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by BWW News Desk
Tony and Drama Desk Award winner and theatre and television star Kelly Bishop (best known for her roles in A Chorus Line, Dirty Dancing, Becky Shaw, and "Gilmore Girls") will host the Huntington Theatre Company's 2009 Spotlight Spectacular! gala benefit on Monday, May 4, 2009 at the Sheraton Boston Hotel and Towers. The evening will feature musical performances by Grammy Award-winning pop icon Maureen McGovern ("The Morning After") and OBIE and Theatre World Award winner Euan Morton.
Proceeds from Spotlight Spectacular! support the Huntington's programs, including its award-winning youth, education, and community initiatives. Last year the event raised more than $700,000.
This year's event honors John Cornish, Co-Trustee of the Calderwood Charitable Foundation, which has generously supported the Huntington, as well as many of Greater Boston's other leading cultural organizations. Cornish was the driving force behind the Huntington's naming grant for the creation in 2004 of the first new theatre building in Boston in more than 75 years - the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts.
Chaired by Huntington Trustee Carol Deane and Huntington Overseer Neal Balkowitsch, Spotlight Spectacular! will feature an elegant cocktail reception where guests can bid on unique silent auction items while enjoying hors d'oeuvres and mingling with high-profile VIPs including stars of recent and upcoming Huntington productions. A seated dinner, live auction, and entertainment follow.
Among the special events, presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin (Team of Rivals) will introduce Sebastien Lewis, a student at the Codman Academy Public Charter School, a Huntington education partner school, who delivered Abraham Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address" at the Massachusetts State House on the 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth last February. The partnership between the Huntington and Codman Academy is a core activity of the Huntington's education programs.
An online auction, now open on www.huntington.cmarket.com, allows Huntington patrons and friends to bid on exciting auction items prior to the event. Among the items are Red Sox/Yankees tickets, a tour of the "America's Test Kitchen" set, the opportunity to serve as a Boston Celtics ball boy or ball girl, beer for a year, and much more. The live auction at the event will feature a VIP trip to the Tony Awards, a walk-on role in the Huntington's upcoming production of Pirates!, a Red Sox Executive Suite for 22, and a private meal prepared by Chef Barbara Lynch in the winner's home.
"Spotlight Spectacular!" tickets sold out last year. Table prices range from $7,500 to $25,000 this year and individual tickets are $500 and $1,500. For more information about the event, to sponsor a table, or to purchase tickets, contact Michelle Williams at 617 273-1536 or MWilliams@huntingtontheatre.bu.edu.