Rubicon Theater Company will kick off its 25th year with a “Starry Soiree” celebration headlined by Emmy, Tony, Grammy and SAG Award nominee Norm Lewis. At the Oct. 8 event, attendees will be treated to a concert of musical theater hits performed by Lewis, Broadway’s first African-American “Phantom” and one of stage and theater’s most celebrated entertainers. ‘screen. In addition to pre-show wine and hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction (including 10 seats at an exclusive lunch with Mr. Lewis) and a post-concert discussion with the Broadway Star, members of the public will lend generous philanthropic support to the Rubicon as it heads into the final year of its first quarter-century.
The concert will take place in the garden of a local arts champion with Rubicon staff members Kirby and Beverly Ward serving as celebratory hosts. The silent auction of experiential packages will open for online auction on September 23 and will end during the event. Festivities begin at 6:00 p.m. with candlelight tours of the historic 1929 home and final auction; concert by Norm Lewis at 6:45 p.m.; conversation with Norm around 8:00 p.m.
Emmy, Grammy, Tony and SAG Award nominee Norm Lewis recently starred in Spike Lee’s critically acclaimed “Da 5 Bloods” and the groundbreaking FX series, “Pose.” Additionally, Mr. Lewis can be seen in ABC’s new series, ‘Women of The Movement’, and off-screen his voice can be heard in the latest season of Apple TV‘s animated series, ‘Central Park’. . He was also seen as ‘Caiaphas’ on NBC’s award-winning television special, ‘Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert!’, alongside John Legend, Sara Bareilles and Alice Cooper.
Mr Lewis returned to Broadway in the fall of 2021, starring in Chicken and Biscuits at the Circle In The Square Theatre. He has previously appeared in the Broadway revival of Once on This Island and as “Sweeney Todd” in the Off-Broadway production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street at the Barrow Street Theatre, receiving the AUDELCO Award for his performance . In May 2014, he made history as the first African-American ghost of the Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. He has been seen on PBS in the “Live From Lincoln Center” productions of Showboat with Vanessa Williams and Norm Lewis: Who Am I?, New Year’s Eve: A Gershwin Celebration with Diane Reeves, as well as American Voices with Renée Fleming and the PBS Specials First You Dream – Music from Kander & Ebb and Ella wishes you a Swingin’ Christmas. He can be seen recurring in the VH1 series, “Daytime Divas”, also alongside Vanessa Williams. Her additional TV credits include “Law & Order”, “Dr. Death”, “Mrs. America”, “Better Things”, “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”, “Bull”, “Chicago Med”, “Gotham”, “The Blacklist” and “Blue Bloods,” as well as his recurring role as Senator Edison Davis on the hit drama “Scandal.”
Mr. Lewis is a proud founding member of Black Theater United, an organization that unites to help protect black people, black talent and black lives of all forms and orientations in theater and communities across the country. He received Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League and Outer Critics Circle nominations for his performance as “Porgy” in the Broadway production of The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess. Other Broadway credits include Sondheim on Sondheim, The Little Mermaid, Les Miserables, Chicago, Love, The Wild Party, Side Show, Miss Saigon and The Who’s Tommy. In London’s West End, he played the role of Javert in Les Miserables and Les Miserables: The 25th Anniversary Concert, which aired on PBS.
Off-Broadway, Mr. Lewis has starred in Dessa Rose (Drama Desk nomination, AUDELCO Award), Shakespeare in the Park’s The Tempest, The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Drama League nomination), Captains Courageous and A New Brain. His regional credits include “Porgy” in Porgy and Bess (ART) by The Gershwins, Ragtime, Dreamgirls (with Jennifer Holliday), First You Dream, Sweeney Todd and The Fantasticks.
Her additional film credits include Christmas In Tune (with Reba McEntire), Magnum Opus, Winter’s Tale, Sex and the City 2, Confidences and Preaching to the Choir.
Norm’s albums “The Norm Lewis Christmas Album” and “This is The Life” can be found on Amazon.com as well as cdbaby.com.
The Rubicon Theater Company has been described as “the rising star in Southern California’s cultural constellation.” The non-profit professional regional reached more than 480,000 participants and 45,000 students. Rubicon serves area residents and visitors with innovative productions of classic and contemporary plays, as well as a wide range of educational programs and events. Acclaimed by critics and industry professionals, the company received the LA Drama Critics Margaret Harford Special Award for “Sustained Excellence”, a Drama Desk Award for the Off-Broadway production of The Best is Yet To Come and won more than 20 Ovation Awards from the LA Stage Alliance.
Prior to the pandemic, Rubicon moved three shows to New York (Wiesenthal – Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Award nominations; Lonesome Traveler – Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Award nominations; and Daddy Long Legs (Drama Desk Award). streams of top national and international actors and directors, including Bruno and Odiseo Birchir, Susan Clark, Dana Delaney, Conchata Ferrell, Bonnie Franklin, Harold Gould, Joel Gray, Larry Hagman, Bill Irwin, Stacy Keach, Jack Lemmon, Amanda McBroom, Ted Neeley, Paul Provenza, Linda Purl, Rondi Reed, John Ritter,
Joe Spano, Bruce Weitz, Lillias White and others. The members of the society are George Ball, Joseph Fuqua and Jenny Sullivan.
Located in downtown Ventura’s cultural district, just blocks from the Pacific Ocean, Rubicon resides in a historic 185-seat church built in the 1920s. more than 10 rows from the stage to the ground floor. (The balcony, which seats twenty, is available for private parties or corporate groups.) True to the company name and the vision of creative directors Karyl Lynn Burns and James O’Neil, Rubicon created an environment where commitment and risk are encouraged, and where artists are nurtured and respected. As a result, the company has earned a reputation for invigorating interpretations of classics and supporting the development of new works. Rubicon features at least one world premiere each season, along with works-in-progress readings.
Deeply rooted in the region it serves, Rubicon offers extensive outreach programs, including daytime matinees for high school students, after-school and weekend programs for at-risk youth, and musical theater camps. , drama and summer techniques. More than 45,000 students have benefited from it.
A board of directors comprised of prominent social and civic leaders governs Rubicon under the leadership of Doug Halter. The company is also supported by an advisory group of regional ambassadors and a 50-member volunteer auxiliary.
The $300 ticket includes a $250 tax-deductible donation to support Rubicon arts and education programming. For more information, call Rubicon Guest Services at (805) 667-2900 or visit www.rubicontheatre.org. Media contact: Beverly Ward (805)667-2912, Ext. 280 For more information about the Rubicon Theater Company or to purchase tickets, call (805) 667-2900 or visit www.rubicontheatre.org. The theater is located at 1006 E. Main Street in the downtown Ventura Cultural District.
Photo credit: Peter Hurley