from the “Sent Box” – Catching Up with some Good News, as Itamar Moses Comes to Town

Item #1: A wonderful final accounting and message from Lise Bruneau (whom we’ll see again on stage this spring in MIKVEH) who helped to spearhead our LOST IN YONKERS’ company’s week-long initiative to raise funds for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Read below as to how we did. And let’s thank, once again, the entire LIY company for their heart, soul, talent, and good works on behalf of those battling AIDS.

>> from Lise Bruneau:

Hello Everyone!!!!!
It is my undeniable pleasure to announce (and confirm) to all involved that we all have something to be most proud of. And Ari, please copy this to the folks at the JCC so that we can extend our appreciation.

It seemed that when the cast of Lost in Yonkers received their invite to be a part of the Equity Fights AIDS fund drive, there were many obstacles in our way…

– Our hosts, the not-for-profit Jewish Community Center, had an entirely understandable policy of not permitting outside fundraising on the premises

– The cast boasted several highly principled (and skilled) actors that were concerned about turning what had hopefully been an evocative evening into something else

– There were shy cast and crew, and young cast and crew, and a lot of folks that were willing to help but WOULD NOT BE DOING THE SPEECH thank you very much!

… AND NONETHELESS!!!!!! With most kind permission of the JCC, and the collected vigor of the cast and crew and staff…

WE RAISED $3,855!!!!!!!!

Now, this may not seem like a great deal of money, but let’s be aware that
– the audience was entirely unaware that this would be happening
– the house only holds 250 folks when sold out, which was only the case for about half the shows during which we collected
– we only collected over the course of 6 shows (we considered taking closing night off, but on the advice of our wonderful Stage Manager Karen Currie we did anyway and had our biggest haul totaling $774!!)

If we had sold out every night, we would have been looking at 1500 audience members. To draw almost $4000 from that many is a mighty feat indeed!!! And the folks holding the baskets will tell you that a huge majority of the fantastic audience members at Theater J pitched in. We took some nice checks, scattered bills, and some bundles of up to $100. The cast and crew transcended their very reasonable concerns and collaborated on clever basket placement, receiving donations, counting and sorting, Theater J provided a lovely selection of baskets from props, and even a secret stashing place between bank trips; and Marcus Kyd kindly offered to cover the terrifying speech most nights.

Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS is an organization that came together in response to the theatre community’s overwhelming need for support in the midst of the AIDS crisis, which hit our family very hard. Since its creation, it has done an amazing job of raising, and mindfully distributing funds across the country amongst the most effective and necessary organizations that address the needs of our community, and others affected with this horrific disease. They have done an incredible job of channeling funds into a multitude of groups that can do the most good. And the good will of our audiences and supporters have made a difference in a way that we could never do on our own.

Congratulations, and many thanks. Feel good. You have done a beautiful thing. With gratitude and joy,

Lise Bruneau

Item #2: Amazingly happy news from our wonderful Council member, Ira Hillman! He and Jeremy have a son! Read on! It’s the best news in the world for a wonderful couple and true lovers of theater. We are sending, as per instructions below, books, love, food, and lots of long-term support (did somebody just hire out Sophie the baby-sitter?)
for the happy family! Great news!

—–Original Message—–
From: Ira Hillman
Sent: Wed, Jan 20, 2010 3:30 pm
Subject: It’s a Boy: Elijah Lee Hillman Barber!

Jeremy and I could not be more thrilled to announce the arrival of our son, Elijah Lee Hillman Barber. He is named after my Dad’s Mom (Ethel) and Jeremy’s Mom’s Dad (Leland). An official baby naming is being planned at the end of February at Temple Micah (where I am now a member of the Board).

At birth, Elijah was 19 inches long and weighed 7 pounds, 7 ounces. He is perfectly healthy, eating well, and sleeping up to 5 hours straight during the night (lucky us!).

He was born January 12, 2010. Jeremy got a phone call on Friday the 15th at around 2pm informing us that we would be the proud parents. (While on the phone with the adoption agency, he sent me an email with the subject line “We have a son” — cue the tears.)

Item #3 (from the In box):

—–Original Message—–
From: Stephen Stern
Sent: Fri, Jan 22, 2010 1:34 pm
Subject: RE: MAZEL TOV!!! Fwd: It’s a Boy: Elijah Lee Hillman Barber!

This, and the AIDS fundraising – two moving heart-grabbers from the theater family you have built for so many. On top of the inter-generational, genderational, culturalational evening of theater [that was THE FOUR OF US] last night.
Kol Hakavod!

* * *

And so indeed, rich times. As evidenced by my last two facebook postings:

from Thursday night:

“Ari Roth is totally thrilled with THE FOUR OF US – what an amazing evening last night – all the designers and cast talking back to a full theater full of students from Howard, Michigan, Berkeley, Bard, Oberlin… By golly, we got younger! Go figure.”

from today’s fb status update:

“Itamar Moses is coming to town and will be in the house tonight for our 8 pm preview and on stage in a talk-back following the 3 pm final preview of THE FOUR OF US (rush tix available). Sunday night’s opening, SRO SOLD OUT!”