The buzz around the playhouse this week centers on last Saturday night’s 90th Anniversary Celebration, A Red Carpet Affair. It was quite the festive occasion with about 140 people in attendance. Various members have been complimentary to the Committee for their efforts in throwing the party.
A highlight of the evening included the renewal of old acquaintances as some folks not often seen about the Playhouse made it a point to attend. It was also fun to see everyone dressed to the nines and experience the overall camaraderie of the event. Another highlight was Sally Savoie’s Birmingham/Bloomfield cable TV special. Everyone received a copy, and when you watch it, you will be particularly impressed with Jude Purcell’s speaking about the “future” of the Players. Special mementos included the commemorative tiles which recognize the milestone of our 90th, the lovely “red carpet” photo portraits, the booklet covering VP history produced by Bill Haycook, and the scrumptious chocolate covered pretzels.
The entertainment, featuring a preview of the coming season, was a hit. Special thanks go to Michael Gravame, Mark Carley, Diane D’Agostino, Carl Jones, Barbara Underwood, and Steve Roberts for lending their directorial skills to the event in preparation for their work later this year.
Hopefully the “launch” of our endowment/foundation campaign was well received. Focusing on this initiative for the next ten years is essential for the continued success of VP. There were only a few audible gasps and snickers when I challenged VP to raise $1,000,000. I think this is an important to have a challenging goal, one that stretches our group. “On Our Way to 100!!”
Here’s a question: Did everyone receive a small door magnet on their car as they left the event? The valets were supposed to put them on the cars, but I am uncertain they did. This begs the question, what happened to all those magnets?
For the curious, the guy in the kilt was Michael Stewart, consort of one of our newest and very active members, Lori Champagne. Did you notice that Lori’s skirt matched the plaid in Michael’s kilt? Michael is a senior partner in an intellectual property law firm who happens to employ two members of the Mach family and a Purcell as well! Thanks to Michael and Lori for joining us.
Other notables in attendance were the “dignitaries” including Birmingham’s Mayor, George Dilgard, and his wife, Sue. His reading of our official proclamation, which included multiple “Whereas” clauses, made me think we might get him up on our stage. Mayor Pro Tem, Scott Moore, and Commissioner Rackeline Hoff also joined in our celebration as did our very own Diane McClain who is a former Birmingham Mayor and Commissioner.
All in all, a wonderful and memorable night! I’ve heard there are quite a few photos of the event on Facebook. The official event photographer, Michael Sarnacki of New City Photographic (Royal Oak) also took some great shots, a few of which are included in this blog. I’ll let you know when I figure out how I’m going to share more of Michael’s photos.
Next up, VP General Membership Meeting and Board of Director’s election on June 10. See you at the Playhouse?? –Gary Mach