Musical Benefit Raises $60K for Shakespeare Training Programs

Karmine Alers and Ryan Link (Photo by Kevin Sprague)

Karmine Alers and Ryan Link (Photo by Kevin Sprague)

(LENOX , Mass.) – Broadway in the Berkshires, a special one-night event this past Monday featuring Broadway talent performing numbers from beloved Broadway musicals, raised over $60,000 to benefit Shakespeare & Company’s internationally acclaimed Education and Training Programs. An enthusiastic crowd of over 350 people enjoyed a wide range of songs and medleys from hit Broadway productions including “So In Love” from Kiss Me Kate and “Impossible Dream” from Man of La Mancha. The event was followed by a post-performance dinner reception.

Producer and company member, Deborah Grausman (actor and founder of Berkshire Musical Theater Workshop) assembled an all-star cast and creative team for the one-night event. Broadway’s Chip Zien (Into the Woods, Les Miserables, The Country Girl) was the host, and director

BSO cellist Owen Young with Deborah Grausman (photo Kevin Sprague)

BSO cellist Owen Young with Deborah Grausman (photo Kevin Sprague)

Sam Scalamoni (Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Lestat) and music director Paul Staroba (A Little Night Music, Next to Normal, Grey Gardens) headed up the creative team.

The cast of Broadway in the Berkshires featured Rachel de Benedet, Peter Mazurowski, Kearran Giovanni, Ryan Link, Karmine Alers, Erik Liberman, Brian Charles Rooney, Adam Alexander, Alexis Hightower, Deborah Grausman and Eleni Sophia. Rounding out the cast were Shakespeare & Company members Bill Barclay, Shawn Cody, Paul D’Agostino and David Joseph. Songs from the new musicals The Water Dream by Shawn Cody and Women of Athens by Eleni Sophia were also featured.

The musicians headed up by music director and pianist Paul Staroba were Owen Young, cellist for the Boston Symphony Orchestra and local percussionist Chris Mattoon. Kat West stage-managed the performance. All of the actors, the creative team, the musicians, stage managers, and running crew generously donated their time and talents for this benefit. The gowns that the women wore were donated by Casablanca in Lenox, Mass., and a pair of tickets for the hot new Broadway musical, The Book of Mormon, sold in a live auction for $1,900.

Chip Zien (photo Kevin Sprague)

Chip Zien (photo Kevin Sprague)

“Simply a fantastic night!” says Shakespeare & Company artistic director Tony Simotes. “Deborah and her team of talented performers pulled out all the stops to make this one of our most successful benefits to date. We were delighted to have this brilliant cast perform here at Shakespeare & Company. Shakespeare & Company is all about artistic excellence, and seeing such a talented group of actors donating their time to help support the next generation of actors who are coming up through our Education and Training Programs touches me deeply.”

“I couldn’t have been more thrilled with the event,” says actor/producer Deborah Grausman. “It went off without a hitch! We raised $60,000 ($10,000 more than our goal) and I am extremely grateful to our fantastic host, Chip Zien, our exceptional director, Sam Scalamoni, our talented music director, Paul Staroba and our invaluable stage manager, Kat West, who all helped me pull this brilliant performance together with only four hours of rehearsal. What a dream it was to work with the company of Broadway in the Berkshires; everyone checked their egos at the door (along with their umbrellas and rain slickers), and we were all focused on two things: creating a captivating and entertaining performance and raising money for Shakespeare & Company’s Education and Training Programs.”

 

 

 

 

 

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