The special benefit performance of A.R. Gurney’s Love Letters was a resounding success. Starring iconic actors (and long-time married couple) Katharine Ross and Sam Elliott, the fundraiser was sold out and standing room only. Katharine has appeared twice on our stage — in Rabbit Hole and Kimberly Akimbo — but what most people probably don’t know is that this performance of Love Letters was Sam’s stage debut! Trust me, you never would have known.
During a technical rehearsal, we were touring around the Broad Stage in Santa Monica (our fundraiser was held at the Broad’s smaller space since Malibu Playhouse is under renovation). It’s a beautiful theater, designed with the best electronics and acoustics that money can buy. We stood center stage and gazed out into the 500-seat audience, and I turned to Katharine and said “see, we can be this too!” She looked at me a moment, then smiled her famous gorgeous smile and replied, “you know, you’re absolutely right!”
A post-show reception was held after Love Letters — I’ll be posting some of the photos snapped by our “house photographer” David Esquire — during which wine flowed and tray-passed hors d’oeuvres flowed from the make-shift kitchen. We have some dedicated volunteers at Malibu Playhouse, and one of our volunteers, Yvonne Gelbman, baked 6 dozen cupcakes, muffins and brownies. I asked her to wrap them individually in plastic wrap, but you’ll see from this photo that Yvonne took an extra-special step. With wonderful people like Yvonne (and all our other fabulous volunteers) committed to Malibu Playhouse, we are certain to fulfill our collected dream of being the go-to arts center in Malibu.