Local directors (almost) outshine Broadway star
summit daily news
Megan Hilty may have been the Broadway star performer at the Lake Dillon Theatre Company’s gala Saturday in Silverthorne, but with the price Christopher Alleman and Josh Blanchard fetched for preparing dinner and a few songs, you would’ve thought they were the featured “its” from New York City.
During the gala’s live auction, Alleman, the company’s producing artistic director, and Blanchard, the executive director, raised $7,500 by offering their four-song entertainment, paired with a private four-course dinner, complete with wines.
Though they jokingly valued the private meal for eight at $10, they were hoping to garner $800 to $1,000, so they began the bidding at $500. It quickly skyrocketed from there, and finally, the bids teetered between $2,400 and $2,500.
That’s when Blanchard ran up on stage and whispered something into Alleman’s ear, to which Alleman replied, “I’ll kill you.”
But apparently Blanchard’s suggestion won out, as Alleman announced, “OK, we’ll do the dinner twice, if both (parties) are willing to pay $2,500.” Though the $2,400 bidder shook her head “no” when a man fired out the original bid of $2,500, she was more than willing to contribute to the theater’s cause by paying $2,500 in light of Blanchard’s idea.
Just as Alleman was closing the deal, another woman began waving her hand wildly, saying she was willing to pay $2,500 if the duo cooked and performed a third time. And so it was.
“That was a lot of fun, and I think I just sweated off about 5 pounds,” Alleman said at the end of the auction.
Marilyn Beebe was happy to fork over the money, explaining in a lighthearted manner that she did it “because I can’t get them to the house because they’re so busy … I have to pay to get them to the house.” Her husband jokingly said buying them for dinner was pay back to Blanchard, who bid against him in last year’s auction for a chocolate lab. They won the lab; now Blanchard must slave away at the stove – with a happy tune.
Bob Bannon paid $2,500, saying that not only do Alleman and Blanchard sing well and have fun, enjoyable personalities, but also, “It’s a great deal for the community because the theater is a big asset to this community. What other community with a 27,000 population has theater like this?”
Now, it’s up to the performing duo to deliver, a task Alleman feels “a little bit of pressure” about. His biggest concern: He’s cooking for Jean Fitzgerald, who he says is probably one of the best cooks in the county. In fact, when she and Annette Fricke offered to prepare dinner for eight guests at last year’s silent auction at the gala, she invited Alleman and Blanchard, and they had such a good time, they thought it’d be fun to offer their services through an auction.
Saturday, 183 guests attended the gala, and the company raised a total of $62,247.
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