NEW JERSEY SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL Tenth Annual Spring Gala

"BRUSH UP YOUR SHAKESPEARE VII"

Hosts   -  Robert Cuccioli    -   Mark Jacoby  -  Dana Reeve           Saturday  -   March 25">

NEW JERSEY SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL Tenth Annual Spring Gala

"BRUSH UP YOUR SHAKESPEARE VII"

Hosts   -  Robert Cuccioli    -   Mark Jacoby  -  Dana Reeve           Saturday  -   March 25, 2000  

Reviews:

From Connie C.

Brush Up Your Shakespeare VII

The New Jersey Shakespeare Festival celebrated its upcoming 38th season at their Tenth Annual Spring Gala held at The Hilton at Short Hills in Short Hills, New Jersey on Saturday, March 25......and we were there!

It was an evening filled with good company, great entertainment and, of course, a chance to see and hear Robert Cuccioli. The gala featured Silent and Live Auctions and a wonderful cabaret! The event was hosted by "Enter the Guardsman" alumni Dana Reeve, Mark Jacoby and, of course, Bob. It certainly was a reunion of sorts for the entertainment line-up also included Guardsman cast members Derin Altay and Kate Dawson.

The cabaret opened with a spoof on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" humorously  played out by Bob (Robert Cannoli), Dana, Mark and Gabriel Barre. The game show introduction was followed by an opening number aptly named "If We Had A Million Dollars". Act One was rounded out with performances by Dana (giving a great delivery of "Natural Woman"), Mark, Baby Jane Dexter and others.

Included in the Silent Auction many items, was the unique opportunity to sit in on a rehearsal of the festival’s (and Bob’s) upcoming production of "Antony and Cleopatra". The day also included lunch with the New Jersey Shakespeare Festival’s Artistic Director, Bonnie Monte and members of the cast. "Enter the Guardsman" signed production photos, featuring a scene from The Actor’s Fantasy (Bob dressed as a sheik dancing with Mark Jacoby) and a scene with the Actress and the Guardsman were also up for bid.

Act Two began with an exciting live auction led by Dana Reeve and actor Ed  Hermann, followed by more great entertainment and concluding with Bob giving us the wonderful opportunity to once again hear him sing his anthem "This is the Moment." He continued to rock the house as he joined with the company to sing the finale -- John Lennon’s and Paul McCartney’s "With a Little Help from my Friends."

A terrific evening was had by all!!!!!"


From  Dawn P
 
   Ms. Wheelchair New Jersey reporting back from the best weekend as representative of my program ever. I attended the New Jersey Shakespeare Festival fundraising gala at the Hilton at Short Hills and had an absolutely wonderful time. The weekend was absolutely great and every aspect of the event was absolutely top drawer.
 
   The evening featured cocktails, carving stations, passed hors d'oeuvres, silent and live auctions for unbelievable items, and a cabaret show featuring my heart throb, Robert Cuccioli as host and one of the performers. I had no idea of the number of Broadwy and film stars that are affiliated with the New Jersey Shakespeare Festival but the representation in the show was unbelievable.
 
      The cabaret show starred Robert, Dana Reeve and Mark Jacoby who all performed in "Enter the Guardsman" that I saw last Fall. Show tunes and popular songs were performed by both Broadway and cabaret performers and the performance credits of the cast covered Broadway, television, film, jazz, and regional theater. A real thrill was the performance of Joe Morton, perhaps best known as the SWAT Team commander in "Speed" and the computer researcher in "Terminator 2". He performed "On Broadway" and a song he wrote called "Flirtation" with Jazz all-star Reggie Workman accompanying him on base.
 
    The show intermission featured live auction for such items as a trip for two to London, dinner for sixteen at the 21 Club, a week vacation at the Bever Creek resort in Vail, and a nonspeaking walk on part on "Frazier". I wish my checkbook was up to the challenge but alas, I'm just a poor struggling grad student / beauty queen. I plan to keep in touch with this group when I'm making the big bucks.
 
    I had a great time and plenty of opportunities to talk with the stars. Robert was of course gratious and happy to see me. He sang his signature song "This is the Moment" from "Jekyll and Hyde" in the cabaret show and brought a tear to my eye. We also visited before and after the show and I had yet another picture taken with him. He noticed my gown and commented how beautiful I looked, which left me a little bit speechless. I was doing fine talking to him up to that point. I guess I'm not use to people commenting on how beautiful I am, let alone someone like Robert. This gown is definitely going into the hall of fame. 
 
    Dana Reeve
remembered me from when my friend Sam Spencer and I crashed the green room at "Enter the Guardsman" and was very gracious. She is doing a talk show on the Lifetime network and gave me her home fax number. I hope things work out for her to support this year's Ms. Wheelchair NJ pageant and maybe a shot for me on the show. She was just so nice and outgoing.

   Edward Herrmann, who is best known for his performances as FDR and Lou Gherig and also is the TV spokesman for Dodge, conducted the live auction. He spoke with me a couple of times and was clearly well regarded by all the performers there. His sense of humor really kept the bidding going and his brand of self deprecating humor speaks well of his true self confidence and generous nature. I really enjoyed meeting him and Dodge commercials will never be the same for me. 

  Robert is going to be doing a club act in New York and I watched him as he watched Baby Jane Dexter, one of the foremost cabaret performers in New York do two numbers as part of the show. He is also performing in the festival's staging of Shakespeare's "Anthony and Cleopatra" in September. My social calendar is really filling up as I continue to enjoy Robert's work. Joe Morton will be performing in "Othello" in the same venue in October and
November. These will be two performances not to be missed!

   Kelly and I went for drinks after the Gala at the hotel bar.  Guess who we sat in-back of. Robert! But, I played it cool.  I didn't ask him if we could sit with him.  I didn't want to bug him, I knew he had a long night and he was talking with a few of his friends.  Kelly and I had our drinks, talked about our old college days and laughed a lot.  By this time it was getting time to go.  I gave Robert a good-bye wave. He asked me if I was leaving.   I told him "yes", but I would see him in 3 weeks at Arci's.  He said, "that's great" and gave me a wave. 
 
    Hats off to my mom for coming up with the best graduation gift ever. I know I'm going to remember this being one of the best nights of my life.                                                                                              4/3/00

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