What better way to inaugurate a brand new performance troupe called "Theatre Outrageous" than with a benefit performance featuring Harvey Fierstein? That's what will happen April 7 when the newly formed theatre company will hold a performance and benefit auction at New York's Union Square Theatre on East 17th Street.
Other celebrities are expected to attend, especially since honorary benefit committee members include Fierstein, Craig Lucas, Marla Trump, Anne Meara, Blair Brown, Rosie O'Donnell and John Raitt, who may or may not appear. Definitely scheduled to appear are the little ousted Annie herself, Joanna Pacitti; cartoonist Doug Marlette, male soprano Shuqueda, stand-up comedian Monteria Ivey, public advocate Mark Green, and the debate team from Stuyvesant High School.
At the benefit, the Outrageous troupe will feature a debate employing "the words of Shakespeare, the music of Sondheim, the comedy of politicians and the logic of children." Items at the auction will include a Grease! costume and donations from Victor/Victoria, Stomp, Jekyll & Hyde and such celebrities as Al Franken and Barbara Eden.
"The idea of Theatre Outrageous is to look at social and political issues from the heart," says spokesperson Jamie Heinlein. Each season, the company will illuminate one aspect of the human condition from diverse viewpoints. The first season will concentrate on "life choices," such as euthanasia, abortion and lifestyle choice. Kenneth Mitchell, who teaches at Lincoln Center Institute and has worked at Manhattan Theatre Club, Circle Rep and FL's Asolo Theatre serves as artistic director of the company. General Manager Lynn Laurence comes from the legal management staff of Sony Entertainment and Time Warner. Development Director Sarah Brockus worked for Clinton/Gore `92 as well as the Museum of Fine Arts - Houston.
"This is not just a bunch of college kids making a theatre company," Heinlein told Playbill On-Line. "All these people are very established, with connections in the business and political world. They hope to do political issues but in a positive way. We were joking that an upcoming press release might read, `Republicans are allowed in this theatre -- and that's a good thing!'"
For tickets ($50 donation) and information on the April 7 "Outrageous Proposal" benefit for Theatre Outrageous, call (212) 726-3588.