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Goodspeed Gala

Goodspeed Gala

THURSDAY, OCT 29, 2020

7:30pm ET

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 Jiménez, 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  |  DINNER & DRINKS  |  GALA SPONSORS

HOW TO WATCH

Shakin' the Blues Away will premiere on October 29 at 7:30pm ET. 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.

Learn More Button

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 SUPPORTER

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 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


Troy Anthony

Troy Anthony is a composer/lyricist, actor, and activist based in NYC cultivating a life full of Black queer joy. He has presented work at Joe’s Pub, 54 Below, Prospect Theater Company, the National Alliance of Musical Theater Conference, Musical Theater Factory (MTF), and The O'Neill. He's received commissions from Atlantic Theater Company, The Civilians and The Shed. Troy has been seen in the Public Theater’s Twelfth Night, As You Like It, and Hercules as well as Prospect Theater Company’s Tamar of the River. He is the founding music director of the Public Theater’s Public Works Community Choir and focuses on the intersection between art and social justice at the DreamYard Art Center. He is also a 2019-2020 Musical Theater Factory Maker.

Klea Blackhurst

Klea Blackhurst has performed in legendary halls from The London Palladium to Carnegie Hall, The Royal Albert Hall to Jazz at Lincoln Center, and with symphony orchestras from Atlanta to Philly. She is delighted to return to the Opera House for this celebration. Her performance as Dolly Gallagher Levi in Goodspeed Musicals’ 50th anniversary production of Hello, Dolly! is a career highlight. She appeared in the world premieres of Marvin Hamlisch/Rupert Holmes’ musical The Nutty Professor, directed by Jerry Lewis, and Hazel at Drury Lane Theatre in Chicago, where she also headed a critically lauded production of Gypsy. NY Theatre: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Bingo, By Jupiter, Radio Gals, Oil City Symphony. Regional credits include Annie Get Your Gun and Show Boat (Glimmerglass Opera), Call Me Madam (42nd Street Moon), Chicago(Pioneer Theatre Company in her hometown of Salt Lake City), and several productions of Anything Goes. TV: Former prosecutor Shelby Cross on Onion News Network, Law and Order SVU, The Knick, and Pose. Known for her Ethel Merman tribute Everything The Traffic Will Allow, her newest show, One of The Girls, a look at the women that inspired Jerry Herman, will debut somewhere when we can all meet again. With Jim Caruso and Billy Stritch, Klea’s annual Christmas show at Birdland will celebrate its 11th year virtually on Radio Free Birdland on December 18. Please tune in! Visit www.kleablackhurst.com

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 Jiménez 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.

James Snyder

Since his joyous turn as Billy Bigelow in Carousel here at the Goodspeed, James has starred in several Broadway musicals. He was most recently seen (and is anxiously awaiting his return) as Harry Potter in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway. He has been seen in Broadway's first a capella musical In Transit, as well as If/Then (Broadway and Tour), and was Cry-Baby in Cry-Baby (Drama League nomination). Additional theatre credits include Beauty and The Beast at Sacramento Music Circus, Fanny at Encores!, and Star Wars Trilogy in 30 Minutes. He has performed with the Hartford Symphony, as well as the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall. Notable Film and TV: She’s The Man, The Suite Life, Gilmore Girls, The Storyteller, Pretty Persuasion (Sundance). His solo album is available on iTunes.
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

DINNER & DRINKS

SHAKIN', NOT STIRRED...

Get your signature cocktail ready! Staff member Gloria Gorton will teach you how to make two cocktails and a mocktail so you can raise a glass to Goodspeed during our Gala. Click the video box to watch!


RECIPES:

THE BEES KNEES
In your shaker add:
¾ oz of lemon juice
¾ oz of honey syrup – You can make honey syrup by dissolving 3 parts honey to 1 part hot water
2 oz of gin
Fill your shaker with ice and shake for 8-10 seconds
Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a slice of lemon

THE GOLD RUSH
In your shaker add:
¾ oz of lemon juice
¾ oz of honey syrup
2 oz of bourbon – you could also use a rye or a scotch
Add ice to your shaker and shake for 8-10 seconds
Strain over ice into a rocks glass and garnish with a slice of lemon

THE SHAKIN' THE BLUES AWAY JULEP (Mocktail)
In a tall glass glass, add
¾ oz of lemon juice
¾ oz of honey syrup
Give it a stir and fill the glass with ice and top it off with
Ginger Ale – you could also use  apple cider
Garnish with a mint sprig

GALA TO-GO MENU

The Cooking Company Logo
Our friends at The Cooking Company are offering a special selection of their gourmet to-go meals for the Shakin’ the Blues Away premiere on October 29! Leave the cooking and clean up to them so you can enjoy the virtual gala uninterrupted.

Orders must be placed by Monday, October 26
and will be available for pick up at either the Killingworth or Haddam locations.

1610 Saybrook Road | Haddam | 860.345.8008
187 Route 81 | Killingworth | 860.663.3111

VIEW MENU

GALA SUPPORTERS

Thank you to our generous supporters! Click here to learn more about becoming a Gala Supporter. 



Stephanie Stiefel Willams & Luke Williams
Wanda & Tony Cacace
Case Graber Foundation
Jeffrey & Nancy Hoffman
Hila & Saul Rosen
blumshapiro
Jennifer Brown & Ian Ayres
Masonicare at Chester Village
Meg Sakellarides & Scott Mokoski
Francis G. Adams
Centerbrook Architect
Lance & Rebecca Darcy
Sue Frost & Dan Renn
Kainen, Escalera & McHale, P.C.
Merrill Lynch, Mystic, CT
Harvest Development Group
Carolyn Rossi-Copeland
James & Heather Smith
Brenda Murad
Becca Stoll & Marty Wirt

Falcetti Music
Sennheiser
Stephanie Stiefel Willams & Luke Williams
Anthony & Wanda Cacace
Case Graber Foundation
Jeffrey & Nancy Hoffman
Hila & Saul Rosen
blumshapiro
Jennifer Brown & Ian Ayres
Masonicare at Chester Village
Meg Sakellarides & Scott Mokoski
Francis G. Adams
Centerbrook Architect
Kainen, Escalera & McHale, P.C.
Harvest Development Group

Falcetti Music
Sennheiser