Co-Chaired by Womenâ€™s Board Members Margaret M. Janus and Swati Mehta, the events proceeds support the theaterâ€™s Education and Community Engagement Programs
Chicago, IL – Goodman Theatre was full of â€œGleeâ€ on May 21 at the theaterâ€™s BlackÂ Tie â€œOne Enchanted Decadeâ€ gala. The Emmy, Golden Globe and Tony-Award nominated Matthew Morrison performed for a sold-out crowd of more than 850 guests as they celebrated the theaterâ€™s 10th anniversary at its 170 N. Dearborn St. home in the heart of Chicagoâ€™s Theater District. Co-chaired by Womenâ€™s Board members Margaret M. Janus and Swati Mehta, the event raised a record $1 million to benefit the Goodmanâ€™s Education and Community Engagement programs.
Â (Chicago) were this yearâ€™s Gala co-chairs; Gala Sponsor Partners included Abbott; Boeing; Harris Bank; JP Morgan Chase; Sharon and Charles Angell (Glenview), Joan and Robert Clifford (Chicago), Patricia Cox (Chicago); Shawn M. Donnelley and Christopher M. Kelly (Chicago), Ellen and Paul Gignilliat (Chicago); Sondra and Denis Healy/Turtle Wax, Inc. (Winnetka); Wayne and Margaret M. Janus (Chicago); Swati and Siddharth Mehta (Chicago); Alexandra and John Nichols (Winnetka); Michael and Kay Oâ€™Halleran (Winnetka); Carol Prins and John Hart (Chicago); Alice and John J. Sabl (Chicago). American Airlines is the Exclusive Airline of Goodman Theatre. The chairman of Goodman Theatreâ€™s Board of Trustees is Patricia Cox (Chicago) and Joan Clifford (Chicago) is President of the Womenâ€™s Board. Special Honorees of the evening included Past Chairmen James E. Annable, Deborah A. Bricker, Lester N. Coney, Shawn M. Donnelley, Albert Ivar Goodman, Sondra A. Healy and Carol Prins.
Guests arriving at Goodman Theatre walked the gold carpet and were treated to a medley of songs from Regina Dominican High School Girls Chorale. The singers received a treat of their own when Matthew Morrison arrived and gave each girl a special â€œhigh-fiveâ€ before greeting guests. The festivities began at 5:30pm with a cocktail reception in the Goodmanâ€™s lobby followed by Morrisonâ€™s 6:30pm performance in the theater.
From the moment he burst onto the stage with three back-up singers and a five-piece band, stage and screen star Morrison captured the audience with his charming presence, buttery voice and suave dance moves. His musical showcase began with a rousing rendition of â€œSwayâ€ that had the audience moving in their seats. He then brought â€œGleeâ€ to the theater by performing a â€œmash-upâ€ of the Policeâ€™s â€œDonâ€™t Stand So Close to Meâ€ and Gary Puckett and The Union Gapâ€™s â€œYoung Girl,â€ from a recent episode of the popular FOX-TV show. He paid homage to Elton John, one of his idols, with a remix of â€œMona Lisas and Mad Hattersâ€ and â€œRocket Man,â€ and showed off his musical theater background with a medley of songs from one of his favorite musicals, West Side Story. Morrison treated the audience to a few original songs from his new self-titled album, including â€œSummer Rainâ€ and â€œDonâ€™t Stop Dancingâ€â€”which included a show-stopping dance break that brought the crowd to its feet. A beautiful duet of â€œSomewhere Over the Rainbowâ€ closed the eveningâ€™s performance. Morrison, who began his career in the theater, thanked the Goodman for the opportunity to return to his stage roots and to share a special evening with theater lovers for a good cause.
Following the performance, guests were transported to the Fairmont Chicagoâ€”intricately decorated with lush pink, orange and gold accents by Kehoe Designsâ€”where they enjoyed an elegant three-course dinner, beginning with organic mixed greens with duck confit, radicchio, poached pear, bleu cheese, almonds and an orange-anise vinaigrette. The main course featured a seared filet of beef over porcini mushrooms, pomodoro tomatoes, asparagus, Yukon gold mashed potatoes and a red wine demi. Completing the meal was an exotic fruit crÃ¨me brÃ»lÃ©e with passion fruit gelee and a chocolate cherry biscotti on a bed of passion fruit coulis, and a chocolate banana tart with caramel coulis and fresh raspberries.
Guests danced the night away to a rousing set from the Al Sofia Orchestra and purchased raffle tickets for the chance to win two pairs of American Airline tickets anywhere in the world, and three pairs of American Airline tickets anywhere in the continental United States. In addition, Womanâ€™s Board member Nancy Thompson (Chicago) took home an 18k yellow gold â€œBranchâ€ bracelet adorned with eight round diamonds by Coomi from the Eternity collection, courtesy of Coomi and Neiman Marcus Michigan Avenue.
About the Goodmanâ€™s Womenâ€™s Board and Education and Community Engagement Programs
Since its inception in 1978, Goodman Theatreâ€™s Womenâ€™s Boardâ€”currently under leadership of President JoanCliffordâ€”has been a major force in raising funds for the theater through special events and projects. Members serve on committees for the annual Goodman Theatre Gala, the Goodman Auction, the Womenâ€™s Board Annual Appeal and the Community Arts and Education Committee. The Board also provides support for Capital and Endowment initiatives, both personally and through solicitations. Monies raised support all aspects of the theaterâ€”including the sponsorship of one production per season. A major initiative has been increased support for the Goodmanâ€™s
productions and numerous Education and Community Engagement programs, which offer myriad opportunities for students and audience members of all ages. Through programs such as the Student Subscription Series for Chicago Public Schools, General Theater Studies summer program, the Cindy Bandle Young Critics theater criticism program for young women, CONTEXT: Discourse and Discussion community forums, and a theater-wide Internship Program, the Goodman, along with the Womenâ€™s Board strives to engage audiences in deeper explorations of the work on the Goodmanâ€™s stages.