Broadway-Bound COME FROM AWAY Concert Performance to Headline La Jolla Playhouse's 2017 Gala
Highlighting the event will be a one-night-only concert presentation of The Playhouse-born, Broadway-bound musical Come From Away. The musical had its world-premiere at La Jolla Playhouse in 2015, where it played to overwhelming critical and audience acclaim, winning six San Diego Critics' Circle Awards. The show then went on to Seattle Repertory Theatre, DC's Ford's Theatre and Toronto's Royal Alexandra Theatre, breaking box office records in each city. Gala guests will have the rare opportunity to experience this exhilarating production before it starts previews on Broadway on February 18, 2017.
The Come From Away concert will be performed by the Broadway-bound cast, most of whom originated their roles in the world-premiere La Jolla Playhouse production, including Petrina Bromley, Jenn Colella (Playhouse's Chaplin), Geno Carr, Joel Hatch, Rodney Hicks, Chad Kimball (Playhouse's Memphis), Caesar Samayoa, Lee MacDougall, Q. Smith, Astrid Van Wieren, Sharon Wheatley, along with newcomer Kendra Kesselbaum, who appeared in the Seattle Repertory Theatre production.
The Gala festivities will also entail a special Spotlight Tribute to Artistic Director Christopher Ashley in honor of his ten years of vision and leadership at The Playhouse. The tribute will feature a performance of songs from acclaimed Playhouse productions during Ashley's tenure, among them Xanadu, Side Show and the Tony Award-winning musical Memphis.
"La Jolla Playhouse is at the forefront of American Theatre as it continually breaks new ground with thought-provoking, surprising and always engaging work," remarked Lynelle Lynch, Playhouse Trustee and Immediate Past Board Chair. "We are deeply honored to co-chair this spectacular event in support of such an inspirational theatre, as well as the dynamic leadership of Artistic Director Christopher Ashley, who has put his indelible stamp on this institution and its impact on the local and national theatre scene."
The evening will begin with an exclusive VIP reception for top-tier sponsors and donors, offering a chance to mingle with Playhouse Artistic Director and Come From Away director Christopher Ashley and Come From Away co-creators David Hein and Irene Sankoff. Following the reception will be a sumptuous dinner, during which guests will enjoy the Spotlight Tribute Performance honoring Mr. Ashley. After dinner, guests will be treated to the command concert performance of Come From Away. The evening will cap off with the Broadway-Bound Cast Party, where patrons can mix and mingle with the cast of Come From Away.
The Tony Award-winning La Jolla Playhouse is internationally-renowned for creating some of the most exciting and adventurous work in American theatre, through its new play development initiatives, its innovative Without Walls series, artist residencies and commissions, including BD Wong, Daniel Beaty and Kirsten Greenidge. Currently led by Artistic Director Christopher Ashley and Managing Director Michael S. Rosenberg, The Playhouse was founded in 1947 by Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire and Mel Ferrer, and reborn in 1983 under the artistic leadership of Des McAnuff, La Jolla Playhouse has had 25 productions transfer to Broadway, garnering 35 Tony Awards, among them Jersey Boys, Memphis, The Who's Tommy, Big River, as well as Billy Crystal's 700 Sundays and the Pulitzer Prize-winning I Am My Own Wife, both fostered as part of The Playhouse's Page To Stage Program.
Pictured: The Broadway-bound cast of La Jolla Playhouse's world-premiere musical Come From Away, pictured here in a concert performance of the show in Gander, Newfoundland this past October. The same cast will come together again to perform this special one-night-only concert version of the award-winning musical before they head to New York at The Playhouse's annual Gala on Saturday, February 4, 2017.