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Tina Fabrique and David M. Lutken to Headline Merrimack Repertory Theatre's 43rd Anniversary Gala

With a cheery spring motif, the festive evening will begin at 6 p.m. with cocktails, dinner, and a silent auction.

Tina Fabrique and David M. Lutken to Headline Merrimack Repertory Theatre's 43rd Anniversary Gala

Broadway performers Tina Fabrique (How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying) and David M. Lutken (Ring of Fire) will headline Merrimack Repertory Theatre's 43rd Anniversary Gala on Friday, June 17.

With a cheery spring motif, the festive evening will begin at 6 p.m. with cocktails, dinner, and a silent auction in the Hall of Flags in the adjoining Lowell Memorial Auditorium before transferring at 7:30 p.m. to a live auction and the performances in the theatre's home, Liberty Hall, 50 E. Merrimack Street. For tickets and information, visit www.mrt.org/gala43 or contact the Enterprise Bank Box Office at 978-654-4678.

"Our 43rd Annual Gala is a celebration of joyful live performance at Liberty Hall. We waited two years to gather with an audience, and this evening celebrates our audience, artists, and students," said Executive Director Butkas. "Over the last 24 months, we have found inventive ways to serve our community with plays created for video, commissions of new plays, remote education residencies, and our summer training program on Zoom. This event will raise funds to help us continue producing and commissioning plays, and supporting and teaching students."

The 43rd Anniversary Gala Committee includes Judith K. Benson, Committee Chair; Nancy L. Donahue, Board Chair; Karen Hartman; Stephen J. Irish; Susan Mitchell; Kate Reid; Len Rozamus; George Villaras; and Joanne Yestramski, Board President.

Sponsors include Nancy L. Donahue, Judy Benson, Enterprise Bank, Susan Mitchell & Jim Waldo, Stephen & Suzanne Irish, UMass Lowell, Jeanne D'Arc Credit Union, Jacqueline Moloney, and Chuck & Joanne Yestramski.

Fabrique, who performed at MRT in Jack Kerouac's The Haunted Life, is known nationally for her many years of playing Ella Fitzgerald on stage, as well as her recording of the theme song for "Reading Rainbow." Other Broadway/NY credits include Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk; 70 Girls 70; Gospel at Colonus; and the original Ella.

Lutken will lead the cast of Woody Sez: The Life and Music of Woody Guthrie June 8-26 at MRT. Other credits include Inherit the Wind and The Will Rogers Follies on Broadway and Woody Guthrie's American Song and The Portable Pioneer and Prairie Show Off-Broadway.

MERRIMACK REPERTORY THEATRE www.mrt.org

Merrimack Repertory Theatre (MRT) celebrates 43 years this season as the Merrimack Valley's professional theatre. With a steadfast commitment to new plays, MRT normally produces seven works, including several premieres, in the 279-seat Nancy L. Donahue Theatre at Liberty Hall.

Under the leadership of the Nancy L. Donahue Artistic Director Courtney Sale and Executive Director Bonnie J. Butkas, MRT strives to fulfill its mission to "create remarkable new and contemporary plays that bring joy to our art form while engaging, entertaining and enriching our community." The non-profit company guarantees that shows are accessible to audiences of all incomes; partners with businesses and other non-profits to fully engage the community; and contributes to the economic vitality of Lowell by attracting diverse audiences from throughout the region. MRT recently welcomed Free Soil Arts Collective as the theatre's first Company in Residence and Malika Oyetimein as the 2021-22 Artist in Residence.

MRT's production of Erma Bombeck: At Wit's End recently earned Boston Theatre Critics Association/Elliot Norton Award nominations for Best Solo Performance for Karen MacDonald and Best Design Team, Midsize Theatre, for Daniel Zimmerman, Scenic design; Teresa Snider-Stein, Costume Design; Joel Shier, Lighting Design; Scott Stauffer, Sound Design; and Kathy Wittman, Filmmaker.

Recent acclaimed productions include Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, the bestselling production in MRT's history, and The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley, both by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon; Cambodian Rock Band by Lauren Yee and KNYUM by Vichet Chum, works in celebration of Lowell's Cambodian community; The Haunted Life, a world premiere adaptation of Jack Kerouac's unfinished novel; the world premiere of The Rise and Fall of Holly Fudge by Trista Baldwin; and plays honoring the Black experience, including Until the Flood by Dael Orlandersmith and Nina Simone: Four Women by Christina Ham.


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