By Carole Howard
Thingamajig Theatre Company
The first of two fundraising galas for Thingamajig Theatre Company takes place this Saturday evening, July 31, when 20 of the most popular actors and directors to perform in the theater’s productions over the past decade will sing and dance at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts. They also will be auctioned off to eager bidders for unique follow-up private events.
The theme of this gala is “The last 10 years,” when the audience will be treated to the best numbers from previous Thingamajig musicals. The theme of the second gala on Thursday, Aug. 5, is “The next 10 years,” which will feature musical performances from some great Broadway shows co-founders Tim and Laura Moore hope to produce in the future — “sort of our wish list or our bucket list,” as Tim Moore put it.
Tim Moore is the theater’s artistic director and his wife, Laura, is the executive director.
Both evenings are cabaret-style shows. Melissa Firlit is choreographing and Boni McIntyre is the music director. Both Firlit and McIntyre have been very popular directors and performers with Thingamajig audiences over the years.
Auction of the actors
Only about half of the costs of Thingamajig’s productions are covered by ticket sales. The remainder of the theater’s funding comes from private donors, business sponsors, program advertising, grants and proceeds from the gala fundraisers — the most important events of the year to keep the theater up and running.
Over the years, the annual galas have become must-attend affairs on our community’s festive summer social calendar because of the exciting live performances on stage and the audience members’ exuberant bidding on the actors for private gatherings following the big events.
Among the most popular auction items are the campfire sing-along, the progressive dinner and the trip to New York City next January with the Moores as they audition actors for the 2022 season. Many more auction opportunities are now being finalized as the actors get creative in matching their talents to events that will be entertaining and fun for patrons.
Galas’ cabaret-style concerts
Doors open for the galas at 6 p.m. with the shows starting at 7 p.m.
Past season ticket holders were given the first opportunity to purchase gala tickets and only a very limited number still are available as part of the season ticket package. To purchase that package, which also includes a ticket to “Sylvia” and other benefits, please phone (970) 731-SHOW (7469). They are not available on the theater website.
‘Sylvia’ plays through Aug. 29
The crown jewel of the theater’s summer season is the return of “Sylvia,” the touching canine comedy about a dog and her new owner, a middle-aged man who brings her home to live in his apartment in New York City, much to his wife’s distress.
Back by popular demand, “Sylvia” was the highlight of Thingamajig’s first season back in 2011 when Laura Moore played the part of “Sylvia” to huge acclaim. Now she is receiving rave reviews and standing ovations as she reprises the role through Aug. 29, in honor of the theater’s 10th anniversary. Tim directs the production.
In addition to Laura Moore, three actors make up the “Sylvia” cast. Carl Morrow, who plays the man who brings Sylvia home, is known to Thingamajig audiences for his roles in “A Few Good Men,” “West Side Story,” “Legally Blonde” and “Little Shop of Horrors.” Polly Seale, a new resident of Pagosa Springs with an impressive acting resume, plays his wife. And Rodney Holmes, who performed in Thingamajig’s productions of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” “Tarzan,” “The Secret Garden” and “Damn Yankees,” plays three parts in the production.
You can find the dates and times of “Sylvia” and order tickets for the show on the theater’s website at pagosacenter.org or by phoning (970) 731-SHOW (7469). Tickets are $35.
The actors will not be wearing masks, but they all are vaccinated. Masks must be worn by unvaccinated persons during performances. Please note: Strong language is used in the production. The facility, bar, gift shop and gallery open one hour before the performance. Seating opens 10 minutes before the performance. There is a 15-minute intermission.
Thingamajig is celebrating its 10th anniversary with this summer season.
“We can’t imagine a better way to commemorate this milestone than being able to reopen the theater with ‘Sylvia’ and the two fun gala events after the long COVID closure,” said Tim Moore.
Restrictions relating to the COVID-19 pandemic required Thingamajig — like theaters around the world — to go dark on March 15, 2020. That resulted in a 15-month closure of Pagosa’s esteemed local professional theater.
Thingamajig Theatre Company is an award-winning professional nonprofit 501(c)(3) theater in residence within the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts. Its talented actors, directors and designers come from across the U.S. and around the world to produce musicals, comedies and dramas year-round — COVID permitting, of course.