La Jolla Playhouse’s annual Gala took place on Saturday, March 23, co-chaired by Joan Jacobs, Debby Jacobs and Lindsey Jacobs. This stunning annual event raised more than $1 million to support the Playhouse’s new play development, education and outreach programs, as well as programs benefiting military families.
The evening featured a series of performances by Tony Award nominee Ariana DeBose, star of the Playhouse-born Broadway hit SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical. DeBose also appeared on Broadway in A Bronx Tale, Pippin and the original cast of Hamilton and was recently cast as Anita in Stephen Spielberg and Tony Kushner’s upcoming film adaptation of West Side Story.
The Gala also included a tribute to three Playhouse trailblazers: UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla, Tony Award-nominated choreographer Kelly Devine (Come From Away, Escape to Margaritaville) and Luke Gulley of Show Imaging, who has aided in the design and creation of the Playhouse’s spectacular Opening Nights and other events for the past six years.
The Gala began at 6pm with a cocktail party on the Taper Plaza. Guests then moved into the Potiker Theatre, which was transformed into a Vegas-style cabaret space, complete with luxury booth seating. The specially-prepared menu crafted by Chef Jeffrey Strauss/Pamplemousse Grille was paired with hand-selected wines to create an exquisite culinary experience.
Throughout the evening, the Potiker Theatre came alive with live musical performances by Ariana DeBose, along with unique video presentations celebrating the Gala trailblazers and the Playhouse’s upcoming season.
The event concluded with an after-party at 10pm, where guests continued to mix, mingle, dance and enjoy a special live performance with internationally-renowned EDM artist Mako.