Past Galas

Whether we’re celebrating together in our finest or wearing our pajamas for an online gala, a City Lights party is a night to remember. Here’s a sampling of photos and memories from recent years.

[image: Pottery bowls by Keenan Flagg]
Pottery by artist and actor Keenan Flagg was a popular auction item.

2021: Online auction

Oh, Covid. We were all set to come back to in-person partying in 2021, but the Delta variant thwarted our plans. Still, we had a terrific online auction with wonderful bidders, amazing auction items and our beloved City Lights community.

Our favorite auction items included: a personal freestyle rap / voicemail message by Broadway actor James Monroe Iglehart, a private sailboard charter cruise on the Bay by SailNow!, and a cottage getaway in the Gold Country.

[image: City Lights' Anne Younan, Lisa Mallette and Tasi Alabastro partying on Twitch]
City Lights’ Anne Younan and Lisa Mallette celebrating on Twitch with Tasi Alabastro.

2020: Pajama Gala

Though nothing this year happened according to plan, our pandemic-era Pajama Gala was a surprising success. Embracing the stay-at-home vibe, we partied on Twitch with our dapper host, Tasi Alabastro. The dress code was cozy, the drinks were BYO cocktail or chamomile, and video and live performers included Jackie Gage, Ren Geisick and Sangin’ Sara.

Afterwards, we took our traditional after-party to Zoom for an informal hangout. Overall, we had a fundraising goal of $25,000 and took in $30, 573. Further proof that the City Lights family is the absolute best.

Amy Soriano-Palagi sings the title song from “Cabaret.” Photo by Taylor Sanders.

2019: Come to the Cabaret

The beautiful La Rinconada Country Club in Los Gatos hosted this theatrical evening that paid tribute to our hit summer musical Cabaret. We dined, sang, enjoyed live performances, and threw a spirited live auction. In here, life was beautiful.

Highlights included watching Executive Artistic Director Lisa Mallette sing “Someone To Watch Over Me” with ASL interpreter and actor Stephanie Foisy interpreting. But no one could forget seeing our resident scenic designer, Ron Gasparinetti, celebrate with partner Steve Cortopassi when they won a trip to Tuscany!

Lisa Mallette and Sam Liccardo. Photo by Taylor Sanders.

2018: City Lights’ 35th anniversary

Photos and posters from the company’ 35 seasons were the decor as we celebrated at La Rinconada Country Club in Los Gatos. San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo was our honored guest (and presented City Lights with a special commendation!) as we enjoyed cocktails, dining and a silent & live auction. The bidding was fast and furious!

Actor Caitlin Papp channeled Lizzie Borden at the gala. Photo by Christine Zillman.

2017: “Axes and Ohhhs!”

At this year’s gala, we partied in the style of our summer rock musical LIZZIE. “Axes & Ohhhhs!” offered a dinner at the historic Fallon House & Garden, a performance of LIZZIE¬†at City Lights, and an after-hours dance party at the theater.

“American Idiot” actors Jeremy Ryan and Amanda Le Nguyen at the party.

2016: “Rock Revolution Revival”

We channeled our inner rock stars and dressed up for a party held at Strike Brewing Company in San Jose. It was all in the spirit of our summer musical, Green Day’s American Idiot. Partygoers spotted an “Axl Rosette” dancing with Johnny Cash, along with an eerily lookalike Prince.

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