Playhouse Merced opens its 19th theater season next weekend with the annual fundraising gala, "There and Back Again."
"The gala serves as an opportunity to kick off our upcoming season, raise some much needed funds and simply get together with Playhouse Merced supporters and have a good time," gala co-chairman David Zacharias said.
The evening will feature a prime rib dinner, live entertainment and a silent auction.
"Each year we offer our audience an opportunity to experience live theater performed by our talented community members," board treasurer Carol Longobardi said. "This year's gala will include a sneak preview of our season opener
'9 to 5: The Musical.' "
The silent auction contains 100 items.
"We have a unique assortment of items available for bidding," Longobardi said.
They include a jazz and dining vacation to New Orleans, a weekend in Santa Cruz, and an electric guitar autographed by Eddie Van Halen, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Carlos Santana, Slash, BB King, Neil Young, The Edge and Pete Townshend.
"There and Back Again" will end with no-host cocktails, dessert and dancing.
Tickets are $75 per person and include dinner, live entertainment and the silent auction.
Tables of eight can be secured for $700. This includes the addition of wine at the table and other special upgrades. All proceeds from the gala go toward the ongoing productions and offerings at Playhouse Merced.
"Funds raised are used to support set building and design, costumes, sound and lighting equipment, and our conservatory program," Longobardi explained.
Zacharias is excited about this celebratory start of the new theater season.
"I look forward to the gala every year as it kind of signals a new beginning," Zacharias said. "It is always a fun-filled evening."
'There and Back Again'
WHAT: Playhouse Merced's annual fundraising gala
WHEN: Saturday, beginning at 6:30 p.m.
WHERE: Merced Elks Lodge
COST: Tickets are $75 per person, and include dinner, live entertainment and a silent auction. Tables of eight can be secured for $700, which includes wine at the table and other upgrades. Buy tickets at 452 W. Main St., Merced, or call