Victory Gardens Theater hosted their 20th "Chicago Stories" fundraiser at the Fairmont this weekend. I was so honored to be one of the three celebrity (their word, not mine!) playwrights chosen for this year's 20th anniversary. Another playwright was Peter Sagal, host of NPR and WBEZ's "Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me", one of the most popular shows on public radio now in its 10th year and the winner of a Peabody Award. The third playwright was Bernie Sahlins, co-founder, producer and director of The Second City Chicago and co-founder of The International Theatre Festival of Chicago. He has also directed numberous productions for Steppenwolf. Co-chairs for this fun event were Sylvia Margolies, Anne Marie Peretz and Richard Skolly.
I felt a little out of my league but my play, "A Facebook Fairytale" held its own and was very charming and funny just the way I had hoped! I was very proud of the incredible actors who performed it to perfection including my stepson, Charley Jordan, Meg Thalken, Audrey Morgan, Matt DeCaro, Gwendolyn Whiteside and Jaime Totti. All of the plays were directed by Victory Garden's legendary Artistic Director, Dennis Zacek.
When Dennis approached me about doing this I was wildly apprehensive but then realized what an extraordinary opportunity and memory it would be. Now that I've written my play, I can tell you that seeing my words come to life onstage was a thrill I will never forget. Renowned theater critic, Richard Christiansen, had this to say about my play, "Comedy via the internet. A fresh new source of satire. Neatly performed." (I think I'll frame it!)
A former celebrity playwright, Leslie Hindman, conducted the live auction to her usual standards of perfection and success and the dinner was delicious. 300 people came out to support Victory Gardens and there was also a silent auction that included a meet and greet with actor William Peterson and lunch with John Mahoney. The event raised over $170K for VGT.
Next stop Broadway?!?
(By the way, if you haven't enjoyed a performance at Victory Gardens Theater at 2433 N. Lincoln, you are missing an amazing theater experience! I hope you will support VGT. Every donation, no matter how small helps. Please visit www.VictoryGardens.org or call (773) 549-5788 for tickets and more info.)
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Tags: Aaron Carter, Abigail Rutherford, Anne Marie Peretz, Audrey Morgan, Bernie Sahlins, Beth Sagal, Bruce Simons, Candace Collins, Candace Jordan, Candid Candace, Charley Jordan, Chicago Now, Chicago Theater, Chris Long, Cindy Burns, David Glasner, Dennis Zacek, Diane Baskin, Elliot Pearlman, entertainment in Chicago, Fairmont Hotel, Fanchon Simons, Gwendolyn Whiteside, Helen Melchior, Jacqui Moneison, Jaime Totti, Jan Kallish, Jan Melk, Jannie Pearlman, Jean Heller, Jeffrey Rappin, John Walcher, Judge Mary Pat Burns, Kaye Oberhausen, Leslie Hindman, Leslie HIndman Auctioneers, Marcy Zacek, Matt DeCaro, Myles Tobin, Nancy Studenroth, NPR, NPR radio, Pam Capitanini, Peter Sagal, Playboy, Playboy centerfold, Rich Varnes, Richard Christianson, Richard Skolly, Ron Lieberman, Samantha Simons, Stuart Burstein, Sugar Rautbord, Sylvia Margolies, The Second City Chicago, theater in Chicago, Victory Gardens Theater, Virginia Fitzgerald, Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me, Wes Donohoe