TheatreWorks, the nationally-acclaimed theatre of Silicon Valley, presented its annual TheatreWorks Honors Gala. The event honorees were Chairman and Former CEO of Silicon Valley Bank Ken Wilcox and Tony-nominated Broadway composer Paul Gordon (Jane Eyre), both of whom have dedicated their lives to bringing forth vision, innovation, and creativity. The gala was held Saturday, May 12, 2012 at the beautiful Microsoft campus in Mountain View, and saw over 200 guests, who paid up to $25,000 per table, enjoying an evening of frivolity, cocktails, dinner, and world class entertainment. Overall, the evening raised more than $407,000 which will support TheatreWorks’ outstanding performances and innovative education, community and new works programs. For information on TheatreWorks visit www.TheatreWorks.org.
The evening featured a festive cocktail hour, followed by a sumptuous dinner provided by executive Chef Gino Gramegna, and world class entertainment. Artists flew in from around the country, including Broadway veteran Megan McGinnis and Robert Adelman Hancock who performed songs from Paul Gordon’s hit musical Daddy Long Legs. Other highlights included songs from TheatreWorks’ record-breaking production of The Secret Garden and a hilarious musical tribute to Ken Wilcox. The evening also included an auction of rare and one-of-a-kind items, including courtside seats to a New York Knicks game, an exceptionally rare bottle of 1811 Napoleon Brandy, and a completely original song written especially for the winner by Broadway producer Paul Gordon. Michelle Kwatinetz and Leslie Murphy-Chutorian won a private premium wine tasting at the breathtaking Peter Michael Winery nestled in St. Helen’s Knight’s Valley and a two night stay at the awe-inspiring 61-acre estate of the Staglin Family Vineyard; Harry Kellogg won an elegant three-course meal for twelve at the Stonebrook Court Estate in Los Altos Hills, complete with a private jazz/blues performance by Rachel Lillian and the After Dark Orchestra; and Kate and Wes Mitchell won a romantic getaway on the French Riviera. The auction alone raised a total of $139,100.
Chairs for the evening were Aaron Gershenberg (Menlo Park), Harry Kellogg (Los Altos), Michael Kwatinetz (Atherton) and Ray Rothrock (Portola Valley), who enjoyed the evening along with committee members Bill and Marsha Adler (Mountain View), Lauren and David Berman (Los Altos), Jayne Booker (Palo Alto), Steve and Shelly Brown (Los Altos), Jenny Dearborn and John Tarlton (Palo Alto), Ronald and Pamela Fortune (Palo Alto), Judy Heyboer (Cupertino), Michael E. Kahn (Los Altos Hills), C. Richard and Pam Kramlich (San Francisco), Julie Kaufman and Walter Niemasik Jr. (Atherton), Robin and Don Kennedy (Palo Alto), John Montgomery/ Montgomery & Hansen LLP (Menlo Park), Leslie and Doug Murphy-Chutorian (Palo Alto), Eileen Nelson and Hugh Franks (Mountain View), Carey and Josh Pickus (Atherton), Adam Samuels and Frank Reyes (Capitola), Ron and Gina Sege (Menlo Park), Barbara Shapiro and Mark Lewis (Menlo Park), Ronni and Iain Watson (Menlo Park), Lisa Webster (Palo Alto), The Westly Group, and Walt Wood and Gayla Lorthridge (Los Altos Hills).
Executive Producers included Azures Capital Partners, National Venture Capital Association, Silicon Valley Bank. Producers included Aeris Communication, Benhamou Global Ventures, DLA Piper, Ernst & Young, Anne & Larry Hambly, Oak Investment Partners, Deborah and Andy Rappaport/August Capital, and Staglin Family Vineyard. Associate Producers included Ann S. Bowers, Buchalter Nemer, a Professional Law Corporation, Concepcion S. & Irwin Federman, Michelle and Michael Kwatinetz, Mayfield Fund, Microsoft, Morgenthaler Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Peter Michael Winery, and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.
With some 100,000 patrons per year, TheatreWorks has captured a national reputation for artistic innovation and integrity, often presenting Bay Area theatregoers with their first look at acclaimed musicals, comedies, and dramas, directed by award-winning local and guest directors, and performed by professional actors cast locally and from across the country. A home for artists developing new works, it was at TheatreWorks that Memphis, the 2010 Tony Award-winning musical now in its third year on Broadway, was first work-shopped and received its world premiere. TheatreWorks is currently honoring the 75th anniversary of Steinbeck’s literary classic Of Mice and Men with a production called “irresistible” by the San Francisco Chronicle and “potent, a powerful production” by the San Jose Mercury News. Its present season will wrap-up in June with its 60th World Premiere, Wheelhouse, a rollicking ode to the road about a rock band’s cross country tour in a well-worn Winnebago.