(BOSTON) — Huntington Theatre Company raised more than $1,005,000 at last night’s Spotlight Spectacular gala honoring longtime supporters Trustee Judith Krupp and her husband Douglas and visionary Our Town director David Cromer. The celebratory event at the Boston Park Plaza Castle was attended by more than 500 guests and featured entertainment from Broadway stars Laura Osnes and Santino Fontana (the prince and title character from Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella), cast members from Cromer’s acclaimed Huntington production of Our Town, and a rousing sneak peek of The Jungle Book, which opens at the Huntington in September.
“Our job in the theatre is to bring people together to celebrate our common humanity,” Huntington Managing Director Michael Maso said as he welcomed the guests. “Tonight we celebrate this value with passion and commitment and artistry and joy.” Acknowledging the difficult events of the past week in Boston, he said, “This is a night of celebration. In addition to celebrating Judi and Douglas and David, by coming here tonight, you are celebrating the strength and resilience of this great city.”
Derrick Trumbly and Emily Skeggs from Cromer’s Huntington staging of Our Town surprised him with a performance of Stephen Sondheim’s “Barcelona,” rewritten as “Cromaloma.” “You have truly arrived when they put your name in a Sondheim song in a benefit,” he remarked. He accepted the Wimberly Award along with a bouquet of Twizzlers, a beloved rehearsal snack food.
“I have never seen a director catch fire with our Boston acting community the way David has,” said Artistic Director Peter DuBois as he introduced Cromer. “We offer him an artistic home where he has the producers, the production staff, the administrative team, and arguably most critically the actors to help put his ideas into flesh. This is what you’re supporting,” DuBois told the crowd, “because culture costs money, cultural leadership costs more, and when directors like David Cromer come to the Huntington and partner with our community of artists, we are leading from Boston.”
The Krupps were celebrated by Broadway stars Fontana and Osnes who performed “Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful” from Cinderella, followed by Cole Porter’s “You’re the Top” updated with 21st century lyrics by Robert Berliner. Upon receiving the Wimberly Award, Judi Krupp said, “We come together as an affirmation of life, a testament to the strength and resilience of the human spirit, and a recognition of how blessed we are to live in this precious democracy, and especially at this time, this remarkable city of Boston. Douglas and I are so honored to receive the Wimberly Award. The power of theatre to fill the soul, touch our hearts, and engage the mind, is what is so compelling. It is a delight and honor to be a part of making great theatre.”
Late in the evening, the crowd cheered loudly as Maso announced the total raised by the event, borrowing a recent quote from Boston Red Sox Designated Hitter David Ortiz as he proclaimed his love for Boston.
Huntington Trustee Susan B. Kaplan, who helped to establish the annual Spotlight Spectacular and chaired the first event in 2003, served as event Chair. Nancy & Mark Belsky and Liz & George Krupp chaired the Leadership Committee, and Deborah Lewis chaired the auction. The 2013 Spotlight Spectacular also featured a cocktail reception, seated dinner, silent and live auctions, and an online auction at huntingtontheatre.org/auction that continues through Thursday, April 25 at 8pm.
ABOUT THE HUNTINGTON
Since its founding in 1982, the Huntington Theatre Company has developed into Boston’s leading theatre company. Bringing together superb local and national talent, the Huntington produces a mix of groundbreaking new works and classics made current. Led by Artistic Director Peter DuBois and Managing Director Michael Maso, the Huntington creates award-winning productions, runs nationally renowned programs in education and new play development, and serves the local theatre community through its operation of the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. The Huntington is in residence at Boston University. For more information, visit huntingtontheatre.org.