Monday, December 22, 2008

Pasadena Playhouse to honor Brenda Galloway and celebrate Lena Horne

The 3rd Annual Sheldon Epps Theatrical Diversity Project Celebration, hosted by Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance with special guest Gabrielle Union, will be held on Tuesday, January 27, 2009 at Pasadena Playhouse (39 S. El Molino Avenue).

The evening honors Brenda Galloway for her leadership and support of theatrical diversity at Pasadena Playhouse and the American Theatre and celebrates the life of Lena Horne with a special performance of the West Coast Premiere of Stormy Weather starring Tony and Emmy Award-winner Leslie Uggams.

"It is a great pleasure to honor Brenda Galloway for her tireless work and advocacy of non-profit organizations in Pasadena, and her generous support of the artists and the work that we do here at the Playhouse," said Pasadena Playhouse Artistic Director Sheldon Epps.

In addition to her role on the Diversity Project Committee, Brenda Galloway’s past involvements include serving on the Pasadena YMCA Board of Directors, La Salle High School Board of Trustees, Pasadena Tournament of Roses Foundation, Jack & Jill of America, Pasadena Police Department Olympic Committee, Jackie Robinson Memorial Celebration, the Los Angeles County Commission on Children and Families, the Pasadena-Altadena Chapter of The Links, Inc., Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association. In 2000, Brenda and Bill endowed Pasadena City College with the Sculpture Garden Plaza that bears the name Galloway Plaza, a perfect spot for students to gather as they begin or end their daily activities on campus.

The Galloway doors have been opened to many charitable events such as the Pasadena Playhouse Gala for Blue, Pasadena AIDS Service Center’s Big Night Out, the Wellness Community Foothills, National Park Service’s African American Experience Fund and the William H. Johnson Foundation for the Arts. The Pasadena NAACP presented the Galloway’s with a lifetime membership as a special thank you for their support of the NAACP’s annual membership and fundraiser, which was held in their home on Columbia Street for a number of years. Ms. Galloway’s dedication and commitment to family, their family business, Summit Enterprises, and community work is very much a part of her life and who she is. She is currently most active with the Pasadena Playhouse Diversity Committee, CASA’s Glamour Gown Program providing prom dresses and accessories for girls in Los Angeles County Foster Care; the Friends of Cleveland Elementary School; the Pasadena Altadena Community Endowment Fund; and the Pasadena Art Alliance.

Pasadena Playhouse’s Sheldon Epps Theatrical Diversity Project was created in 2005 to support the Playhouse artistic Director’s vision to build a legacy of artistic and theatrical diversity at Pasadena Playhouse. This initiative will ensure eclectic and dynamic productions that might not otherwise be possible within the given resources of the theatre. Funds raised in support of the Diversity Project are designated to providing arts education opportunities for young people of diverse ethnicities, as well as cultivating writers, actors, directors and designers of all ethnic backgrounds through the Playhouse's Mainstage Season productions and outreach programs. Additionally, Diversity Project donations support the ambitious production budgets of shows such as Stormy Weather and make it possible to put celebrated plays with exceptionally talented actors on stage.

The annual Sheldon Epps Theatrical Diversity Project event has featured past performances by Laurence Fishburne and Angela Bassett in Fences, and has raised more than $200,000 to support the Playhouse’s mission of theatrical diversity.

Tickets to the 3rd Annual Sheldon Epps Theatrical Diversity Project Celebration are:

Patron and Sponsor Levels begin at $1000 and includes:
- Recognition as Patron of Event
- Catered cocktail reception on the Pasadena Playhouse Engemann Patio
- Preferred seating for the 7:30 p.m. Pre-show Event and 8:00 p.m. Stormy Weather performance
- Champagne and dessert at intermission
- Free valet parking
- Invitation to an Exclusive Patron Party with Leslie Uggams at the home of Faye and Robert Davidson

$250 Event Ticket includes:
- Catered cocktail reception on the Pasadena Playhouse Engemann Patio
- Preferred seating for the 7:30 p.m. Pre-show Event and 8:00 p.m. Stormy Weather performance
- Champagne and dessert at intermission

$100 Event Ticket includes:
- 7:30 p.m. Pre-show Event- 8:00 p.m. Stormy Weather performance
- Champagne and dessert at intermission

To purchase tickets or for more information call Lisa Rudin at 626-737-2807 or email

Tickets are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

Stormy Weather, starring Tony and Emmy Award–winner Leslie Uggams, celebrates the life of the legendary Lena Horne. The West Coast premiere is conceived and written by Sharleen Cooper Cohen, directed by Michael Bush and choreographed by Randy Skinner. The production features music by Cole Porter, Harold Arlen & Johnny Mercer, Rodgers & Hart, Billy Strayhorn, and more. Stormy Weather, which is suggested by the biography Lena Horne, Entertainer published by Chelsea House, opens January 30, 2009 at Pasadena Playhouse.

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