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All the ‘menu’ is a stage

Theatre gala “menu” will serve guests performances.

Photo courtesy of Christina Ramos

Photo courtesy of Christina Ramos

Lauren Torres, Staff Writer

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A second helping of Theatre Art a’ la Carte, a night where you can choose your entertainment from a menu of options, is coming to Cal State Long Beach May 1.

The three-hour gala, which debuted for the first time last year, focuses on showcasing different aspects of student performance art to raise money for the CSULB Theatre Art Department, student organizations and funding for guest artists. The event is held at the Theatre Arts building.

The event, originally created by alumnus and former theatre management student Monica Miklas, took about eight months to plan and was so successful last year that its “menu” format is still being used.

We received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback regarding the flow of the event,” Christina Ramos, creative director of special events at California Repertory Company, said. “Guests seemed to appreciate that it was a departure from the usual sit-down dinner and speech that is typical of most galas.”

The night’s host is comedian Craig Anton (“Jimmy Kimmel Live”, “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”), and the “menu” runs like a three-course meal. The evening starts with an hour of drinks and appetizers, a silent auction, and an expressive dance piece.

The next hour serves as the real “a’ la carte” aspect of the night and gives attendees a chance to choose two of the five entertainment options offered up for “tasting” with options like a slew of student-created plays or a sketching class.

For the last hour, actress Alexandra Billings (Amazon’s “Transparent”) will close the show with a song while guests are served dessert.

Although the gala’s proceeds will go towards benefitting students, at $100 a ticket, it’s not exactly tailored for the skimpy-sized wallet most students survive on.

While students may not be the target market of this kind of event, they are the sole reason for and beneficiary of this kind of event,” Ramos said.

Tickets for Theatre Art a’ la Carte are now on sale at gala.calrep.org.

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