Theatre’s Starlight Gala to be streamed online, great evening planned

September 8, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

Randy Ugolini, member of the Board of Directors at Theatre Orangeville and Chair of the committee for the Starlight Gala, told the Citizen, “This year’s Starlight Gala is an event that is totally online.”

Scheduled for Thursday, September 10, this Starlight Gala is to be an online Variety Show, featuring some of the best known, best loved entertainers that have thrilled and pleased Theatre Orangeville audiences for so many years.

Traditionally staged in May, on the evening of the final production of Theatre Orangeville’s season, like everything else this year, the Starlight Gala was cancelled, as was The New Canadian Curling Club, meant to be the last spring production of Theatre Orangeville’s 2019/2020 season. 

The Starlight Gala is an evening of celebrating what the season has brought to us all, with dinner at a choice of one or two of Orangeville’s fine restaurants, followed by dessert in the Atrium at the Town Hall, in which the theatre is located. Toward the end of that hour of meeting and greeting old friends and theatre fans, those who had dined and those who came for just the play pause, for David Nairn to stand on a chair, towering over us all and announce the upcoming season, banners unfurled to display each title. These are met with applause and excited vocal commentary, hand-rubbing in anticipation. Then, we all troupe upstairs to see the show.

In lieu of this happy time, Theatre Orangeville continues to bring alternatives as best as circumstances allow: 

“The ideal three goals,” Mr. Ugolini began to explain about this year’s take on the Starlight Gala, “are: to replace Starlight, lost in the spring. Theatre goers have been left hanging, while we have been wondering what to do; whether or not we could even do something online. 

“Second,” said he, “To keep our patrons engaged; let them know we’re still doing things; still have a lot of things in mind for the fall and give them a brief an update.

“The last thing is: we want to have a fun night,” he remarked. “Some of the wonderful performances that grace the stage at the Victorian Christmas Gala are going to perform for this online evening of entertainment.”

This conversation was a three-way Face time that also included Theatre Orangeville’s Artistic Director, David Nairn.

Mr. Nairn wanted to clarify, “What it is not, is like a telethon. This is not about money,” admitting, “with the ticket sales, it is a fund raiser but not in an appeal, that way. We won’t be asking for money – it’s about the joy and returning to the theatre as soon as we can.” 

He added, “Just reminding people what they’re missing. We’ve got great talent. So many of all the great talents that the audiences are familiar with are in this 90 minute show. I guess I’ll moderate it, as with all these performances.”

As an online event, what are the tickets, to which Mr. Nairn referred? 

Here is how this will work: Tickets for exclusive viewing of the entertainment are $100. Always a dinner evening, an alternative ticket of $150 buys the show and a dinner. 

Between them, Messieurs Nairn and Ugolini explained: “This is a one-time event,” from David Nairn, “It can’t be shared or recorded. Both visual and audio components will be superior to Zoom or others, via a web stream of much superior clarity. A great show in a completely different format– this is going to be a wonderful time.” 

Mr. Ugolini contributed, “We will be delivering the meals to your home before the show starts being broadcast. This is a professionally produced show that we’re going to be streaming.”

“Like Starlight,” said Mr. Nairn, “meal options add another dimension to the whole experience, so it’s multi dimensional.”

Blue Bird Café and Grill, Lavender Blue Catering and Rustik Local Bistro are the three restaurants participating in the dinner portion of this event.

“Also we want to tell you that tickets are available now to September 10,” one of them said, with Mr. Ugolini adding the somewhat surprising news that, “There will be dinner delivery. A number of volunteers, Board members and others are making the drive to deliver dinners to homes up to 15 kilometres from the theatre.”

“There are tots of options – terrific menus from these three restaurants.”

As to the logistics, they have a plan and a map.

This is how it all works and the pricing: $100 ticket brings the show into your home by a web stream. Dinner is $50 a plate and the tax receipt is a generous $75 per $100 or $150. 

As Randy Ugolini commented , “The $75 tax receipt is a pretty decent tax receipt.”

Most importantly, they wanted to say, “It’s important to state this is professionally produced with a web platform not a conferencing app, it’s a streaming platform – not like zoom at all. 

“It’s like a variety TV show. A great variety show.”

To tempt you further, here are a few of the ten acts scheduled to appear, amuse and enthral you: Melanie Janzen and Jamie Williams, “Dean and Jerry,” Trevor Patt, plus very familiar, very loved performers from close to home. This is a one-time private streaming event to ticket holders only, not available to the public.

While we were speaking together, another boost to the whole picture was mentioned: there are no limits to how many people, in how many homes can opt in to see the show. The $100 ticket pays to entertain as many people as your home bubble allows. While there are limits to the number of meals that can be offered, this web stream is free of those restrictions. As a fundraiser by ticket sales this time ‘round, there is a really good opportunity here for great entertainment and good support for the theatre.

“I think that people will want to tune into this,” said Randy Ugolini, “to have an entertaining evening with Theatre Orangeville and to get a sense of community – spread the love that the community has. We’ve been stumbling around in the dark and we haven’t really had that contact. The Theatre Orangeville experience is to get that connection, with the theatre and the community and a great night.” 

Said David Nairn, “This is a way forward until such time as we can get together. God willing, this is a one-off.” 

Tickets are available online at– just follow the choices for tickets and menus. Or by telephone at 519-942-3423. Don’t miss this chance for a once-only and terrific show in your home, plus meal delivery and, best of all, a way to support your theatre. 

Finally: the meals will each be topped off with a special treat from The Chocolate Shop!


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