It is Gala time, which means theatres are bringing out their best and celebrating with their annual galas that support the Arts and Theatre in your local community. We are lucky enough to be attending the Walnut Street Theatre’s Gala Concert this year, and we are highly anticipating the wonderful evening they have planned. This year’s Gala Concert is on May 2, 2014 at 7 P.M. There is so much to look forward to in this Gala, and here are a few things we are looking forward in this night of exceptional entertainment.

First, the title for this year’s Gala at the Walnut Street Theatre is From Hollywood to Broadway. All the performers will be singing songs from screen and musicals, which means there will be a variety of music that will be sure to please everyone. In addition, Ben Lipitz will be hosting the evening’s events; audiences will remember Lipitz from the Walnut Street’s productions of The Producers and God of Carnage.

The second reason we are elated about this Gala Concert is the list of performers. The people who will be entertaining the Gala audience are some of our favorite actors that we have seen in memorable performances throughout the years. This is an event where Philadelphia’s favorite actors such as Jeffrey Coon, Ben Dibble, Mary Martello, Denise Whelan, Christopher Sutton and Ellie Mooney, all come together for a remarkable night of entertainment. Here is a list of some of the acts scheduled to perform on Friday:  Rachel Beiswenger, Rachel Camp, Jeffrey Coon, Ben Dibble, Jennie Eisenhower, Sarah Gliko, Scott Langdon, Mary Martello, Ben Michael, Cary Michele Miller, Ellie Mooney, Michael Philip O’Brien, Lyn Philistine, Fran Prisco, Christopher Sutton, Tara Tagliaferro, Lilly Tobin and Denise Whelan. We cannot wait to see all these amazing actors dazzle the audience with their wonderful performances.

The Gala Concert is important for two main reasons. The first reason is it benefits the Walnut Street Theatre. Arts in general are in need of support, so this is a great benefit to raise much-needed funds for the arts. All the funds raised from the Gala Concert will benefit, “the Walnut Street Theatre’s Education and Outreach programming, which reaches over 120,000 students, teachers and families annually in the Delaware Valley.” Additionally, this event is held annually to honor members of the business and artistic community with the Edwin Forrest Award. This award was created in 1990 in honor of the leading actor who was also a Philadelphia native, Edwin Forrest. Forrest made his debut at the Walnut Street Theatre in 1820. A large statue of Forrest stands in the lobby of the Walnut Street Theatre. This year’s recipient of the Edwin Forrest Award is US Airways. According to a press release by the Walnut Street Theatre, “The Edwin Forrest Award will be presented to Robert Ciminelli, VP of Customer Experience for American Airlines. For the past six years, Ciminelli has overseen all aspects of US Airways' operations at its Philadelphia hub. With the merger of US Airways and American Airlines, he recently took on a new role of leading the integration of all airport activities of the two airlines - a position based in Dallas/Fort Worth. . . . Since 2008, Ciminelli has dedicated his time and resources to support the Philadelphia community. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Walnut Street Theatre and the Police Athletic League, the US Airways Education Foundation and as Executive Sponsor of the Company’s African-American Diversity Network (AADN).”

The 2014 Gala Concert , From Hollywood to Broadway Gala Concert is a guaranteed night of great entertainment. This year’s concert will be held on May 2, 2014 at 7 PM at the Walnut Street Theatre. For more information and tickets please visit their website at or call their box office at 215-574-3550.

Photo Credit: Mark Garvin

Kelli Curtin is editor and writer for In addition, she is a contributor for the online sites and and is a freelance writer. Kelli is excited to share her passion about theatre and the arts with her readers. Kelli can be found on twitter @theatrescribe and on Facebook/theatresensation.

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