BUCKS COUNTY PLAYHOUSE GALA GOES VIRTUAL WITH SPECIAL GUEST CYNDI LAUPER
OCTOBER 24, 2020
ALL-NEW INTERVIEW WITH LAUPER AND PERFORMANCES FROM HER CAREER
HIGHLIGHT THE FUNDRAISING EVENT
THE PLAYHOUSE’S PANDEMIC CAMPAIGN
Photo: CYNDI LAUPER
New Hope, PA (October 13, 2020) – Bucks County Playhouse will stage its annual benefit gala as a starry online broadcast featuring special guest, Cyndi Lauper, on Saturday, October 24 at 7 pm. Entitled, “Bucks County Playhouse – At Home 2020: A Gala Celebration,” the virtual event replicates the Playhouse’s annual in-person celebration while allowing patrons to enjoy the festivities from the comfort and safety of their homes.
Heightening this year’s celebration, the Playhouse is offering packages that not only provide access to the online presentation, but also can include home-delivered gourmet picnic baskets featuring fare from Stella by Jose Garces and The Deck Restaurant at Bucks County Playhouse, and a pre-show Zoom sponsors’ cocktail hour with drop-ins by stars of stage and screen. Among the stars expected to appear are Meredith Baxter, Didi Conn, Santino Fontana, Michael Gross, Justin Guarini, Randy Harrison, Marilu Henner, Cheyenne Jackson, Linda Lavin, Marsha Mason, Laura Osnes, Sarah Paulson, Susan Sullivan, and Holland Taylor.
The gala, which is presented by Playhouse Artists, the 501©3 charity that supports the work of the Playhouse, also serves as a launch for the Playhouse’s Pandemic Campaign chaired by Lynn Breen and Paul Muller. It will also honor Nelson and Bette Pfundt, special friends of the Playhouse, for funding the preservation of the Bucks County Playhouse’s storied history through the establishment of the Nelson and Bette Pfundt Archive and for their support of technology initiatives including the upgrading of the Playhouse’s ticketing system.
“The Pandemic Campaign is designed to keep our core team of skilled professionals together while we continue our service to the community — expanding productions and programs online and readying the Playhouse to leap back onstage as soon as we can,” says Producing Director, Alexander Fraser. “In the eight years since its reopening, the Playhouse has, once again, become the shining heart of New Hope, bringing $10 million to our region’s economy in 2019. However, as a young nonprofit with no endowment, we must raise critical funding now to continue our work and the Gala is a big part of our campaign to ensure the Playhouse’s future.”
“We are incredibly grateful to Nelson and Bette Pfundt for their support of growing and digitizing our archive,” says Marvin Woodall, Chair of Playhouse Artists. “My wife Deann and I were honored to match their gift to bring the Playhouse’s antiquated box office systems into the 21st century and upgrade our internet sales capacity. It feels absolutely fitting that we are able to honor their support through this online celebration.”
The centerpiece of the online event is a musical presentation and all-new interview by Bucks County Playhouse Executive Producer Robyn Goodman with musical icon, Cyndi Lauper. Lauper will introduce several rarely seen performances of her musical hits and recall personal anecdotes from her ground-breaking career.
Cyndi Lauper is a Grammy, Emmy and Tony Award-winning artist with over 30 sterling years and global record sales in excess of 50 million albums. With her first album, “She’s So Unusual”, Lauper won a Grammy Award for Best New Artist and became the first female in history to have four top-five singles from a debut album. Since then, Lauper has released ten additional studio albums, been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and celebrated as a New York Times best-selling author. Overall, during her storied music career, Lauper has been nominated for 15 Grammy Awards, two American Music Awards, seven American Video Awards and 18 MTV Awards. In 2013, Cyndi Lauper became the first solo woman to win Best original score for her music and lyrics for “Kinky Boots.” Currently, Cyndi is writing the score for the Broadway adaptation of the 1988 feature film “Working Girl,” that Goodman and her partner Josh Fiedler are producing.
“When we first started planning our Gala, my friend Cyndi Lauper was the first entertainer who came to mind,” says Robyn Goodman, Executive Producer. “When our plans to bring her to the Playhouse could not be realized, I am thrilled that she took the time to sit with me for this revealing interview and bring her unique perspective on life and music to our 2020 Gala.”
The gala will highlight the nonprofit mission of Bucks County Playhouse, which includes its new musical development program, the Oscar Hammerstein Festival, and innovative education programs like the Student Theatre Festival, GirlSpeak, and the Playhouse Youth Company. Two programs that launched within the last year, the Playhouse Institute, which provides professional training to high school drama teachers, and “Bounce,” an education program that is currently working with 4th and 5th grade students in the Morrisville School District, have been developed partially with funds raised at previous galas.
Sponsors for the 2020 Gala include Ed and Lynn Breen, Gayle Goodman and Jim Searing, The Pfundt Foundation, and Sally and Harlan and Weisman as Marquee Sponsors. Vivian Banta and Robert Field, Adolf and Patricia Herst and an anonymous donor are Presenting Sponsors. The Bucks County Herald is Media Sponsor. Stella by Jose Garces is Gourmet Dinner Basket Sponsor. The Deck at Bucks County Playhouse is the Lobster Roll Dinner Sponsor and the Wine Sponsor is Unionville Vineyards. The 2020 season is sponsored by Bank of America.
The virtual gala is a ticketed event. The packages start at $600. Sponsorship packages range from $3,000 to $100,000 and offer a variety of attractive benefits. For more information, contact Scott Blacker, Director of Advancement at 267.740.2090 x107 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets also are available at the Playhouse’s website at www.BucksCountyPlayhouse.org.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: FHPR – 215-285-4868
Sharla Feldscher, #101, cell: 215-285-4868
Hope Horwitz, #102, cell: 215-760-2884
About Bucks County Playhouse
Bucks County Playhouse is a year-round, nonprofit theatre that has grown to become the largest cultural organization in the county with an annual audience of more than 80,000. Founded in 1939 in a converted 1790 gristmill, Bucks County Playhouse quickly became “the most famous summer theatre in America,” featuring a roster of American theatrical royalty including Helen Hayes, George S. Kaufman, Moss Hart, Kitty Carlisle, Angela Lansbury, Alan Alda, Tyne Daly, Bernadette Peters, and Liza Minnelli and remained in continuous operation until 2010. In 2012, the Playhouse re-opened after a multi-million-dollar restoration thanks to the efforts of the Bridge Street Foundation, the nonprofit family foundation of Kevin and Sherri Daugherty and in 2018, expansion continued with The Deck Restaurant and Bar, a 4,000 square foot Delaware-river facing addition to back of the Playhouse.
In 2014, Tony Award-winning producers Alexander Fraser, Robyn Goodman and Josh Fiedler took the helm of the Playhouse, and today the Playhouse has reclaimed its reputation of attracting Broadway and Hollywood artists. Its productions of “Company” starring Justin Guarini, and William Finn’s “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” were named by Wall Street Journal to its “Best of Theatre” list for 2015. In 2018, the Wall Street Journal again hailed the Playhouse and Artistic Associate Hunter Foster in its Best of the Year listings for its production of “42nd Street.” The 2017 season included four world premieres and audiences grew by over 34%. Box office record has been repeatedly broken by signature productions of “Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story,” “Steel Magnolias” directed by Marsha Mason, and “Million Dollar Quartet,” “42nd Street,” and “Guys & Dolls” directed by Hunter Foster. In 2019 the Playhouse’s production of “Mamma Mia!” directed by John Tartaglia and choreographed by Shannon Lewis, broke the box office records again.
The creative teams who come to create new productions at the Playhouse are among the most talented artists working in the professional theatre today and relish the opportunity to work on the historic stage where Grace Kelly, Robert Redford, and Jessica Walter began their careers.