Vero News

Riverside Theatre Premier Benefit enchants with theatrical glamor

VERO BEACH — The drama of Broadway combined with the glamor of Hollywood, creating a theatrical evening of pure enjoyment at the Riverside Theatre Premier Benefit of The Producers.    Co-chairs Carol Coxhead and Marlynn Scully said their goal was to make the fundraiser a smashing success and, just like the show itself, the evening was a complete hit. Search lights beckoned arriving guests to the premier, who were then greeted by top-hatted “Producers” before walking up a long, lush, red carpet as photographers snapped away – Oscar style. Stylish gowns, dazzling jewels and tuxedoes, were de rigueur for such an evening, as people gathered in clusters under a tent decorated with palm trees and ferns.   No pigs-in-a-blanket for this elegant crowd; the canapés included adorable little pig-shaped smoked salmon tidbits, tucked into serving trays of grass.

“There has never been a preview party of one of the Riverside Theatre shows,” said Scully, noting that in the past, the annual fundraising galas have presented entertainers that were not related to productions.

“Everyone is going to love it; they must come and see it,” said Coxhead of The Producers.

Along with other members of an elite group of Patron Producers, the pair even had a hand in choosing the cast for the show.

“Last year, 15 couples contributed enough money to bring in a blockbuster musical,” said Scully.  “This year there were more than 30 patrons, so they could afford to have two blockbusters. A privilege of being a Patron Producer is to go to New York to watch some of the auditions.”

“It’s elevated the theater to a whole new level,” added Coxhead.

This year, Patron Producers had the opportunity of sitting in on auditions for Guys and Dolls, The Producers and Buddy, giving them the chance to see hundreds of wonderfully talented performers.

The gorgeous décor for the evening had been dramatically designed by William Bainbridge Steele.

“He’s a genius in capturing the spirit and drama of Broadway with his incredible floral designs,” said Coxhead.

“They came to me with the idea of an old Hollywood production,” said Steele.  “I used bright primary colors; fire engine red, bright yellow and black.”

Lively Broadway scenes on the walls of the Waxlax Theatre perfectly complimented the tricolored table décor, with tables ornamented with tall red and yellow floral centerpieces topped with miniature replicas of old-fashioned cameras and clapboards.

Guests dined on an elegant Elizabeth Kennedy dinner, featuring a Limoncello lobster cocktail and fillet of beef with horseradish crème fraîche.    During the show’s intermission, the menu’s “Curtain Call” was a decadent chocolate on chocolate cake with fresh raspberries.

After a thoroughly entertaining and lively performance, guests finished out the evening meeting with members of the cast, celebrating the evening’s rousing success with a champagne reception.

Mel Brook’s musical The Producers, one of Broadway’s biggest hits and winner of 12 Tony Awards, will be at Riverside Theatre through March 20.    The show is directed Allen Cornell, with Associate Director/Choreographer Jennifer Crowl and Musical Director Ken Clifton.  Tickets are available at the box office, (772) 231-6990 or online at {igallery 347}

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