry Starry Night" will shine with performances from musical theatre, cabaret and opera singers, including TV's Malcolm Gets, the original Scarlet Pimpernel and a former A.C.T. student Douglas Sills, Tony Award winner Nancy Dussault, Ragtime's Jim Corti and Kathy Widner, Grammy Award-winning composer and singer Edwin Hawkins, singer-songwriter Amanda McBroom, San Francisco Opera's Nmon-Ford [sic] Levine and Lisa Vroman. Charles Randolph-Wright directs the event with Peter Maleitzke as musical director.
Stone will also host an auction of theatre-related items in the Imperial Suite of the Westin St. Francis Hotel.
A.C.T.'s conservatory, sole beneficiary of "Starry Starry Night," serves 3,000 students a year under head Melissa Smith. The first U.S. acting program not associated with a college or university to award a masters of fine arts degree, the conservatory has produced several well-known artists including Annette Bening, Benjamin Bratt, Danny Glover and Denzel Washington.
Tickets for the benefit are $500 for premium admission; standard is $350. For information and reservations, call (415) 439-2308. -- By Christine Ehren