Light Up CenterStage Promises a Fabulous “Once Upon a Time…” Evening

Each year, Light Up CenterStage gets better than the year before and this year’s December event will keep up that tradition.

When the door open on Saturday, December 3, at 7 p.m., get ready to party. Eventualities will transform The J into a showplace befitting an elegant evening and the hardworking Light Up CenterStage Committee has instituted a number of changes that will make this year the best year yet.

“We heard people’s concerns last year,” said CenterStage Artistic Director John Leffert, “and have made changes accordingly to improve our guests’ experience.” Among the changes, the event will have a new layout and the flow of the event has been streamlined so the evening will end by 11 p.m.

This year’s theme is “Once Upon a Time….” “The décor will feature a steam punk theme of gears and clocks and such,” Leffert explained. “The theme was chosen as a way to celebrate CenterStage’s past and present work as we begin our journey to an exciting future.”

“One of the things people told us they want is more food,” said Light Up Chair Sarah Harlan. This year’s hors d’oeuvres selection will include a pasta station and roasted vegetables. “Chef Z will be catering again,” she added, “and he does a wonderful job.” There are reasons why he is one of the hottest catering chefs in the city.

There will be lots of elegant desserts again this year, but to keep things moving more smoothly, Harlan said, a tempting array will be set up on each table when patrons enter the auditorium for this year’s original Broadway revue and the live auction. That means no bananas foster this year, she noted, but there will still be plenty of goodies to choose from, you can enjoy them throughout the show and you won’t need to navigate through a bottleneck in the lobby to get to the show on time.

Last year, CenterStage introduced online bidding for the auction. It was a huge success despite minor glitches. This year, The J has improved its WiFi capabilities and Light Up CenterStage is using BidPal to ensure a better and easier silent auction bidding process. There will also be tech support people on hand to ensure the system can handle 250 people bidding at once.

“The great thing about using online bidding,” Harlan explained, “is that you can bid on several items at once” and always know whether you’ve been outbid. “You don’t have to be right there watching the item.”

This year’s raffle promises the winner an exclusive, behind-the-scenes Broadway trip. The winner will travel to New York with John Leffert, Rabbi Stanley Miles and other CenterStage company members for an unforgettable experience that includes at least two shows and much more. Tickets are just $50 each, and only 150 will be sold.

Of course, the evening will also include open bars, members of the CenterStage Acting Company performing Leffert’s new original Broadway revue and a live auction with a professional auctioneer.

“I’m super excited,” Harlan said. “I love Light Up – it’s the most fun of the year. Where else can you go to see a Broadway-quality show, enjoy delicious hors d’oeuvres and sumptuous desserts provided by one of the hottest caterers in town and support the oldest community theatre in Kentucky?”

So get your cocktail attire ready and purchase your tickets today.

Early bird tickets, available through October 1 are $850 for a table of 10 or $95 for individual tickets. On November 13, the prices go up to $950 for a table of 10 or $108 for individual tickets.

Purchase tickets at or call or call Anne Ensign-Urteaga, 502-238-2763 by November 25. All proceeds of the evening benefit CenterStage Acting Out, an arts education program, “opening minds, one act at a time.”

Sarah Harlan is Light Up CenterStage chair. Kelly Dodd is Light Up CenterStage Auction chair. Candy Pierce is CenterStage Board chair.

Members of the Light Up CenterStage Committee are Sara Abner, Dona Boone, Jan Bowling, Kristy Calman, Ellie Catlett, Linda Davis, Carol Dines, Dr. Eugene Dorf, Virginia Evans, Emily Fields, Glenna Godsey, Frank Goodloe III, Abby Gordon, Lauren Morelli Hammond, Rusty Henle, Jill Higginbotham, Cindy Hytken, Anthony Johnson, Barbara Myerson Katz, Brian Martin, Rabbi Stan Miles, Sam Pilotte, Donald Platoff, Jordan Price, Christy Shircliff, Larry Singer, Janet Stiles, Ken Stites, Sandy Stoler, Leni Sweet and Carrie Syberg.

Staff includes CenterStage Artistic Director John R. Leffert, CenterStage Outreach Manager Joanna Blieden, CenterStage Administrator Anne Ensign-Urteaga, JCC Development and Special Events Director, Lenae McKee Price and Jewish Community of Louisville President and CEO Sara Klein Wagner.

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