Weston Playhouse photo
Weston Playhouse members dry out props and costumes damaged by the Aug. 28 flood.
The Weston Playhouse Theatre Company in Vermont has received national coverage recently, both of its devastating flood damage from Tropical Storm Irene, and of the inspiring community efforts to help with the clean up.
Now a group of actors, musicians, designers, and stage managers are showing their love for Weston by holding a star-studded New York City benefit on Monday, Sept. 26.
The benefit concert is entitled “New York City Loves Vermont–Broadway Floods the Weston Playhouse with Love”, and will be performed at New World Stages in the heart of New York’s theatre district.
The event is organized entirely by a group of Weston alumni. “The Weston Playhouse has played a crucial role in the development of so many Broadway artists,” said co-producer of the event Sharon Wheatley. “It has been there for me and my family, and we want to be there now in its time of need. It’s a very special place.” Wheatley, a veteran of Broadway’s Avenue Q, shares the producer role with former Weston company manager Gretchen Margaroli. “The Playhouse staff is in the midst of a herculean clean-up effort,” says Margaroli. “They have their hands full there, so we want to do what we can here.”
Margaroli and Wheatley have gathered a growing list of theatre artists to appear in the one-night-only event, including Broadway notables like Adam Guettel, Sally Ann Howes, Christopher Lloyd, Cass Morgan, Kelli O’Hara, Mercedes Ruehl, and Emily Skinner. Updates to this list will follow in the days ahead.
The Weston Playhouse Theatre Company is in its 75th year, and had just completed a $700,000 renovation of its theatre building this spring, including a new orchestra pit, sound system, expanded dressing rooms, and costly contributions to a sprinkler system. The flood destroyed much of the new construction. Cost of the repairs are still being assessed, but are estimated to be well over $300,000.
In addition to the performances, there will be a raffle with an array of valuable prizes, from Broadway theatre tickets, to salon services, to unique items available nowhere else. In keeping with the Vermont theme, the first 100 people to arrive at the event will get a sample of genuine Vermont maple syrup from the Coombs Family Farms.
The event will be held at the New World Stages, 340 West 50th St. in Manhattan, between 8th and 9th avenues at World Wide Plaza. Doors open at 6 p.m. The first 100 people to arrive will get a sample of Vermont maple syrup.