The Ojai Playwrights Conference announced today additional stars to its 15th Anniversary Season Gala Benefit themed "Body and Soul: An OPC Cabaret" - A Musical and Theatrical Celebration of the Mystery, Magnificence and Madness of Living! Scheduled for Saturday, April 28, 2012, the Benefit begins at 5:30 pm at Matilija Auditorium with a dramatic and musical event created especially for this evening by OPC Artistic Director and Producer Robert Egan. The evening will honor Award-winning playwright Bill Cain and OPC Board Member and Award-winning actress Dana Delany.
The all-star cast for the Benefit now includes The Phantom of the Opera star Davis Gaines and "Queen of Cabaret" performer Andrea Marcovicci. Gaines and Marcovicci join Academy and Tony Award-winning actress Marcia Gay Harden (for film Pollack and theatre God of Carnage), USA Network Suits star Patrick J. Adams, two-time Emmy Award winning actress Megan Mullally (for Will & Grace), Emmy-nominated Parks & Recreation star Nick Offerman, Star Trek and Heroes star Zachary Quinto, Five-time Emmy nominated actor Noah Wyle, and others. Following the show, the festivities continue with the cast at St. Thomas Aquinas Hall with music, martinis, a gourmet dinner prepared by acclaimed chef Michael Hollingsworth, and a live auction featuring fabulous trips and entertainment packages. Comedian Conan O'Brien will be one of the celebrity guest auctioneers at the dinner and auction.
"The OPC has become one of the most acclaimed new play development programs in the country, and these amazing stars want to support our efforts," notes Robert Egan. "We raise a large percentage of our operating budget at this event and most of it goes to care and feeding of our many playwrights and actors who come to Ojai in the summer months."
Davis Gaines performed the title role in Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera more than 2,000 times, during his run on Broadway, in Los Angeles, and in San Francisco, (where he received the Bay Area Critics' Award for Best Actor). Subsequently, he was chosen by Hal Prince and Lloyd Webber to play the leading role in the world premiere of Whistle Down the Wind. Other Broadway and National Tour credits include Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera, Cornelius Hackl in Hello, Dolly! with Carol Channing, Camelot with Richard Burton andThe Best Little Whorehouse in Texas with Alexis Smith. Most recently, he appeared in Los Angeles in Man of La Mancha and 1776 (Musical Theatre West) and Parade with T.R. Knight (Mark Taper Forum), in addition toCamelot (Sacramento Music Circus), Side by Side by Sondheim (Rubicon Theatre/Pasadena Playhouse), Damn Yankees as Joe Hardy (directed by the legendary George Abbott), in Arsenic and Old Lace as Mortimer Brewster opposite Kate Reid, in The Rink with Lainie Kazan and in Two Into One with Tony Randall.
Andrea Marcovicci, known as "The Queen of Cabaret," has created over thirty nightclub acts, sold out the esteemed LICEU Opera House in Barcelona, as well as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and appeared at the White House. Her concert work, from coast to coast, includes appearances with multiple theatres, clubs and symphonies as well the Millennium celebration with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Andrea holds the record – an unprecedented 25 seasons - at the legendary Oak Room of the Algonquin Hotel and was the final performer to grace that stage. On screen she appeared in The Front and The Hand among other films, along with a myriad of made-for-TV movies. Andrea's latest film, Driving By Braille, is currently making the Film Festival rounds. TV guest roles include Arliss, Cybil, Taxi, Strong Medicine and General Hospital. Co-stars have included Woody Allen, Danny DeVito, Sir Michael Caine, and Sir John Gielgud.
Ticket options for the Show only are $90 (general seating)/$70 (back of house seating); $225 for the Show (preferred seating), Dinner and Auction; $2,000 the VIP Package for eight and $2,500 for the VIP Package for ten. VIP Packages includes preferred seating at the show, reserved table at the Benefit dinner, listing in program book, and a group photo with the cast. Tickets may be ordered online at www.ojaiplays.org. This event will sell out, so early ticket orders are encouraged.
Proceeds from the Benefit will benefit the Ojai Playwrights Conference, a non-profit organization whose mission is to develop unproduced plays of artistic excellence from diverse writers both emerging and established by promoting creative freedom and bold experimentation through a development process that values writers who focus on the compelling social, political and cultural issues of our time, and to nurture a new generation of playwrights through youth workshops. Each summer, playwrights from around the world converge in Ojai for a two-week, intensive in-residence workshop of their plays that culminates in public readings. The 15th Annual OPC Summer New Works Festival will take place August 7-12, 2012.