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Goodspeed Gala

Goodspeed Gala

THURSDAY, OCT 29, 2020

7:30pm EDT

Shakin' the Blues Away: A Virtual Gala Concert for Goodspeed is going to be an event that you won’t want to miss. Premiering on October 29, this moving and uplifting evening of song and dance was filmed throughout the Goodspeed Opera House and features performances from an incredibly talented cast including Rashidra Scott, Alysha Umphress, Gizel Jimenez, Klea Blackhurst, Nicholas Ward, and Bryan Thomas Hunt and Kelly Sheehan.

Members who renew by October 23rd will receive a free ticket to the event. For all others, it’s a $25 donation to attend. There will be opportunities throughout the entire month of October to make a gift to Shakin’ the Blues Away – and all gifts will be matched dollar for dollar by the Scripps Family Fund for Education and the Arts. This fundraising event is vital to the future of Goodspeed Musicals and we hope that it will be a beacon of musical theatre hope and joy during the pandemic.

We hope that this curated night of song will be one that helps us all create new memories in our beloved Opera House and hopefully help sustain us until we can be together again.

PERFORMERS  |  HOW TO WATCH  |  BECOME A SPONSOR  |  GALA SPONSORS


HOW TO WATCH

Shakin' the Blues Away will premiere on October 29 at 7:30pm EDT. Can't make it that night? Want to watch it again? The video will be available to watch for an entire week after it premieres.

Unlike previous Galas, there is no limit on attendees—thousands of Goodspeed members and musical theatre lovers from around the world can participate in this exciting event from their own homes. There are a few ways you can get your link watch:

RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP

Current Goodspeed Members can renew their membership by October 23 and receive a free ticket to our virtual Gala. You'll receive your Membership Renewal Packet in the mail in the coming weeks. Once you've sent back your renewal form, called the Box Office to renew, or renewed online, you'll automatically be on our Gala guest list. We'll send you an acknowledgement email that includes a link to register for your free Gala ticket.

Renew Membership Button

BECOME A MEMBER

If you're not already a Goodspeed Member, you can become one by October 23 to receive your free ticket to our virtual Gala. For as little as $65, you'll get all the great benefits of being a Member, plus you'll automatically be on our Gala guest list! We'll send you an acknowledgement email that includes a link to register for your free Gala ticket.

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BUY A TICKET - JUST $25

Not interested in becoming a Member? You can purchase a ticket for your household for just $25. Each ticket will give you a unique link that will allow access to only one device at a time. If you plan to watch on multiple devices in different rooms or households, you will need to purchase one ticket per device. If you plan on watching with a group on the same screen, please consider chipping in to purchase tickets for all those who will be enjoying the concert.

Buy Tickets

BECOME A SPONSOR

A Gala sponsorship is the perfect chance to reward employees or clients with a free night of Goodspeed theatre. Plus, you'll get great brand visibility and recognition. This fundraising event is vital to the future of Goodspeed Musicals and we hope that it will be a beacon of musical theatre hope and joy during the pandemic. Thanks to a generous donor, all sponsorship gifts received during the event will be matched dollar for dollar. See sponsorship levels and benefits below.



Questions? Contact Mary Miko at mmiko@goodspeed.org



GALA PERFORMERS

More to be announced soon!

Klea Blackhurst

Klea Blackhurst is an actress, singer and comedienne known for her award-winning tribute to Ethel Merman, Everything The Traffic Will Allow. Most recently she appeared Off-Broadway with Hayley Mills in the comedy, Party Face, at City Center Stage 2. She starred in Hazel during its world premiere production at Drury Lane in Chicago, as Dolly Levi in the highly acclaimed Fiftieth Anniversay production of Hello, Dolly! at The Goodspeed Opera House and as Miss Lemon in  The Nutty Professor, which premiered in Nashville, directed by legendary comedian, Jerry Lewis and featuring a score by Marvin Hamlisch and Rupert Holmes. Klea also played Rose in Drury Lane Chicago’s production of Gypsy, garnishing rave reviews in 2012. 

She’s performed with symphony orchestras and in theatrical productions across the country and abroad including the London Palladium presentation of Jerry Herman’s Broadway with Angela Lansbury, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra tribute to Marvin Hamlisch,, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, 15 Mabel Mercer Foundation Cabaret Conventions, New York’s Town Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, New York’s 92nd Street Y Lyrics & Lyricists, The Chicago Humanities Festival and as Ado Annie in the BBC Proms concert of Oklahoma! in London’s Royal Albert Hall. In addition to regular appearances at New York’s famed Birdland, Klea’s nightclub engagements include tributes to the Broadway career of composer Vernon Duke at the Café Carlyle with a subsequent sold-out engagement at Joe's Pub at The Public Theater and Dreaming of a Song: The Music of Hoagy Carmichael, a collaboration with Billy Stritch.

BRYAN THOMAS HUNT

Thanks to Goodspeed for the opportunity to perform with his girlfriend Kelly! Previous Goodspeed credits include Holiday Inn, The Drowsy Chaperone, Chasing Rainbows, and Thoroughly Modern Millie. Tours: White Christmas and Billy Elliot. Regional: Alliance, Ahmanson, The Muny, North Shore, Ogunquit Playhouse, Paper Mill, Westchester, Berkshire Theatre Festival, and North Carolina Theatre. During this time, Bryan has been able to enjoy the last several months spending quality time with Kelly, cooking new recipes, learning computer programming, and connecting with friends/family on a regular basis. Wishing everyone health and happiness!

GIZEL JIMÉNEZ

Gizel Jimenez was Ado Annie in Goodspeed's 2017 production of Oklahoma. Most recently, she starred in the world premiere of the Broadway-bound musical Bliss. This past year, she made her Broadway debut as Nessarose in Wicked. Off-Broadway: Avenue Q (first ethnic actor to portray Kate Monster), Miss You Like Hell (Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel nominations), Big River (Encores!), and Party People. Starred at NYS&F in Alice By Heart; NYC workshop for Lin Manuel Miranda in Jonathan Larson's tick, tick...boom; Williamstown in Marsha Norman’s Secret Soldiers. National Tour: West Side Story. TV: NBC’s Law & Order SVU, HBO's Divorced. www.gizeljimenez.com @giz_zy

Rashidra Scott

Rashidra Scott is ecstatic for the opportunity to create once again with Kelli Barclay at Goodspeed after having the pleasure of portraying Reno Sweeney in the 2016 production of Anything Goes at the Opera House. Broadway: Company, Ain’t Too Proud...(OBC), Beautiful (OBC, Grammy Award), Sister Act (OBC, U/S Deloris; 1st National Tour, Deloris), Hair, Finian’s Rainbow, and Avenue Q (Gary Coleman). Select regional credits: Dreamgirls (Lorrell, Marriott Theatre), Hair (Dionne, Arizona Theatre Company). TV: Rescue Me (Sony/FX). Lead singer for Windborne’s Music of Whitney Houston. BM in Music Business/Management (Berklee College of Music). Thank God, Goodspeed, Rich, and family.
is ecstatic for the opportunity to create once again with Kelli Barclay at Goodspeed after having the pleasure of portraying Reno Sweeney in the 2016 production of Anything Goes at the Opera House. Broadway: Company, Ain’t Too Proud...(OBC), Beautiful (OBC, Grammy Award), Sister Act (OBC, U/S Deloris; 1st National Tour, Deloris), Hair, Finian’s Rainbow, and Avenue Q (Gary Coleman). Select regional credits: Dreamgirls (Lorrell, Marriott Theatre), Hair (Dionne, Arizona Theatre Company). TV: Rescue Me (Sony/FX). Lead singer for Windborne’s Music of Whitney Houston. BM in Music Business/Management (Berklee College of Music). Thank God, Goodspeed, Rich, and family.

Kelly Sheehan

Kelly Sheehan is honored to have been asked to participate in this year’s Gala. Other Goodspeed shows include Anything Goes and Will Rogers Follies. Broadway credits include Irving Berlin’s White Christmas (Ensemble) and 42nd Street (Lorraine). For the past 6 years, Kelly has been traveling the country during the holidays playing her favorite role, Judy Haynes, with Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. Other favorite productions: Guys and Dolls and Singing in the Rain (Muny); Oklahoma and A Chorus Line (Engeman, Dream Laurey and Sheila); On The Town (Barrington Stage); No, No, Nanette, Pipe Dream, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and Lady, Be Good (Encores! NYC). Kelly currently resides in midtown Manhattan with her boyfriend Bryan and looks forward to the day when we can all enjoy live theater again! 
is ecstatic for the opportunity to create once again with Kelli Barclay at Goodspeed after having the pleasure of portraying Reno Sweeney in the 2016 production of Anything Goes at the Opera House. Broadway: Company, Ain’t Too Proud...(OBC), Beautiful (OBC, Grammy Award), Sister Act (OBC, U/S Deloris; 1st National Tour, Deloris), Hair, Finian’s Rainbow, and Avenue Q (Gary Coleman). Select regional credits: Dreamgirls (Lorrell, Marriott Theatre), Hair (Dionne, Arizona Theatre Company). TV: Rescue Me (Sony/FX). Lead singer for Windborne’s Music of Whitney Houston. BM in Music Business/Management (Berklee College of Music). Thank God, Goodspeed, Rich, and family.

ALYSHA UMPHRESS

Alysha Umphress made a splash on Broadway as the man hungry cab driver, Hildy, in the recent revival of On the Town. A San Francisco native and graduate of the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts, Umphress made her Broadway debut in Green Day’s American Idiot and has also appeared on Broadway in On a Clear Day You Can See Forever with Harry Connick Jr. and Jessie Mueller, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and Bring It On!. Nominated for a Lucille Lortel Award for her performance in the NYC revival of Smokey Joe’s Cafe. She just finished a critically-acclaimed run in the new musical Scotland, PA at Roundabout Theatre Company and recently played the role of Ruth Sherwood in Wonderful Town with the London Symphony Orchestra, which was recorded on the LSO label and is available on iTunes. Alysha originated the role of Cee Cee Bloom in the world premiere of Beaches the Musical at Signature Theatre, earning her a Helen Hayes nomination for Best Leading Actress in a Musical. Television credits include Law and Order SVU, Nurse Jackie, Royal Pains, and The Climb. Alysha can now be seen as Murphy in Netflix’s Bonding and as Zoe in the Olay Musical campaign. @alyshaumphress

NICHOLAS WARD

Nicholas Ward made his Broadway debut in the critically acclaimed revival of On The Town, where he opened the show with his rich basso profondo, singing the stirring number, “I Feel like I’m Not Out Of Bed Yet” from Leonard Bernstein’s multilayered complex score. Nicholas just recently finished his run with the original cast of the Broadway musical Frozen, where he could be seen nightly as Elsa and Anna’s loving father, King Agnarr. Nicholas can now be seen in another Disney Broadway phenomenon, The Lion King, where you may catch him in the iconic role of Mufasa (Simba’s father) on various nights. He has been blessed to travel around the world doing what he loves to do. He was last seen at Goodspeed in Show Boat, where he played Joe for various performances. Other credits include In Transit on Broadway and Pipe Dream, Paint Your Wagon, Golden Apple, Cabin in the Sky, 1776, Zorba! Brigadoon, and Annie Get Your Gun with Encores! NYC Center. Kennedy Center: The Music Man. Tours/Regional: Show Boat, Porgy and Bess, Little Shop of Horrors, Big River, Ragtime, Anything Goes, West Side Story, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, I Am Harvey Milk, Big Fish, Ring of Fire, Once on This Island, Man of La Mancha, and Guys and Dolls, to name a few. IG@NicholasTheWard

GALA SPONSORS

Thank you to our generous sponsors! Click here to learn more about becoming a Gala Sponsor. 

Stephanie Steifel Willams & Luke Williams
Jeffrey and Nancy Hoffman
blumshapiro
Kainen, Escalera & McHale, P.C.
Falcetti Music
Sennheiser