On May 2, the Friends of Niagara University Theatre will celebrate 51 years of Niagara University Theatre when the group hosts the 30th annual Friends of Niagara University Theatre Gala.
The festive event includes a 4 p.m. production of "Guys and Dolls" at the Leary Theatre within the Elizabeth Ann Clune Center for Theatre, Clet Hall. The musical matinee will be followed by a cocktail reception, dinner and silent and live auction at the Niagara Falls Country Club in Lewiston.
Auction items include a Broadway package; a golf outing with hockey legend Scotty Bowman, a nine-time Stanley Cup winning coach; elegant dining packages at the Buffalo Yacht Club and Niagara Falls Country Club; Shaw Festival and MusicalFare Theatre packages; a Buffalo Bisons luxury suite package; a spa day for two at Savoy Salon & Spa of Lewiston; a Tantalo Photography portrait package; gift certificates to area stores, restaurants and businesses; artwork; entertainment and sports-related memorabilia; gift baskets and much more.
NU alumnus John T. Overbeck, Class of 1975, is this year's gala chair. Overbeck is a faculty fellow in NU's College of Business Administration. He previously served in a number of executive sales positions for IBM for more than 30 years. A longtime supporter of NU Theatre, Overbeck also has acted on its stage in a number of productions, including "That Championship Season," "The Death of a Salesman," "Fiddler on the Roof" and "Our Town," to name a few. Overbeck said he is thrilled to have the opportunity to provide leadership for this fundraiser.
Auction committee co-chairs include Friends board members Maria Arena of Clarence, Pamela LeCuyer of Getzville, Margaret Lacki of Grand Island and Adair M. Saviola of Buffalo. Arena is board secretary and decorations chair of the event, and Saviola is board president. Dinner committee chair is Friends' board vice president Russell Papia of Williamsville.
Funds raised from the annual gala will benefit the theater program and its students, from needed theater equipment and supplies to workshops and mentoring by guest artists with such professional credits as the Broadway stage, television shows and films.
Tickets for the gala are $150 per person, or $175 per person for those individuals who wish to be listed as patrons. For more information about the gala, contact Jennifer Stahlman at 716-286-8483.