It is truly difficult to discern if it’s the timid glimpses of spring cracking through the dreary winter gloom, or the fact that I have inexplicably listened to Lorde’s “Green Light” about 345 times on a loop, but I have been possessed by the frivolous and feisty spirit that comes with warmer seasons. Perhaps befitting for my mood and the subtly prodding hints of a more invigorated and lusty season, the coinciding season of Pittsburgh theatre’s galas is upon us, offering an assortment of festivities that aim to titillate a myriad of theatre-enthusiasts and epicurean dramatists. Not only does the impending Gala Season tease with spectacles and opulent nights of wonderful entertainment and divine food and drink, but the galas put on by the various Pittsburgh theatres provide opportunities to sponsor and support local education and community initiatives by attending.
If you’re looking to have a thoroughly Zelda Fitzgerald evening, but without the self-destructive sadness, look no further Quantum Theatre’s upcoming Q Ball. Succinctly yet ravishingly billed as a chance to “delve into the underground,” Quantum Theatre’s Q Ball 18 Cabaret Voltaire is a nostalgic exploration into the enthralling and engulfing world of underground and niche art movement that captivated the 1930s. Incorporating elements of the art of scintillating artists and subversive intellects ranging from Josephine Baker to avant-garde filmmaker Fritz Lang, Quantum’s gala—held on April 14th in the appropriately off-kilter Gym at Butler street Lofts—promises a night of sumptuous provocation, arousing symphonic accompaniment at the VIP Party (7-9 PM; 200$ tickets) courtesy of the Boilermaker Jazz Band, and stupendous culinary bits provided by Black Radish Kitchen (paired with specially crafted libations for the evening). The illustrious VIP portion of the evening will be followed by the equally riveting Dance Party running from nine to midnight (50$ advance tickets; 60$ at-the-door) that will be enlivened by elites from Pittsburgh’s DJ and Drag scenes that will capture the ingenuity and erotics of the 1930s.
Famed and revered Pittsburgh City Theatre will put on its annual Gala and Auction on April 20th, with a theme that hopes to usher in the rollicking, warm-spirited spring that we have yet to consistently enjoy. Wistfully dubbed The New Do, City Theatre’s playful (flamboyant pun very much intended) gala, which will be held in the Heinz Field East Club Lounge, is advertised as a night of vivacious fun that allows patrons of the arts to “let down your hair, and show a little leg.” The evening will feature a satiating surf’n’turf and pasta-based menu that will be paired with a plethora of phenomenal wines. Post-meal, the evening will include the crowd-pleasing Silent Auction, a night of dancing featuring DJ Nugget (and a Mystery Bag), and a wonderfully opulent Henne Jewelers Raffle. The evening will be in honor of Robert M. Frankel awardees David E. Massaro (and family) and Robert C.T. Steele and will feature both a full night New Do option ($225.00 tickets) and Mini Do option ($50 tickets, with one drink).
Pittsburgh Public Theater’s annual gala offers a sort of flamboyant buoyance this April with their declaratively themed Bon Voyage! Gala. Billed as a Red Carpet style event hosted in honor of esteemed Pittsburgh Public Theater leader Ted Pappas as he makes his exit as the theatre’s producing artistic director after eighteen years, the evening will be a mirthful evening replete with cocktails, dining and of course dancing and live entertainment at the opulent Public Theater. This fabulous launch into the shimmering future of Pittsburgh Public Theater promises to charm and amaze.
Mythical purveyors of awesome mayhem and thunderous, euphoric disarray will run amok on May 5th for Pittsburgh Festival Opera’s Gala of the Gods. A Norse-mythos driven evening held on the earthly Valhalla (The Pittsburgh Golf Club, for all those not in the know) will enjoy a bacchanal befitting the gods, replete with mead-tasting (from Kingview Mead) along with wine and cider tastings, lively dancing to the music of Michael Sague III and Guaracha, a phenomenal performance by renown Wagnerian star Jane Eaglan, and intermittent symphonic interludes from Wagner’s The Ring sprinkled throughout the evening. Of course, the evening’s attire must be in accordance with operatic and Valkyrian standards (or, black tie/formal for those less intrepid), and guests may pick from a Dinner/Dancing evening (125$) or Dessert and Dancing evening (25$). If you’ve been looking for the perfect chance to dust off your breastplates and sponsor the arts, your time has truly come. Huzzah, indeed!
Wildly whimsical, magically colorful and outrageously fun for children and adults, the Royal Ball—put on by McKees Rock’s Gemini Children’s Theater, now in its 22nd year of existence—will be held May 12th at the Pittsburgh Field Club in Fox Chapel. Intended to be a night steeped in regal splendor and fairytale antics, Gemini’s gala will be brimming with fun, including games, live musical and theatrical performances, delicious food, a silent auction, and—or at least so the rumor mill goes—dragon visits. The Royal Ball aims to help fund and sponsor the children and education and theatrical communities in McKees Rocks, and proceeds from the gala will go to discounting Gemini tickets for students, teachers, drama coaches and other youth/education/arts affiliated individuals in the area (tickets are 60$ for children and adults; tables of ten are 500$). Both children and adults are heartily encouraged to attend costumed as their most beloved storybook character and prepare to lose themselves in a marvelous day of fantastical fun.
These glamorous and subversively compelling galas are reminders of the sensuous and electric thrill of a night out in the theatrical world that will allow dramaturgically-minded individuals a chance to revel in glittering amusement and spectacle, while also supporting the artistic/theatrical community that makes these glitzy nights possible. Whip out your flapper dress, throw your cares overboard, and get your Viking helmets and chalices ready for a spring chock-full of stupendous evenings geared towards rollicking fun and endorsing the arts.
**A previous version of this article stated the incorrect location for Gemini’s gala. It has since been updated.