Ripley, Oscar, Butler, Hicks and More to Perform at Arena's Community Benefit March 16

News   Ripley, Oscar, Butler, Hicks and More to Perform at Arena's Community Benefit March 16
 
Arena Stage is presenting a starry annual benefit on March 16, hoping to raise over one-third of the funds necessary to run the Washington, DC, troupe's Community Engagement programs.

Billed as Arena Stage in Oz, the original musical revue written and directed by Arena artist Michael Bobbitt is inspired by "The Wizard of Oz" and The Wiz, and will feature Arena Stage performers Alice Ripley (Next to Normal); E'Faye Butler, Marva Hicks and Natasha Yvette Williams from this spring's Crowns; Diego Pietro (Cabaret, Damn Yankees) and Brad Oscar (The Mystery of Irma Vep, Cabaret).

The show is emceed by The Honorable William T. Newman, Jr. Joining the all-star performers are political notables Councilmember Jack Evans, Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr., Representative Jim Moran, Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and Councilmember Tommy Wells.

The Community progams of the famed not-for-profit company "educate, excite and enrich the lives of over 20,000 students from across the region."

This year's event is at Arena Stage in Crystal City, the troupe's temporary home in the Crystal City neighborhood of Arlington, VA. Co-chairs are Angela Fox, president/CEO, Crystal City Business Improvement District and Mitchell N. Schear, president, Vornado/Charles E. Smith.

The evening will begin with a Taste of Crystal City dinner reception and live auction at 2121 Crystal Drive, 8th Floor. Signature items that will be offered in a live auction format include a springtime New York getaway weekend including a two-night hotel stay, tickets to Wicked and lunch at the Bryant Park Grill with "Project Runway' star Tim Gunn; exclusive use of box seats to a Washington Nationals game; and more.

At the conclusion of the dinner reception and live auction, guests will move to the Arena Stage theatre to enjoy the show.

Before the show, two awards will be given to deserving members of the Arena Stage and DC-area arts community: The American Voice Award and The American Artist Award.

The American Voice Award, "established to honor individuals recognized as both advocates for the arts and leaders who articulate all that is passionate and profound in the American spirit," will be presented to outgoing Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, Dana Gioia.

The American Artist Award "honors an artist who has made a significant contribution to American theatre and who represents all that is passionate, exuberant, deep and dangerous in the American spirit," and will be given posthumously to Robert "Bob" Alexander, founder and 30-year artistic director for Living Stage, Arena's community outreach theatre. He died Feb. 10, 2008.

Single tickets for this event start at $250. For more information contact Sarah Denhardt at sdenhardt@arenastage.org or call (202) 554-9066 extension 266.

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