The Phoenix Theatre Company hosted its Centennial Applause! Gala on Oct. 19 on the Company’s campus. Typically this event celebrates individuals and companies in the community that have made considerable impact on the arts and culture in Arizona. The 2019 gala, however, paid homage to the impact The Phoenix Theatre Company has had on Arizona for the last century, with a telling of the Company’s history through parodied musicals of the decades. The production was written and directed by Michael Barnard, producing artistic director, and musically directed by composer Craig Bohmler. Special celebrity guest Derek Hough emceed the presentation.
The evening made history by raising more money than ever before—more than $1.8 million with a $1 million contribution from Richard J Stephenson and Dr. Stacie J. Stephenson toward the theater’s capital campaign. The Company plans to transform the current Hormel Theatre into a state-of-the-art 500-seat theater that will host pre-Broadway plays and musicals while they are in development.
The 400 guests enjoyed a beautiful crisp outdoor cocktail hour, the performance in the theater and then dinner in the courtyard with a curated soundtrack of music through the decades and performances by Synergy Dance Alliance. The evening concluded with music from the ’70s through the 2000s as guests danced under the stars.
Nan and C.A. Howlett, Maja and John Langbein, and Sandy and Mac Magruder chaired the gala.
PHOTOS COURTESY PHOENIX THEATRE COMPANY