Seen: Actress Vanessa Williams graces Saturday Night Alive

The 39th Saturday Night Alive was fun, profitable — and a historic occasion.

Vanessa Williams performs. “Saturday Night Alive,” benefiting Denver Center for the Performing Arts education programs, at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Seawell Ballroom, in Denver, Colorado.Photo StevePeterson.

Fun because March 2 was a cold and snowy night and quite a few of the 700 guests had tales to tell about braving the elements in formal attire as they made their way to the the Denver Performing Arts Complex for this fundraiser highlighted by a performance by Vanessa Williams, whose vocal and acting skills have earned her nominations for Tony, Emmy and Grammy awards.

Profitable because the net proceeds came to $685,000 — money that will enable Allison Watrous, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts’ executive director of education, and her team to both continue and expand the DCPA’s arts education programs that to date have given 2.7 million Colorado school children a taste for live theater by attending plays, gaining technical knowledge, and staging productions of their own.

And historic because the $1,000-a-ticket gala was the last to be held in the Stage Theatre. Renovation of the 778-seat venue is part of a $36 million project that also includes upgrades to the adjoining Ricketson Theatre. When the Stage Theatre reopens in November 2020, it will bear the name of longtime benefactors Marvin and Judi Wolf. Work on the Ricketson Theatre begins in the spring of 2020 and is expected to take about a year to complete. It, too, is being renamed — in honor of DCPA trustee and former Denver Post publisher Dean Singleton.

Singleton and his sister, Pat Robinson, were among those attending Saturday Night Alive, joining a crowd that included Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and first lady Mary Louise Lee; Martin Semple, chairman of the DCPA board of trustees, and his wife, JoAnn; University of Denver Chancellor Rebecca Chopp with hubby Fred Thibodeau; and Hassan Salem, who is chairing the capital campaign that is funding the renovations, and his wife, Sheila.

Semple lavished praise on the team that chaired Saturday Night Alive: Roberta and Matt Robinette; Lyn and Dr. Michael Schaffer; Wanda Colburn and Dick Havey; Adrienne Ruston Fitzgibbons and Jack Fitzgibbons.

“We have a larger leadership team than ever before,” he said, which resulted in an event that ran like clockwork and had a handsome financial return.
Vanessa Williams, whose Broadway career took off in 1994 when she replaced

Source:: The Denver Post – Lifestyle


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