We had some of the best and the brightest people in the Chicago theatre community in attendance, as well as performing for us, at the Catalyst Ranch, which donated their space for free that evening.
Sure, you might say we stacked the deck a little in our favor to ensure the fact that we would have the "best and the brightest" in attendance by honoring Mr. Roche Shulfer, the Executive Director of The Goodman Theatre (in the above picture on the far left) with our first ever Larry Sloan Heritage Award, but seeing as how Mr. Schulfer was a part of the advisory committee responsible for the creation of Season of Concern, this award was well deserved!
And when you add to that the fact the The Goodman Theatre's production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL has raised over $306,000 for Season of Concern in the past 15 years, you understand just how vital Mr. Schulfer and The Goodman Theatre's generosity has been to our organization.
Also, Mr. Shulfer's wife, Mary Beth Fisher (center in the picture above) performed an incredible scene from Scott McPherson's play MARVIN'S ROOM at the event, in honor of the 15th anniversary of Mr. McPherson's death this coming November 7th.
Ms. Fisher performed that scene from MARVIN'S ROOM with the actress in the picture above, Ms. Annabel Armour, one of my favorite actresses in the city. She is truly amazing.
That dapper gentleman pictured with her is one of Season of Concern's outstanding board members, Mr. Jim Rinnert.
Then, there are these guys.
Left to right, we have the sensational Mr. Steve Wallem (never - - and I mean NEVER - - follow Mr. Wallem in an audition... I've done it and it ain't pretty... no one will think you're in the room after this man sings...). Steve performed an incredible parody song from his upcoming cabaret show at Davenport's entitled, SCHWARTZ AND ALL. He is a genius; if you're in Chicago, GO SEE HIS SHOW!
Next to Steve is the incredible Mr. Chuck Larkin who accompanied Mr. Wallem and is currently playing for the sit-down production of JERSEY BOYS here in Chicago. I told you - - we had the best and the brightest!
Next to Chuck is the fabulous Mr. Michael Camp, who is now a stage manager for Chicago's production of WICKED and beside him is the always brilliant Mr. Doug Orlyk, who not only raises funds for Season of Concern at cabaret events and joined our team for the AIDS Walk, but also wrote a song entitled A SEASON OF CONCERN that was performed at this event by none other than one of Chicago's Second City Divas, Ms. Susan Moniz.
These Larry Sloan Awards had it goin' ON!
And speaking of Chicago's production of WICKED, on the left in the picture above is Mr. Don Richard, who accepted the first ever Larry Sloan Partnership Award that Season of Concern gave to the Chicago cast of WICKED. Don is responsible for Season of Concern receiving $37,000 from WICKED's Fund Drive audience collection last year and arranged for the cast to also join our AIDS Walk team. He is amazing.
And his husband Craig is not only uber-cute (as we can see in the picture above), he's also incredibly sweet and kind - - just like Don.
And here are the award winners! On the left is Season of Concern's Board President (and my very good friend) Mr. Michael Ryczek and beside him is Mr. Shulfer.
In the center is an amazing woman - - Ms. Margaret Newton, the Business Manager at the Marriott Lincolnshire Theatre who has arranged for the proceeds from every opening night party at her theatre to go directly to Season of Concern. Every time I send out an email or make a phone call asking for help with fundraising, she is always the first one to respond. I was so delighted to present Ms. Newton with the first ever Larry Sloan Advocate Award. No one is more deserving than she is!!
To Margaret's right is Don Richard and to Don's right, that's little ol' bald me.
Monday was an incredible night for Season of Concern. Thanks to everyone who made the event such a success!