“Groucho” is the Not-So Secret Word By Artistic Director, Christian Lebano

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On his very popular show You Bet Your Life Groucho Marx always had a “secret” word of the day. If that day’s contestants said the word, a bird would drop down and they would win a prize. Well, if our patrons say “Groucho” they will get a wonderful experience on Sunday, December 4, 2017 and SMP will get a fabulous prize.

Frank Ferrante (a Sierra Madre native) who has traveled the world with his show An Evening with Groucho – he is in Australia now playing to sold-out houses – has very generously donated a performance to SMP. We are using this wonderful donation of Frank’s considerable talents as the centerpiece of a Gala Fundraiser for our Playhouse. For $100 (Center section reserved seating) or $85 (Side seating or rear row Center section) our patrons will have a chance to see Frank’s amazing performance AND support the Playhouse. Each ticket will be deductible after the first $30 and will include a champagne reception in our lobby afterwards. Frank will happily sign photos and talk about his love of Groucho. Tickets are on sale now.

The last time he did his show in our area it was at the Pasadena Playhouse last January and he is scheduled to perform at the La Mirada Center for the Performing Arts next March. Ferrante was handpicked by Arthur Marx to carry on his father’s legacy. The New York Times described him as “the greatest living interpreter of Groucho Marx’s material.” Morrie Ryskind, co-author of the classic Animal Crackers and A Night at the Opera, has said that he is “the only actor aside from Groucho who delivered my lines as they were intended.”

Frank’s generosity follows on the heels of Fritz Coleman’s two sold-out performances last Sunday of his one-man show Defying Gravity. Fritz also, very generously, donated the entire box office to SMP. This was such a wonderful gesture on his part and will make such a difference to us as we plan our upcoming season. Frank’s show could likewise make a huge difference in allowing us to move forward with our ambitious plans for the rest of this season.

We are now reaching out to our supporters and donors to make commitments of support for the next year. You each should be receiving your solicitation letters soon and when you do, I hope you will consider making a generous gift to SMP. I’ve spoken of some of our dreams and plans, to make them a reality we will need the help of our friends, old and new, in our Marquee Giving Circle. Please help us keep SMP as a vital and treasured part of this community. And, I hope to see you at our Groucho Gala! – it’s going to be a fantastic evening.

As always we do it for you – our SMP family. Your support and loyalty mean so much to us. For tickets please call Mary in the box office at 626.355.4318. Hope to see you soon!