Save the date for Broadway Gala concert and fundraiser at Thingamajig Theatre

Photo courtesy Carole Howard
The Thingamajig Theatre Company cast of “Thoroughly Modern Millie” practice a dance routine in a rehearsal led by director Dennis Elkins and choreographer Pia Wyatt. The cast and their summer season fellow actors, singers and dancers will perform in a cabaret-style show at the theater’s Broadway Gala fundraising event on Tuesday, July 31, at 5 p.m. It’s part of a special evening that also will include a live auction for unique and fun interactions with the actors, live music by the actors, backstage tours conducted by cast members, and hors d’oeuvres catered by a local restaurant. Tickets are $100 for this dressy evening.

By Carole Howard
Special to The PREVIEW
We hope you will mark your calendars for an exciting Broadway Gala concert and fundraising event on Tuesday, July 31, at 5 p.m. that will feature the talents of the Thingamajig Theatre Company’s brilliant summer musical cast performing in a cabaret-style show directed by Boni McIntyre.
It’s part of a special evening to raise funds for Pagosa’s only nonprofit professional theater that also will include a live auction for unique interactions with the actors, live music by the actors, backstage tours conducted by cast members, and catered hors d’oeuvres by a local restaurant. There will be a cash bar with tips going to the cast and crew.
Only about half of the costs of Thingamajig productions are covered by ticket sales. The remainder of the theater’s funding comes from private donors, business sponsors, program advertising, grants and proceeds from this annual Broadway Gala fundraiser — the most important event of the year to keep the theater up and running.
Tickets are $100 for this dressy evening.
Unique auction items
The actors are working on their acts for the cabaret concert and their contributions to the auction — and keeping them a secret surprise for now.
A look at last year’s one-of-a-kind auction offerings gives you a good idea of what very special fun will be available this year. They included an actor’s serenade at a private party, a brunch with many of the actors at a local restaurant, a sunrise hike led by two actors and a personalized cocktail party featuring a drink created just for you.
Also, two of the perennial favorites will be offered again — a progressive dinner for 10 people when actors will chauffeur you and your friends to four incredible locations where you’ll enjoy wine pairings, serenades and delicious food prepared by the cast; and a photo shoot for four where the actors will do your hair and makeup as you enjoy champagne and chocolate, then provide costumes before you pose with the cast for a very special picture that could be your best Christmas card ever.
“We know from previous galas that our guests have been surprised and delighted by the evening’s festivities — and especially the clever and creative auction opportunities,” said Laura Moore, executive director and co-founder of Thingamajig Theatre with her husband, Tim. “We are deeply grateful for everyone’s support because the five musicals that folks are seeing on stage this summer would not be possible without the funding raised at the gala.”
The five summer shows
This summer’s company of 56 actors, singers, dancers, directors and crew is the largest ever at Thingamajig. They are performing in a blockbuster summer season aptly titled “Broadway in the Mountains.” Here are the outstanding Broadway musical hits playing in rotation until Aug. 31 at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts:
• “Legally Blonde,” rated PG-13, is based on the book and film by the same name. Directed by Boni McIntyre, it is a fun, upbeat story of a beautiful sorority girl who enrolls at Harvard Law School to win back her ex-boyfriend. She discovers that her knowledge of the law can help others win cases when her fellow students underestimate her increasing self-confidence and impressive skills. In addition to other honors, it was nominated for seven Tonys and won for best original score.
• “West Side Story,” rated PG, features music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Directed by Melissa Firlit, it’s a powerful love story based on Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” about two rival gangs in New York City, one Puerto Rican and the other white. The dark theme, sophisticated music (many of its songs became popular hits), impressive dance scenes and focus on social problems marked a turning point in American musical theater. It was nominated for six Tonys and won two, including best choreography for Jerome Robbins.
• “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” rated PG, is a fast-paced comedy based on the film by the same name. Directed by Dennis Elkins, it tells the story of a small-town girl who comes to New York City to marry for money instead of love — a thoroughly modern goal in 1922. She comes to enjoy the flapper lifestyle, but problems arise when she checks into a hotel owned by the leader of a white slavery ring. It won six Tonys including best musical.
• “Little Shop of Horrors,” rated PG-13 and directed by Ali Whitman, is a dark comedy rock musical about a florist shop worker who raises a plant that feeds on human blood and flesh. The music, composed by Alan Menken in the rock and roll, doo-wop and early Motown styles of the early 1960s, resulted in several popular hits. Produced off-Broadway and thus ineligible for the Tonys, it won several other awards including the New York Drama Critics Award for best musical.
These musicals will be performed in rotation with five to eight shows a week until the end of August.
Special family musical
“Pinkalicious” is a special musical for families based on the bestselling educational books for kids. Directed by Anita Jo Lenhart, it tells the story of a little girl who loves the color pink and can’t stop eating pink cupcakes despite warnings from her parents. Her pink indulgences land her in the doctor’s office with an illness that turns her pink from head to toe.
In addition to several of the professional actors, this show features local teens, fulfilling a longtime dream of Thingamajig co-founder Laura Moore to provide on-stage acting opportunities for youngsters ages 13-17 who have graduated from Thingamajig’s Children’s Theatre Summer Camps. This impressive audition-only opportunity allows teens to work alongside adult actors and perform in a fully produced stage musical.
“Pinkalicious” plays Saturdays at 11 a.m. until Aug. 25.
More about Thingamajig
Thingamajig Theatre Company is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit professional theater in residence at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts producing comedies, dramas and musicals year-round. The theater was co-founded in 2010 by Tim Moore, producing artistic director, and his wife, Laura Moore, both extraordinary actors and directors in their own right.
Their mission is to provide high-quality theater experiences at a low cost to our community, thereby making art accessible as well as providing a major economic driver for our tourist industry. They also provide youth, many of whom are recipients of scholarships, with low-cost, hands-on educational opportunities to see and participate in professional productions of important plays.
Thanks to the exceptional casting skills of Tim Moore, Thingamajig consistently attracts gifted directors, actors, singers, dancers, choreographers and technical experts from across the country and, this summer, from Canada, France, Mexico and Trinidad.
This is Thingamajig’s eighth season. It has grown from serving 6,000 people in 2010 to a total of more than 145,000 people today. “The circle continues to grow wider with our commitment to being a radically welcoming theater serving all audiences,” said Tim Moore. “We have made the commitment to create a space where diverse opinions, courageous dialogue and local, national and international community engagement are both valued and vital to our success.”
To purchase tickets for the Broadway Gala and the summer musicals, visit www.pagosacenter.org or phone 731-7469.

This story was posted on July 18, 2018.