The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey will kick off its year-long 50th Anniversary celebration with a fundraiser gala on Saturday, March 24 beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Hilton Short Hills, in Short Hills, New Jersey. In addition to kicking off the 50thAnniversary Season, the event will pay tribute to the half-century history of The Shakespeare Theatre from its founding in Cape May as the New Jersey Shakespeare Festival, to its status now as one of the most prominent Shakespeare theatres in the nation and the longest running on the East coast. The annual gala is the Theatre’s major fundraising event of the year, with hundreds of patrons, artists and community leaders participating. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 973-408-3761 or visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org.
“For a not-for-profit theatre company to reach the venerable age of 50 is a great achievement, and we are very much looking forward to beginning our year-long celebration at our acclaimed gala,” said Bonnie J. Monte, artistic director of The Shakespeare Theatre since 1990.
The gala evening begins at 6:30 p.m. with cocktails, delicious passed hors d’oeuvres, and sumptuous dishes from carving and sauté stations, while Gala attendees mingle with guest artists and performers, and shop the spectacular silent auction that offers scores of unique items including clothing, jewelry, getaways, artwork, unusual experiences, and theatrical memorabilia. Afterwards, guests will enjoy the Shakespeare Theatre’s renowned cabaret performance with music and comedy sketches featuring notable performers from the stage and screen including Peri Gilpin from TV’s Fraiser; Robin de Jesus from Broadway’s La Cage Aux Folles, In the Heights andRent; Jazz favorite Gregory Generet; and Tamara Tunie from NBC’s Law & Order: SVU; Broadway veterans Donna Bullock andElena Shaddow; cabaret luminary Baby Jane Dexter, and many more.
Included in the silent auction are a wide array of exciting and exclusive items including a Day in Rehearsal with the Artistic Director, Metropolitan Opera Dress Circle tickets, a golf outing at Baltusrol, a one week stay at a Stone Harbor holiday home, a cocktail party for 20 at J.M. Stringer Gallery, as well as one-of-a-kind artwork, jewelry and handcrafted items.
One lucky bidder will have the exclusive opportunity to appear on stage at The Shakespeare Theatre. The winning guest will join the cast on stage for one performance of the season closer Trelawny of the Wells. Many other exciting items can be viewed prior to the event on the Shakespeare Theatre’s website at www.ShakespeareNJ.org.
Gala tickets range from $295 to $1,000 per person and there are numerous sponsorship opportunities available. A portion of each ticket is tax-deductible to the fullest extent provided by law. For more information or reservations, call 973-408-3164 or visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org.
The acclaimed Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is an independent, professional theatre company located on the Drew University campus. One of the leading Shakespeare theatres in the nation, serving 100,000 adults and children annually, it is New Jersey’s largest professional theatre company dedicated solely to Shakespeare’s canon and other world classics. Through its distinguished productions and education programs, the company strives to illuminate the universal and lasting relevance of the classics for contemporary audiences.