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BWW Preview: NEIL BERG'S 100 YEARS OF BROADWAY Benefits Historic Lighthouse

The best of Broadway comes to Long Island on Wednesday, June 1 at 8 p.m., as Neil Berg's 100 Years of Broadway shines at the John W. Engeman Theater in Northport. The evening's special performance of this widely acclaimed musical revue, featuring a cast of Broadway stars accompanied by an all-star New York band, will benefit the Huntington Lighthouse Preservation Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to maintaining the 104-year old historic landmark.

Tickets for the benefit performance are available at two levels: Assistant Lighthouse Keepers ($100 donation) receive reserved seating and a thank you gift. The Lightkeeper level ($500 donation) includes a meet and greet with the cast (no photos/autographs), a cocktail reception (6 p.m - 7:30 pm) with open bar and passed hors d'oeuvres, reserved seating and a thank you gift.

The fundraising goal for the event is $80,000, which will help fill a $300,000 shortfall needed to support this season's planned structural work.

Adding to the evening's festivities is a silent auction that will feature unique items and experiences, including a ride on the News12 chopper over Manhattan or Long Island; an original oil painting of the Huntington Lighthouse by award-winning artist Denise Franzino (valued at over $3,000); a tugboat racing experience at the Great North River Tugboat Race and 2016 Competition; and an overnight stay in the historic Borden Flats Lighthouse in Fall River, MA.

"I've known Kevin O'Neill for about 20 years, and have tremendous admiration for his passion and his commitment to our community," said Pamela Setchell, president of the Huntington Lighthouse Preservation Society. "His generosity in hosting this event on our behalf is truly heartwarming, and we are looking forward to an incredible evening."

"The Huntington Lighthouse has been near and dear to me and my family since my childhood days growing up fishing on the Huntington waters," said Kevin O'Neill, owner of the John W. Engeman Theater. "It's not only vital to our boaters, it is a timeless symbol of the beautiful community that we live in. I'm happy to do my part to keep the light shining for generations to come."

For additional information or to reserve tickets, call the John W. Engeman Theater box office: 631.261.2900; email info@engemantheater.com or visit www.engemantheater.com/lighthouse.

About the Huntington Lighthouse Preservation Society

For more than a century, the Huntington Lighthouse has served as a trusted navigation aid to mariners, a treasured landmark for the community and an educational resource for visitors. But this unique Beaux Arts structure, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, once came close to demolition.

In 1985, The U.S. Coast Guard was prepared to tear down the crumbling structure and replace it with a utilitarian steel lighthouse. That's when a local group, Save Huntington's Lighthouse, was formed. Founded by Janis Harrington, the private group was the first in the country to successfully take over and restore an offshore lighthouse.

Since then, the nonprofit organization, now called the Huntington Lighthouse Preservation Society (HLPS), under the guidance of president Pamela Setchell, has raised funds for restoration work largely from donations and the help of volunteers.

A significant amount of additional work remains to fully repair the lighthouse. Its foundation is currently in a severely threatened state of deterioration. For more than five years, the Huntington Lighthouse Preservation Society has been planning the restoration work and raising funds to accomplish these vital repairs. The complexities of this project continue to unfold with respect to engineering, government permits, contractor selection and the overall cost of repairs, which has increased to $875,000 from original lower estimates.

HLPS has raised more than $325,000, which has enabled it to secure a $250,000 State of New York matching grant. That still leaves a gap of $300K, which needs to be raised quickly in order to complete phase one of the project.

About Neil Berg's 100 Years of Broadway

100 Years of Broadway recreates the greatest moments from the finest shows of the century featuring the actual stars of shows such as The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, CATS, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Jekyll & Hyde. These amazing performers light up the stage with songs from the hit shows in which they starred. Neil Berg presents brilliantly revived arrangements of Broadway classics as well as thrilling numbers from Broadway's newest hit shows.

About The John W. Engeman Theater

The John W. Engeman Theater is Long Island's only year-round professional theater, casting its actors directly from the Broadway talent pool. It stands on the site of Northport's original movie house from 1912. After a series of owners and renovations, long-time Huntington resident and entrepreneur Kevin O'Neill and his wife, Patti, purchased the theater in 2006 and in tribute to Patti's brother, Chief Warrant Officer Four John William Engeman, who was killed in Iraq on May 14, 2006, the O'Neills renamed the theater the John W. Engeman Theater at Northport.

PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy of Neil Berg's 100 Years of Broadway



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