Who: Thespians, theatergoers, board members, and at least one fellow in a fashionable seersucker suit
What: Red Eye Theater’s All Tomorrow’s Parties: A 25th Anniversary Gala
Where: The well-appointed downtown Minneapolis offices of Fallon, 901 Marquette Ave., 24th floor
When: Saturday, May 16, 2009
Why: To raise a glass, to reunite, to ogle the ad agency’s awesome furnishings, and to raise funds for Red Eye Theater
The Fallon advertising agency was awfully generous to lend itsoffice for the Red Eye Theater gala on Saturday evening. These environswere, perhaps, a bit too antiseptic for the rumpled thespians whoshowed up: I saw glistening hardwood floors, instant coffee—andcocoa—machines, and a collection of pricey mod office furniture in aburnt-orange palette. But the conversation was stimulating, and thewine went down easy. Better yet, there was an array of dance andspoken-word performances as well as a cakewalk!
For me, the theater’s 25th Anniversary Gala was also a big reunion.Just as soon as I walked in, I spotted an old friend: thedancer-turned-writer and arts critic Linda Shapiro. Then I saw Richard Schooley,the guru-slash-organizational coach I met almost a decade ago when Iwas working at Theatre de la Jeune Lune and he was the president of theboard. Since then, my relationship with Richard blossomed into ameaningful friendship. Throughout the years, we’ve shared many asake-soaked confessional over sushi dinners. We’ve even gone runningtogether. But even so, I hadn’t seen the guy in months! How come? Well,as it turns out, he’s busy being “scandalously happy.” I suspect that’sbecause he’s dating the gorgeous local actress Kirsten Frantzich.
Other folks I was happy to see: Sara Richardson, an extremely funny, talented, and woefully under-used local actress; Noah Bremer, company member of the super-awesome Live Action Set; Maria Benson, a sassy jazz singer I met at Sam and Sylvia Kaplans’ house on New Year’s Eve; Brian Beaubien and Joe Farrell, mechanical engineers I know from my days at the U of M (one of these things is not like the other).
All in all, the place was jammed with thirty- and forty-somethingcreative types with a smattering of polished Red Eye board members andtheir spouses (this accounts for the engineers). By the end of thenight, they’d contributed more than $12,000 to Red Eye Theater.