Following the success of last year's star-studded gala, Dallas Summer Musicals opened up 2018's "An Evening with the Best of Broadway" concert to the public — and was rewarded with another impressive night of fundraising.
Broadway devotees and fans of the television show Glee could purchase tickets individually to the concert, which boasted performances from Tony nominee Matthew Morrison and Shoshana Bean, with Jane Lynch acting as emcee. Nearly 1,000 fans were also surprised with special guest stars Joshua Henry, a recent Tony nominee for Carousel and the original Aaron Burr in the Chicago company of Hamilton, and Loren Allred, a finalist on The Voice and the singer behind the tune "Never Enough" from the film The Greatest Showman.
But before the concert, event co-chairs Cara Owens and John R. Clutts hosted a smaller group for a glamorous dinner themed around Dallas Summer Musicals' upcoming season. Created by Christopher Patrick, the executive chef for the Abacus-Jasper's restaurant group, the menu included such dishes as the Miss Saigon Niçoise, Harmonia Gardens Green Salad (for Hello, Dolly!), Burr versus Hamilton Dueling Surf & Turf (for Hamilton), and Buddy's Favorite Bundt Cake (for Elf the Musical).
Guests were also able to browse the silent auction offerings before DSM president Kenneth T. Novice announced the lucky winners.
Up for grabs were trips, luxury items, and of, course, top-tier theater experiences. Fierce bidding led to two of the night's biggest prizes being doubled, meaning that the top two bidders for exclusive access to Hamilton's Dallas debut and a dream trip to New York City to attend the Tony Awards each walked away a winner. Also included was an experience package with box tickets to a Fleetwood Mac concert at American Airlines Center and stay at The Joule, family tickets for the Dallas engagement of Disney's Aladdin, and an exquisite jewelry box and tickets to Anastasia.
Everyone attending the show had the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets for a chance to meet the stars afterward, and the lucky winners were three very ecstatic theater teachers.
New this year was the presentation of the ANGEL Award, designed to honor the work of an engaged volunteer and dedicated philanthropist. Members of the Sharp family — Sally Harris, C. Stanton Sharp, and Peter and Sarah Jacobson — accepted the posthumous award for Charles S. Sharp and Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler. Sharp was a former president and chairman of DSM, while Altshuler served as president of the Dallas Summer Musicals Guild in the 1960s. The philanthropic couple made such an impact on the Dallas arts scene that Dallas Summer Musicals is henceforth renaming the inaugural award in their honor.
Students from the Dallas Independent School District, including 2018 DSM High School Musical Theater Awards Best Actor and Actress winners Noah Aguilar and Sierra Roberson of Frenship High School, were also a part of the night's performance, joining the Broadway stars for a standing ovation-worthy finale.
All funds raised from the DSM gala — a whopping $500,000 this year — go toward supporting its education and community programs, including the DSM High School Musical Theatre Awards, Seats for Vets, Seats for Kids, Kid's Club, Hear Us Now!, and the DSM Community Performance.