Asolo Rep to Host Annual Gala in March

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Asolo Rep to Host Annual Gala in March

Asolo Rep's Annual Gala: A Bollywood Ball will be held on Saturday, March 7 at The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota. The largest fundraiser of Asolo Rep's season, chaired by Mary Braxton-Joseph, Tammy Karp, Donna Koffman, and Elisabeth Waters, will begin at 6pm with a cocktail reception, silent auction and raffle, followed by a seated dinner, paddle raise, live music and dancing.

This year's theme celebrates Bollywood, the Indian film industry known for its melodramatic plots, colorful scenery, lively music, dance and romance. It's one of the largest centers of film production in the world and is based in the vibrant city of Mumbai.

"Bollywood, as a theme, is so visually stunning. It's hard to capture everything in just one evening, but our goal is to give guests a glimpse into this exciting world" said Asolo Rep Special Events Manager Laura Stuart Wood. "Guests can expect to see bold colors, grand performances, and even a custom Indian-inspired menu created by The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota's Banquet Chef Saravanan Appadurai. We want to present an authentic experience that celebrates Indian culture."

The musical entertainment will feature a Bollywood-inspired show with dancers and performers, along with the Atlanta-based 5-piece Indian band Jashn. Jashn delivers Bollywood classics while showcasing an ancient form of Indian classical music. This year's guest artists include Shivali Bhammer and Navin Kundra. Shivali is the UK's biggest devotional singer, and the only one to have been signed by major record label Sony Music in 2009. Navin is an award-winning artist, with music that combines Eastern and Western influences together with a contemporary and edgy sound that is uniquely and commercially progressive. He recently starred in a supporting role for a new Bollywood Action Feature Film, "COBRA."

All Gala proceeds will support the artists in Asolo Rep's 2019/20 season and the theatre's award-winning Education & Engagement programs, which help students develop an appreciation for the arts while gaining empathy and insight into the lives of others through experiencing, discussing and creating live theatre.

"My co-chairs Mary Braxton-Joseph, Tammy Karp, Elisabeth Waters and I hope you will join us for this year's event," said Gala Co-Chair Donna Koffman. "We have an entertaining evening planned with many opportunities for everyone to get involved. Whether you buy a raffle ticket, contribute to the paddle raise, or bid in the silent or live auction, your donation will support Asolo Rep's Education & Engagement programs. It's an honor to help ensure theatre arts education continues for future generations."

The theatre is also promoting two high-end raffle items including a private dinner for 8 people at Tandoor Fine Indian Cuisine and a Women's White Gold Diamond Watch. Raffle tickets are $100 each or 3 for $250 and will be sold during the Gala and before the Gala at Raffle winners will be selected at random on the evening of the Gala. Gala attendance is not required to participate in the raffle. Guests attending the Gala will be able to bid on one Live Auction item, a European Cultural Cruise sailing from Amsterdam to Barcelona in August. This experience was donated by Admiral Travel and Crystal Cruises, and is valued at nearly $15,000.

Immediately following the Gala, the theatre will host a late-night After Party at Lemon Tree Kitchen in downtown Sarasota from 10:30pm - 1am. Tickets are $50 and include a complimentary specialty drink, discounted cash bar, light bites, music and Bollywood dance lessons from DJ Pram and Priya.

There are still a limited number of tickets/tables available for the Gala. Tickets range from $400 - $1,000 and tables range from $4,000 - $10,000. For tickets and information, please contact Asolo Rep Special Events Manager Laura Stuart Wood at 941.351.9010 ext. 4712 or More information and online tickets are also available by visiting

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