The Off-Broadway institution LaMaMa Experimental Theater Club will hold a benefit party on Oct. 21 to commemorate its 40th anniversary. The company will donate 25 percent of the proceeds to a relief fund for the company of Engine 33, Ladder 9. The firehouse, which has been La MaMa's neighbor for 31 years, lost ten of its member in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
"In spite of the many fire code violations we have had," said La MaMa artistic director Ellen Stewart, "our brothers in that firehouse have helped La MaMa exist. They have been vigilant but fair, and whenever there was something that simply had to be dealt with, they gave us the time to deal with it." Stewart added that she wished the eternally strapped-for cash theatre could contribute more that 25 percent.
The event will take place at La MaMa's Annex Theater at 66 E. 4th Street. Festivities, which include dinner, wine, entertainment, dancing and surprise guests, will begin at 6 PM and run for the next four years.
Tickets range from $50 to $100. For more information, call (212) 475 7710.
La MaMa was a cornerstone of the Off-Off-Broadway movement of the early sixties. It nurtured the talents of such playwrights as Sam Shepard, Lanford Wilson and Jean-Claude Van Itallie, as well as artists such Jim Neu, Amy and David Sedaris and Ping Chong. In recent years, it has presented mainly foreign acts from Europe and Asia. —By Robert Simonson