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Abingdon at Fifteen! A Gala Benefit at Tavern on the Green
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Abingdon at Fifteen! A Gala Benefit at Tavern on the Green

- Backstage with the Playwrights: Special Events

Abingdon at Fifteen!
A Benefit Auction and Dinner Party
Honoring Anita Jaffe
(Anita Jaffe Bio)
And
Abingdon Theatre Company’s
15th Anniversary Season
Jan Buttram, Artistic Director
(Abingdon Theatre Website)
212.868.2055

Cocktail Reception, Silent and Live Auctions
Dinner, Entertainment, Guest Speakers
At
Tavern On the Green
Central Park West and West 66th Street
New York, NY
(Tavern on the Green Website)

Special Guest: Marian Seldes
Auctioneer: Peter Brouwer
Entertainment by: Lucie Arnaz
(Lucie Arnaz Website)
Jeff Harnar, Joy Franz



Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
November 13, 2007


(Read Reviews of Abingdon Theatre Productions)

I was thrilled to be a guest of Jan Buttram, Artistic Director, Abingdon Theatre Company, for tonight’s 15th Anniversary Gala at Tavern on the Green. It was a very eclectic evening, with an elegant cocktail reception surrounding a silent auction, all to benefit the worthy cause of a small theatre complex, Abingdon Theatre’s June Havoc Theatre and the Dorothy Strelsin Theatre. The plays at Abingdon are exemplary and sometimes experimental. Theatre like this survives on its subscribers and its patrons, both corporate and individual. The silent auction included rare and inviting gifts to tempt the Gala guests, as they mingled with the crowd and munched tartars and dumplings.

One could find getaway weekends, off-shoulder fashion with billowing sleeves, baskets of gourmet delights and fine wine, The New Yorker cartoon caption game, and a women’s jacket decorated with Marian Seldes’ play, Three Tall Women, all on the silent auction tables. During the Gala dinner, Jan Buttram thanked the audience and introduced numerous patrons, guests, and theatrical glitterati. Marian Seldes urged guests to be generous with live auction donations, and Lucie Arnaz, who serves on the Board of Directors of the American Theatre Wing, did as well. Tonight’s Gala Honoree, Anita Jaffe, spoke briefly and warmly. She is on the Board of Trustees of the American Theatre Wing and the Actors Fund of America, and she has been active and generous with Abingdon Theatre Company for many years. Ms. Jaffe is also involved with the Met Museum, New York City Ballet, the Museum of Modern Art, The Sundance Institute, and The March of Dimes.

Peter Brouwer, Live Auctioneer, who is also a trained actor, was the best auctioneer I have ever heard. He never hesitated, using warmth, humor, and personality to coax the guests into raising their bids, even if they were reluctant. The Abingdon funding goals were easily met. Some of the live auction items were: club seats to a Rangers game, a stay in an Arizona home for one week, a weekend at a Berkshires home, a three-night stay at a Mexican resort, four box seats at a Yankees home game, and a three-night stay at a London flat. During and following the auction, the guests were entertained by three vocalists. Joy Franz has appeared in A Little Night Music, Jacques Brel, and Pippin. Jeff Harnar won three Manhattan Association of Cabaret Awards and four Back Stage Bistro Awards.

One highlight of the evening was a double set of vocals from Lucie Arnaz, with Ron Abel, as always, on piano. Ms. Arnaz has sung at The Academy Awards, at The White House, and in Annie Get Your Gun, among dozens of additional theater and recording events. She is, of course, the daughter of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, and she and her brother, Desi, manage Desilu, too, LLC. She and husband, Laurence Luckinbill, have five children. Her vocals this evening were dynamic, rich, and full of expression. Ms. Arnaz is an impassioned and impressive entertainer, with anecdotes and asides that enhance each song. The evening closed informally, and there was much milling about.



Gala Reception
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Silent Auction Table
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Gala Guest
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Gala Reception
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Silent Auction Table
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Roberta and Richard Zekaria
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Pamela Paul and Jeff Harnar
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Gala Reception
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Gala Reception
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Gala Reception
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Gala Reception
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Silent Auction Table
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Sondra Gilman, The American Theatre Wing,
and Abingdon Gala Guests
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Gala Reception
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Gala Reception
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Silent Auction Table
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Gala Reception
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Jan Buttram, Artistic Director
and Gala Guest
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Marian Seldes, Gala Speaker
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Lucie Arnaz, Ron Abel, and Gala Guest
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower






Oliver Tickets > Dirty Dancing Tickets > Musical Tickets > Jimmy Carr Tickets >
Peter Kay Tickets > Ricky Gervais Tickets > Theatre Tickets




For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at zlokower@bestweb.net