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.