Making a Splash

Broadway diva brings down the house at Fort Worth theater company's birthday bash

Broadway diva wows at Fort Worth theater company's birthday bash

Kathleen Culebro, Ann Zadeh
Kathleen Culebro, Ann Zadeh Photo by Kris Ikejiri
Stephan Wolfert, Dawn Stern, Carman Lacivita
Stephan Wolfert, Dawn Stern, Carman Lacivita Photo by Kris Ikejiri
Garrett Gastil, Ellen Gastil
 Garrett Gastil, Ellen Gastil Photo by Kris Ikejiri
Kylee O'Hara Fatale, Frida Monet
Kylee O'Hara Fatale, Frida Monet Photo by Kris Ikejiri
Christine Pedi
Christine Pedi Photo by Kris Ikejiri
Kathleen Culebro, Carman Lacivita
Kathleen Culebro, Carman Lacivita Photo by Kris Ikejiri
Nuri Pina, Cynthia Hodgkins
Nuri Pina, Cynthia Hodgkins Photo by Kris Ikejiri
Beth Gideon, Randy Gideon
Beth Gideon, Randy Gideon Photo by Kris Ikejiri
Cynthia Hodgkins, Grant Hodgkins
Cynthia Hodgkins, Grant Hodgkins Photo by Kris Ikejiri
Donation rings
Guests wore light-up rings to signal they had made a donation. Photo by Kris Ikejiri
Amphibian Stage Productions Birthday Bash 2019
The crowd played along to several games, with wine and theater tickets on the line as prizes. Photo by Kris Ikejiri
Kylee O'Hara Fatale, Frida Monet
Kylee O'Hara Fatale, Frida Monet Photo by Kris Ikejiri
Dana Settle, Ted Settle
Dana Settle, Ted Settle Photo by Kris Ikejiri
Holley Williams, John Williams
Holley Williams, John Williams Photo by Kris Ikejiri
Michael Zerbach, Jeff Heald
Michael Zerbach, Jeff Heald Photo by Kris Ikejiri
Kathleen Culebro, Ann Zadeh
Stephan Wolfert, Dawn Stern, Carman Lacivita
Garrett Gastil, Ellen Gastil
Kylee O'Hara Fatale, Frida Monet
Christine Pedi
Kathleen Culebro, Carman Lacivita
Nuri Pina, Cynthia Hodgkins
Beth Gideon, Randy Gideon
Cynthia Hodgkins, Grant Hodgkins
Donation rings
Amphibian Stage Productions Birthday Bash 2019
Kylee O'Hara Fatale, Frida Monet
Dana Settle, Ted Settle
Holley Williams, John Williams
Michael Zerbach, Jeff Heald

Recently, Fort Worth theater company Amphibian Stage Productions had all its friends over to help celebrate 20 years of groundbreaking creative work.

The year 2019 has been an exciting capstone to Amphibian's first two decades in production. From an on-air name-drop by Steven Colbert in March to glowing reviews in May for Babette's Feast, its largest production to date, Amphibian is executing work that is gaining national attention for itself and the city.

So clearly a birthday bash was in order, with all funds raised going toward commissioning new plays, adding rising comedy stars to the season lineup, and helping defray the cost of hiring interns, giving young people necessary on-the-job experience. The funds will also enable the theater to expand its outreach programs, impacting both veterans of the armed forces (De-Cruit) and underserved children (Tad-poles).

The evening started with a cocktail reception in the lobby of Amphibian's Main Street performance space, where guests could take a gander at the generous raffle prizes (many of which were wine and theater-themed).

After filling up on appetizers, supporters moved into the cheerfully decorated mainstage and settled in for the evening's entertainment. Co-founders Kathleen Anderson Culebro and Carman Lacivita (the third founder, Jonathan Fielding, who recently appeared on Broadway in The Play That Goes Wrong, was unable to attend), as well as City Councilwoman Ann Zadeh, welcomed the crowd before introducing the first of the night's surprise guests.

Popular drag queen Frida Monet stormed the stage with a sassy and snarky performance, and was soon joined by Kylee O'Hara Fatale, who ensured that the audience would never think the same of rubber duckies and bath time ever again.

The pair also led the evening's games, which included trivia about Amphibian's history and Fort Worth neighborhood and a few challenges that could only be completed by those who had purchased light-up rings signaling a donation.

Then the party's star attraction appeared: Broadway's Christine Pedi, known as "The Lady of a Thousand Voices" for her searingly accurate impressions of Broadway's biggest divas. Pedi regaled the crowd with stories from her career and delivered delightful impersonations of everyone from Barbra Streisand to Bernadette Peters to Liza Minnelli.

All told, the evening raised $85,000 for the nonprofit theater company.