Guests Evacuated After Support Beam Gives Way at Starry Soho Rep Gala

By Adam Hetrick
April 1, 2014

Guests in attendance at the spring fundraising gala for the Off-Broadway theatre company Soho Rep, which took place March 31 at the Angel Orensanz Foundation, were unexpectedly evacuated when a support beam gave way, causing a portion of the building's floor to sag, according to New York Magazine.



The New York Fire Department arrived on the scene shortly after 7:15 PM when a loud crack was heard throughout the venue; a support beam on the second floor balcony have given way at the 19th-century synagogue on Manhattan's Lower East Side.

The gala boasted such special guests and participants as host Gretchen Mol, Bobby Cannavale, Marisa Tomei, Richard Lewis, Marin Ireland, Bill Irwin, Steve Earle, Todd Almond, Eisa Davis and Amber Gray.

Tickets for the gala, which raises funds for the non-profit theatre company, ranged $500-$5000 per table.

While the evacuation scuttled a live auction planned to raise additional funds for the organization, the celebration did briefly continue outside the venue with a curbside performance by some of the evening's musical guests.

Soho Rep board chair Jon Dembrow, who was the evening's honoree, told New York Magazine, "I'm heartbroken. This is very damaging to the organization."

Soho Rep posted the following message on its Facebook page: "Thank you everyone for your amazing outpourings of support last night. It is so inspiring to feel such love and generosity in a time of crisis. Thanks also to all the artists and supporters who were in attendance, and if you have any videos or photos from last night's amazing spontaneous live celebration, we wanna see them!"

Representatives for Soho Rep did not provide an official statement beyond the Facebook post, but did state that the organization was hoping to reschedule another celebration to honor Mr. Dembrow.

Soho Rep's upcoming production will be Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' An Octoroon, which begins performances April 23.

Visit SohoRep.org.