2016 Spotlight Spectacular



Hundreds of guests honored Wimberly Award recipient Board Chair Carol G. Deane and celebrated the all-star cast from the Huntington’s hit production of A Little Night Music, while raising over $1,000,000 (with additional gifts still coming in) to support the Huntington’s renowned education and community programs at the Spotlight Spectacular on Monday, April 25. “We are here to ensure another year of access to the Huntington’s programs for thousands of young people,” said Managing Director Michael Maso. “The centerpiece of all our education programs, the place where opportunity begins and lives are changed, is our student matinee program.”

The celebration at the Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts began at 6pm with a cocktail reception. At 7:30pm, guests were seated for the program, which was kicked off by the cast of A Little Night Music singing “A Weekend in the Country.” A heated live auction lead by Managing Director Michael Maso featured exciting trips and unique experiences. Guests donated more than $200,000 to sponsor classes at 2016-2017 student matinees. Watch a video about the Huntington’s student matinee and other education programs at

The evening continued with the presentation of the Gerard and Sherryl Cohen Award for Excellence, which recognizes a Huntington production and administrative staff member. This year’s recipients were Costume Design Assistant Mary Lauve and Calderwood Rental Events Coordinator Katie Most. During the award presentation, Sherryl Cohen quoted nominations from Huntington staff members about Mary saying, “Those who know Mary and her meticulous efforts praise her hands-on approach as extraordinary.” Gerard Cohen continued saying, “The overriding goal of Katie’s work is to be assured that whatever appears on stage at our theaters meets the high standards of performance for which the Huntington is known. Katie is tirelessly molding students and fringe companies to meet those standards.”

Preceding the Cohen Award, Michael Maso presented Carol G. Deane with the Wimberly Award saying, “During her tenure as Chairman of the Board we have retired our debt and won a Tony Award – and thanks to her leadership and her unmatched personal generosity we are brilliantly positioned to take on the great challenges before us.”

“To me, the core, the essence of what the Huntington does is educate and inspire people of all ages from all walks of life through theatre,” said Carol G. Dean as she accepted the Wimberly Award on Monday. “I could spend an hour or more telling you stories of changed outcomes through theatre. I believe that theatre can shine a bright spotlight on what brings us together as a society: indeed, it can illuminate our common humanity and, help show us the very meaning of our existence. Theatre helps to take a collection of buildings filled with people and give it a soul, a life of its own, create a community instead of a dense jungle of crowded dwellings.”

Entertainment continued after dinner as Bobbie Steinbach treated guests to “I’m Still Here” from Follies. Haydn Gwynne and Stephen Bogardus reprised their performance of “Send in the Clowns,” and as a tribute to Carol G. Deane, Lauren Molina and Mike McGowan sang “Hostess with the Mostes’ on the Ball” from Call Me Madam. To end the evening, the cast of A Little Night Music brought everyone to their feet with a performance of “Side by Side/What Would We Do without You” from Company.

The Spotlight Spectacular was co-chaired by Neal Balkowitsch, Donald Nelson, and Jill Roberts. Event design was by Rafanelli Events, lighting and sound design was by High Output, rentals were provided by Be Our Guest, floral arrangements were provided by Winston Flowers, event printing was donated by Noble Ford Productions, and the event was catered by MAX Ultimate Food.

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