Chicago – More than 450 guests were starstruck at Goodman Theatre’s May 18 Spring Gala, headlined by Broadway star and Tony® Award nominee Megan Hilty. The black-tie event, held at the Fairmont Chicago, raised more than $800,000 to support the theater’s Education and Community Engagement programs. The gala was co-chaired by Teri and Doug Brown and Carole Wood and Carl Jenkins. The Goodman’s “Starstruck” Spring Gala was presented by The Women’s Board.
The evening began at 6:30pm in the International ballroom, where guests enjoyed appetizers and cocktails. Guests then proceeded to the Imperial Ballroom, which was bedazzled with an assortment of purple floral centerpieces and dazzling chandeliers.
With her impressive vocal range and charm, Hilty kicked off the evening with “They Just Keep Moving the Line” from her a famed portrayal of seasoned triple-threat Ivy Lynn in NBC’s musical drama SMASH. She nodded to her most notable Broadway roles with “Suddenly Seymour,” from the concert revival of Howard Ashman and Alan Menken’s Little Shop of Horrors; “Popular” from her role as Glinda in Wicked opposite Idina Menzel—marking her Broadway debut; “Backwoods Barbie” from 9 to 5 The Musical; followed by an ode to Alan Jay Lerner/Frederick Loewe with “I Could’ve Danced All Night” and a medley of tunes from Annie Get Your Gun, including “There No Business Like Show Business.” She revisited her famed role in SMASH with “That’s Life” and “Second Hand White Baby Grand” as well as her role in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes with “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend.” Hilty concluded her performance with a show-stopping encore mash-up of “Don’t Forget Me/Let Me Be Your Star” from SMASH.
Gala guests enjoyed an elegant three-course dinner, beginning with a “blueberry glazed duck salad” with mesclun greens, fresh herbs, radishes and corn pepper relish, topped with a citrus vinaigrette. The Main course featured a grilled beef tenderloin with roasted butternut squash, patty pan squash, baby zucchini, roasted potatoes and chimichurri. Alternating desserts—including a pecan cheesecake with Chantilly cream, raspberry sauce pecan streusel and flourless chocolate cake with raspberry sauce—completed the meal. Following dinner, guests danced the night away to the sounds of The Gentleman of Leisure.
Attendees had the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets for one prize that included a Tiffany & Co. Prism design pendant in platinum, set with over eight carats of Tiffany diamonds hung from a diamond-studded chain valued at $45,000; and a matching Prism design ring in platinum with over four carats of Tiffany diamonds valued at $25,000.
The Goodman is grateful for the support of its Gala Sponsors American Airlines – Airline Partner; Sharon and Charles Angell; BMO Harris Bank; Joan and Robert Clifford; Exelon; Denise and John Ginasol; Carol Prins and John Hart; Lauter McDougal Chartiable Fund; Swati and Siddharth Mehta; Northern Trust; Alice and John Sabl; and Cynthia and Michael Scholl. Raffle Sponsor: Tiffany & Co.
David W. Fox, Jr.is Chairman of Goodman Theatre’s Board of Trustees, Denise Stefan Ginascol is Women’s Board President and Megan McCarthy Hayes is President of the Scenemakers Board for young professionals.
Since its inception in 1978, the Goodman Theatre Women’s Board—currently under the leadership of President Denise Stefan Ginascol—has raised more than $46 million in support of 39 Goodman productions and an array of educational programs through special events and projects. Members serve on committees for the annual Goodman Theatre Gala, the Goodman Auction, the Women’s Board Annual Appeal and the Education and Engagement Committee. The Board also provides support for Capital and Endowment initiatives, both personally and through solicitations. Monies raised support all aspects of the theater—including the sponsorship of one production per season. A major initiative has been increasing support for the Goodman’s productions and numerous educational and community programs, which offer myriad opportunities for students and audience members of all ages.
ABOUT GOODMAN THEATRE
AMERICA’S “BEST REGIONAL THEATRE” (Time magazine), Goodman Theatre is a premier not-for-profit organization distinguished by the excellence and scope of its artistic programming and civic engagement. Led by Artistic Director Robert Falls and Executive Director Roche Schulfer, the theater’s artistic priorities include new play development (more than 150 world or American premieres), large scale musical theater works and reimagined classics (celebrated revivals include Falls’ productions of Death of a Salesman and The Iceman Cometh). Goodman Theatre artists and productions have earned two Pulitzer Prizes, 22 Tony Awards, over 160 Jeff Awards and many more accolades. In addition, the Goodman is the first theater in the world to produce all 10 plays in August Wilson’s “American Century Cycle” and its annual holiday tradition A Christmas Carol, which recently marked its 41st production, has created a new generation of theatergoers. The Goodman also frequently serves as a production partner with local off-Loop theaters and national and international companies by providing financial support or physical space for a variety of artistic endeavors.
Committed to three core values of Quality, Diversity and Community, the Goodman proactively makes inclusion the fabric of the institution and develops education and community engagement programs that support arts as education. This practice uses the process of artistic creation to inspire and empower youth, lifelong learners and audiences to find and/or enhance their voices, stories and abilities. The Goodman’s Alice Rapoport Center for Education and Engagement is the home of such programming, most offered free of charge, and has vastly expanded the theater’s ability to touch the lives of Chicagoland citizens (with 85% of youth participants coming from underserved communities) since its 2016 opening.
Goodman Theatre was founded by William O. Goodman and his family in honor of their son Kenneth, an important figure in Chicago’s cultural renaissance in the early 1900s. The Goodman family’s legacy lives on through the continued work and dedication of Kenneth’s family, including Albert Ivar Goodman, who with his late mother, Edith-Marie Appleton, contributed the necessary funds for the creation of the new Goodman center in 2000.
Today, Goodman Theatre leadership also includes the distinguished members of the Artistic Collective: Brian Dennehy, Rebecca Gilman, Henry Godinez, Dael Orlandersmith, Steve Scott, Chuck Smith, Regina Taylor, Henry Wishcamper and Mary Zimmerman. David W. Fox, Jr.is Chairman of Goodman Theatre’s Board of Trustees, Denise Stefan Ginascol is Women’s Board President and Megan McCarthy Hayes is President of the Scenemakers Board for young professionals.