From lively horse races, to emotional tributes from donors, and even a show-stopping performance by the stars of the 2016 Gulfshore Playhouse production of “My Fair Lady,” The Loverly Gala was an evening of memorable moments, and confirmation of the importance of live, in-person performing arts throughout Southwest Florida.
Raising more than $1.4 million for the Annual Fund for Artistic Excellence, Gulfshore Playhouse welcomed guests to an Edwardian-themed evening, transforming The Ritz-Carlton Beach Resort into London’s busy streets adorned with opulence and extravagance as lords and ladies took part in a celebration featuring live entertainment, Broadway actors, and numerous giving opportunities.
Chaired by philanthropists Susan Regenstein and Barry Frank, The Loverly Gala is one of only a handful of major fundraising events in Naples hosted live since the pandemic began last Spring. The evening included numerous health and safety protocols, including face coverings, temperature checks, primarily outdoor festivities, and reduced capacity during the indoor program. Regenstein and Frank shared an inspirational account of the last year for Gulfshore Playhouse – from financial hardships, loss of staff, and complete cancellations of numerous shows and productions – to the creation of new, virtual classes, an inaugural streamed production, and the resurgence of live theater.