Charity Spotlight: Laguna Playhouse Plans Big Band Gala for Nov. 1 at Island Hotel

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Gala chair Michelle Bendetti and committee member Heidi Miller at last year’s Motown-themed gala.
Gala chair Michelle Bendetti and committee member Heidi Miller at last year’s Motown-themed gala.

Step back in time to a stylish supper club show featuring the music of the 1930s through the early 1950s when The Laguna Playhouse presents is “A Night at the Coconut Grove” Big Band Gala on Saturday, November 1 at The Island Hotel in Newport Beach.

The evening will feature a white-glove service dinner with wine from Newport Beach Vineyards & Winery, a Las Vegas-style show, dancing to the tunes of the Dean Mora Orchestra, a live auction featuring exotic trips, a silent auction, and a raffle for a one week Hawaii condo vacation or a Wine Cellar Starter featuring 100 Bottles of premium wines.

Before the festivities get started, VIP-ticket holders, sponsors and underwriters will have access to a special Speakeasy featuring complimentary signature cocktails and a cigar lounge.

Attire is Black Tie and Ball Gowns.

The event is co-chaired by Justin Myers and Michelle Bendetti. The gala committee includes Lisa Hale, Tamison Andersen, Barbara Brandt, Michael Chagoya, Christy Coffey, Denise Davis, Ashley Duran, Rachel Hale, Maryann Herrera, Carol Kirk, Paul Leu, Ilona Martin, Maggie Hempen Stempf, Sean LaFave, Paul Leu, Melinda Masson, Cheri Penne-Myers, Heidi Miller, Leslie Anne Mogul, Diane Mondini, Mona Lee Nesseth, Madeleine Peterson, Toni Redman, Nicky Schulz, Francine Scinto, Teryll Sindell, Valerie Sokola, Terri Turner, Holly Wisneski, Robin Woods, Caroline Wright, and Judy Zeiter.

For more information, contact Leslie Anne Mogul at [email protected] or (949) 497-2787 x217.

Tickets are $225 per person and can be purchased at

Founded in 1920, The Laguna Playhouse is one of the oldest continuously-operating theatres on the West Coast. More than 100,000 theatergoers annually attend performances at the Laguna Playhouse. Its continued artistic excellence, audience popularity and critical acclaim have helped make The Playhouse one of Southern California’s most important nonprofit theatre companies. The Playhouse has produced national tours of The Belle of Amherst (with Julie Harris) and Copenhagen, and has presented many world, national and regional premieres.

Over the years, the Laguna Playhouse has garnered numerous awards from LA Drama Critics Circle, NAACP, Backstage, OC Weekly, and many more, and was named Best Arts Organization by ArtsOC. Notable performers that have performed at The Laguna Playhouse include Bette Davis, Harrison Ford, Charles Durning, Marlo Thomas, Roddy McDowell, Rita Rudner, Cloris Leachman, and Sally Struthers.

The Laguna Playhouse is noted for its Youth Theater Education and Outreach programs. In 1989, its Youth Theater was recognized as “Outstanding Children’s Theatre” by the American Alliance for Theatre and Education. The theater’s touring production, TheatreReach, brings books to life on stage for elementary school children throughout southern California.

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