For the third production of their 2022 season of original outdoor musical revues, Transcendence Theater Company will present THE GALA, Sept. 9-18, at Jack London State Historic Park in Glen Ellen, Calif. Tickets for LE GALA are available now on bestnightever.org.
Directed, choreographed and designed by Broadway veteran Chip Abbott (On the Town), along with fellow designers Billy Bustamante (Miss Saigon) and Matt Smart (Hamilton), THE GALA is Transcendence’s most anticipated show of the year. . The annual celebration features dazzling renditions of popular Broadway hits from new and classic shows such as Tick, Tick, Boom!; Nasty; Guys and Dolls; funny girl; and more.
About working with his co-designers, Chip Abbott said, “Their knowledge of the musical theater canon and their quick brainstorming with limitless creativity are amazing to watch and participate in. The sessions are very open and collaborative and I sense that everyone is heard. That’s the only way to create a show, because each individual has a truly unique and important perspective.
In addition to the creative team’s input, Abbott also asked the performers what were some of their favorite Broadway moments to incorporate into the show.
“The hardest thing is to reduce everything,” he explains. “The show will feature our favorite Broadway moments, a perfect cocktail of Broadway nostalgia coupled with some of our new favorites. The singing and dancing is not only high energy, but speaks to some of those sentimental moments that we love. all.”
The cast of THE GALA features the best of the best performers from across the country, including veteran Transcendence Theater Company members Maria Bilbao (In the Heights), Jamarice Daughtry (Ain’t Too Proud), Kyle Kemph (The Company Men ), Ruby Lewis (Paramour), Colin Campbell McAdoo (We The People), Meggie Cansler Ness (Wicked) and Sophie Rundhaug (Urinetown). Emily Koch (Waitress), Kathleen Laituri (Radio City Rockettes), Ben Lanham (An American in Paris), Jennifer Sánchez (Pretty Woman) and Cecil Washington Jr. (Kinky Boots) make their Transcendence debut.
In addition to Abbott, THE GALA’s creative team includes Billy Bustamante (Associate Director), Matt Smart (Music Director), Logan “Jee-Jay” Maccariella (Associate Musical Director), Alisha Ramos-Epps (Executive Producer) , Jeffrey Porter (technical director director/lighting designer), Nils Erickson (sound designer/engineer), Brook McCann (costume supervisor/props coordinator/costume designer), Sarah ET Jackson (production manager) and Karen Webb (assistant manager).
Broadway, as you’ve always loved it!
Transcendence’s annual flagship event returns! Enjoy an evening of Broadway elegance that brings soulful music from the stage to the starry skies of Valley of the Moon. Filled with stage hits you love and new surprises, we promise you once again that one-of-a-kind enchanted evening that made Transcendence a Wine Country phenomenon.
Ticket prices range from $25 to $165 for individual shows. For tickets and more information, visit www.bestnightever.org or call the box office at 877-424-1414.
The 2022 season will end with:
SPECTACULAR HOLIDAYS OF TRANSCENDENCE
From December 2 to 11 at the Hanna Boys Center
Chip Abbott is a New York-based choreographer, director and dancer whose performance career spans the worlds of concert dance, commercial dance and Broadway. Chip served as Assistant Choreographer, Dance Captain and Swing for Emmy Award-winning Joshua Bergasse in the Broadway revival of On The Town (Tony-nominated for Best Choreography) and he was also seen on Broadway in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
His choreography was seen most recently at ACT of CT in their world premiere of a new adapted version of Working, under the artistic direction of Stephen Schwartz. As a director, Chip has created two IAAPA Brass Ring award-winning shows – Dance, Dance, Dance, Heartbeat (World’s Best Theatrical Production) and The Enchanted Journey (Most Creative Christmas Show) – both produced by RWS Entertainment Group at Hershey Park. Chip has directed numerous shows for HersheyPark and Azamara Club Cruises in addition to choreographing for Step One Dance Company on Holland America Line and The Little Mermaid at Red Mountain Theater Company.
Chip was director/associate choreographer to Tony Yazbeck at the 2017 Young Arts Gala and assistant choreographer to Joshua Bergasse for Bernstein at 100 Tanglewood with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, as well as Bernstein at 100 Wolf Trap with the National Symphony Orchestra and with Misty Copeland. Additionally, Chip served as associate choreographer of On the Town at the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra (reconstituted Bergasse choreography).
Billy Bustamante is an artist, director/choreographer and photographer based in New York. He grew up in the Maryland suburb of Washington, DC, sandwiched between two gifted and talented sisters. He is the only person in his family who cannot play the guitar. His love for the arts began at an early age when he discovered he could “re-create” Paula Abdul’s “Cold-Hearted Snake” choreography and “perform” it for his family members.
Since then, Billy has studied musical theater at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and performed on Broadway and in regional theaters across the country. He is a co-founder of Broadway Barkada, a Filipino cultural organization, and is on the faculty of the Jen Waldman Studio. He also runs a successful photography business, Billy B Photography.
Matt Smart is the music supervisor for Transcendence Theater Company. Her recent credits include A Christmas Carol, SF Tour (music director) and Hamilton, And Peggy tour (Asst. Conductor, Keyboard 2). Matt has worked with Michael Feinstein, Michael Tilson Thomas, Bonnie Raitt and Alex Lacamoire, among others. A Bay Area native, he holds music degrees from Pomona College and Butler University and is very active as a teacher, composer, musical director, performer and music producer.
Transcendence Theater Company would like to thank the following sponsors for their 2022 season: RBC Wealth Management, Sotheby’s International Realty, Redwood Credit Union, Sonoma Media Investments, Alan and Susan Seidenfeld Charitable Trust, Benziger Family Winery, Daryl Reese Attorney at Law, Kaiser Permanente, Perry Johnson Anderson Miller & Moskowitz LLP, Exchange Bank, Viansa Winery & BR Cohn Winery, Bank of Marin, Friedman’s Home Improvement, Walter and Pistole Attorney at Law, Spot On Events and Productions, Homebridge Mortgage – Gayle Arrowood, girl & the fig, KZST, Parkpoint Health Club, Presentation School, Hanna Boys Center, Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn, The Dance Center, Best Western Sonoma Valley Inn, JDH Wealth Management, Jeffrey and Shelly Bean DDS, Sonoma Mendocino Lake Medical Association, Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers Association , Sonoma Valley Authors Festival, Finish American Home Association, Signarama and Unicorn Printing Group.
About Transcendence Theater Company: Transcendence Theater Company has been California Wine Country’s premier entertainment experience for ten plus years. With three original outdoor musical revues each summer, an indoor holiday show each winter, and more, their mission is to create extraordinary evenings featuring the best talent from Broadway and beyond. Their dedication to enriching Sonoma County includes providing the joys and benefits of musical theater to all through unique performances, community engagements, and arts education programs.
Each Transcendence summer show begins with a pre-show picnic in the vast vineyard-fringed meadow of Jack London State Historic Park and features a variety of local businesses including gourmet food trucks, vendors, pre-show entertainment and fine wine from acclaimed Sonoma County wineries. Performances take place steps away in the majestic open-air ruins of the historic winery as well as in other notable and breathtaking settings throughout the wine country and community throughout the year. Find out why people call a night out at Transcendence the “best night ever.” www.bestnightever.org