SCT's Annual Places! Gala- Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed [The Rock Experience]
at Charlotte Martin Theatre and the Chihuly Garden and Glass benefiting Seattle Children's Theatre at 3:30 pm-8:00 pm
As the musical states, “We live in a tunnel of rock, so we rock” and the cast of “Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed” did just that! Adapted from the book of the same name by renowned and beloved children’s author Mo Willems with music by composer Deborah Wicks La Puma this musical delights children and adults and begs the question, “Why Not?”.
The musical is Seattle Children’s Theatre’s (SCT) newest production and was the main event for their annual Places! Gala on March 24th at the Charlotte Martin Theatre nestled below the Space Needle at the Seattle Center. In attendance were community members, students and teachers from SCT, local celebrities and Mo’s friend and fellow author Tom Warburton (of “Codename: Kids Next Door” fame). Two hundred and forty adults and 105 children donned their best ‘rocker chic’ attire from The Stones to unicorn horns to rock out with Mo Willems (Honorary Chair/author) and the cast to support the Seattle Children’s Theatre whose mission is to ‘provide children of all ages access to professional theat, with a focus on new works, and theatre education”.
Seattle Children’s Theatre’s production, “Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed” opened on March 22nd and runs through May 13th, 2018. The musical stars 4 naked mole rats: Tall, Grande, Venti, and Wilbur. Wilbur likes to wear clothes to the disgust and dismay of his fellow tunnel dwelling naked mole rats. Wearing clothes allows Wilbur to explore different personalities and challenge the status quo. The colony’s patriarch, Grand-Pah, realizes that Wilbur’s innate desire to wear clothes goes against the norm, but asks the colony, “Why not?” The message of the musical shows children and adults that “If it hurts someone, don’t do it! If it’s fun, get to it!” Artistic Director, Courtney Sale, mentioned in her introduction that this theme is especially important in this time when “young people are leading the way with passion, with empathy, with collaboration”.
The Seattle Children’s Theatre has provided more than 4 million youth of the Puget Sound Region with access to productions, drama school, and outreach programs for over 40 years. Events like this gala support the efforts of SCT to continue to inspire and educate. Attendees were able to purchase different packages to the event as well donating via text using a code on the back of their VIP passes to “Raise the Curtain”. Packages for the event included complimentary valet, pre-show drinks and nibbles, entrance to the musical, dinner at the Chihuly Garden and Glass for the adults, and activities for the children (who attended for free).
Post-show the adults exited the theatre to the booming and vibrant beats of the Blue Thunder drumline who generally entertain Seahawks fans before, during, and after games. On this day, their high energy rhythms led the attendees (and curious onlookers) toward Chihuly Garden and Glass where the adults were treated to a delicious meal of roasted chicken breast and sundried tomato goat cheese ravioli provided by the chefs of Chihuly Garden and Glass.
During the meal, attendees heard stories from the community who have benefited from SCT’s outreach efforts, including Danise Heisey, a 1st grade teacher from Northwest School for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing, who spoke about how SCT has been able to include her classrooms over the years by synching their cochlear implants with the theatre sound system. Stories like these exemplify how important the arts and the theatre are to the Puget Sound region and how the Seattle Children’s Theatre is doing all it can to accommodate and make theatre available for all children!
The Seattle Children’s Theatre’s next production will be, “The Lamp is the Moon” from April 12- May 20, 2018.
Mo Willems (author and playwright) and Deborah Wicks La Puma (composer). Photo Cred: Eva Blanchard
Mo Willems (author and playwright) and Deborah Wicks La Puma (composer). Photo Cred: Eva Blanchard
Approaching the Children’s Theatre nestled beneath the Space Needle
A beautiful Pacific Northwest day to support the arts
The Charlotte Martin Theatre
The poster for the Main Event
Staff member Corey monitors the valet line before the show
The long line of vehicles approaching the valet
Costumes to bid on for the silent auction
Cast and Crew
Silent Auction items
Silent Auction items up to bid on
Auction items from a production of “The Little Prince”
More costumes up for auction
Moments from the musical
“Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed” rocks
Kathryn Bolling (Patron services) and Stephanie Couturier (House Manager) decked out with show hairpieces.
The Staff preps the VIP badges before the crowds arrive
Ready to rock with pre-show nibbles
and pre-show drinks
Paul Richter and Trick Danneker man the libation station
Staffers prepare for the attendees arrival
The doors open and families begin to arrive
Staff get everyone checked in
The kids get their wrist bands assigning them to their groups
Adults and Children excitedly check-in
Families mingle before the show
Patrons check out the cast of the upcoming performance
Guests line up to get the coveted picture with author Mo Willems
The Parcel family enters the line to get their photo with Mo
The group waits to rock with Mo
A young fan peeks out the window before meeting Mo
Auctioneer Jeff Stokes makes announcements as the crowds arrive
Family fun for all and photo ops galore
The Gierman/Wilde and Kroenlein Families
The Bennett Family is ready for the performance
The Constable and Riley Families
Patrons check out the lobby of the theatre
The Helman family perusing their favorite Mo Willem stories pre-show
The Diament family gets some reading time in before the show
Bird’s Eye views of photo sessions
Charlotte Martin supported children and their education
The crowds wait for the theatre doors to open
Jeff Stokes expressed how important this fundraiser is for the children of the Seattle Area
Jeff lets the crowd know the timeline
Aimee and Gregory Vaughn waiting to rock out before the show
The future is bright for the Heinen family
Staffers were working hard to get everyone their VIP passes and wristbands
The crowd grows moments before the theatre doors open
Hats off to Meredith for rocking this top hat with ease
An empty theatre awaits excited guests
The audience filters in and finds their seats
Reserved seats were one of the perks of the Amplifier and Road Crew packages
Sill and Samantha
Shari Bitcon (Board Member) with friends Dean Swanson and Maggie Mallett
The theatre doors open and the guests filter in
A photographer captures the band getting ready
The band, The Flesh Tones, warm up
Jeff Stokes get the crowds to their seats
The Charlotte Martin Theatre seats
Members of the Blue Thunder Drumline prepping to hype the post-show crowd
Blue Thunder, who typically rock the Seahawks crowds, lead the attendees to the dinner portion of the evening
The 1st of the attendees make their way from the theatre to the Chihuly Garden
The crowd was surprised by the music of the Blue Thunder Drumline
En route to a fabulous dinner at the Chihuly Gardens
Jerome, Aiko, Kee, and Kim headed to dinner
It was a gorgeous day to stroll through the Seattle Center
Blue Thunder attracts the crowds
Icons of the area: The Space Needle and Blue Thunder
Blue beats and bounce before bevies
Blue Thunder really gets the crowd amped
Their performances are high octant
Blue Thunder drew many onlookers with their energy-packed performance
Sparkly rocker chic from Miya Ferguson on her way to dinner
Joe and Miya Ferguso outside Chihuly Garden and Glass
Attendees make their way into the gorgeous glass garden
The tables were decked out with delicious food and Mo Willem’s books
This piece which spans the length of the atrium is made up of 1,340 individual pieces and is 100 feet long
A scrumptious salad prepared by the staff of the Chihuly Garden and Glass
The audience finds their tables
Breathtaking artistry at Chihuly Garden and Glass
The glass work is everywhere and it is all magnificent
Patrons have more opportunities to bid on auction items at the entrance of the dinner venue
Local celeb MJ McDermott shows off her rocker chic
Post-show attendees chatted before dinner
The attendees explore the venue
Kanani. Caitlin, and Sofie
It was smiles all around at Chihuly Garden and Glass
Margret Burman and Anna Kaminski
Attendees could text in their donations to help “Raise the Curtain”
Danies Heisey speaks about her love for the SCT
Danise was the first to speak during the dinner portion of the event
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