stoked for stokes

Houston's Theatre Under the Stars taps Broadway leading man for all-new virtual gala

Theatre Under the Stars taps Broadway leading man for virtual gala

Brian Stokes Mitchell
Broadway's "last leading man" will headline TUTS' gala.  Photo courtesy of Theatre Under the Stars

Weeks ago, Theatre Under the Stars made the somber announcement that it was postponing its entire 2020 season until May 2021. But the show must proverbially go on, and next up is the annual TUTS gala, which will go virtual on Saturday, November 7 at 8 pm, the organization announced.

The “Lights Up Houston” virtual gala will boast an exclusive performance by Broadway’s Brian Stokes Mitchell. Dubbed “the last leading man” by The New York Times, the Tony Award winner has been a fixture on Broadway, television, film, and concert appearances. The event will be emceed by Houston Public Media’s Ernie Manouse; Elaine Balagia Croucher, Megan Hotze, Amy Pierce, Helen Shaffer, and Hector Villareal will serve as gala chairs.

Tickets for the event start at $250 and are available online.

Gala guests can view the streaming program and simultaneously use an app to participate in live and silent auctions, with all proceeds going to the non-profit theatre company, according to TUTS. Other customizable options include a chef-prepared dinner in guests’ homes or the delivery of a wine and dessert package from the Post Oak Hotel.

The gala comes at a time when all local performing arts organizations are facing unprecedented challenges during the pandemic. To date, the theater company has incurred close to $6 million in revenue loss due to the cancellation of performances and major fundraising events. Those losses could extend to another $11 million over the next 12 months, according to TUTS,

“We’re thrilled Brian is able to join us for this spectacular virtual event,” said Dan Knechtges, TUTS artistic director. “Brian is affectionately known as ‘The Mayor Of Broadway’ because of his tireless advocacy and his leadership as the President of The Actor’s Fund. He has also kept spirits up in New York during the pandemic by serenading neighbors from his apartment window. He is one of Broadway’s biggest stars, and we’re honored he wanted to help support Theatre Under The Stars.”