Judy Collins will sing at Fox benefit

October 20, 2011

By Teya Vitu


Theaters and performing arts groups across the country rely on more than regular ticket sales to thrive or even survive.

Judy Collins

More often than not, ticket sales make up only half or even less of the necessary revenue. The rest comes from sponsorships, donations, fundraising, benefits, pick a word.

The Fox Tucson Theatre Foundation chose the route of $150 tickets for a Judy Collins concert at 6 p.m. Nov. 4 at the Fox Theatre, 17 W. Congress St.

Collins is the headline act for a benefit gala event being called “Chasing Rainbows, “ named for the first movie screened at the Fox in 1930 that you can see at the gala.

Fox enthusiasts with thicker wallets may opt for the $250 VIP ticket, which includes a pre-concert private reception with Judy Collins, premiere seating and complimentary valet parking.

Both $150 and $250 tickets come with a raffle ticket for a 1930 two-door Model A Ford, donated to the cause by the Jim Click Automotive Team, which also is co-sponsoring this benefit gala along with Tucson Lifestyle magazine. Click acquired the Model A from the California Automobile Museum.

“This historic, treasured theatre needs continual financial support,” said Fletcher McCusker, chairman of the Fox Foundation Board and chief executive of Providence Service Corp.  “We will do our part with premier entertainment and we hope this gala event will become a major fundraiser for us.”

“Chasing Rainbows” is an inaugural annual fall gala for the Fox to supplement the annual Oscar Night and Bollywood fundraisers, which bring in about $30,000 and upward of $100,000, respectively.

“We have to subsidize everything we do with fundraisers,” said Craig Sumberg, the Fox’s executive director. “This is a great opportunity to help keep The Fox alive. (This gala) is a central element for us being able to do what we do.”

Judy Collins has performed at The Fox before.

“We think she’s the kind of artist that lends herself to a gala,” Sumberg said. “She’s very elegant and she’s popular with the older generation and younger people. We wanted to put on an event specifically to the Fox’s strength: high-quality music in that beautiful venue.”

The gala evening opens with 1930’s inspired cocktails and buffet provided by Blue House Catering and screenings of the 1930 movie “Chasing Rainbows” in all three bar areas of the theatre.

“Chasing Rainbows” was only Jack Benny’s second movie, made before he truly struck his fame with radio and television. Benny and Marie Dressler offer the comic relief in this backstage musical that cashes in on the original 1929 “The Broadway Melody” that went on to cash in itself with Broadway Melodies of 1936, 1938 and 1940.

Bessie Love and Charles King starred in both “The Broadway Melody” and “Chasing Rainbows,” and Benny went on to top billing in “The Broadway Melody of 1936. “Chasing Rainbows” is famous for the song “Happy Days are Here Again.” Love’s career went on so long she appeared in Warren Beatty’s “Reds” in 1981.

Tickets can be purchased at the Fox Theatre box office, from any Fox Foundation member, or online at www.foxtucson.com.

Sumberg notes The Fox has been on an upward trajectory sold-out shows with Steve Martin and Emmy Lou Harris and a fall calendar with premiere acts including Kris Kristofferson, John Prine, Don McLean, Aaron Neville, Up With People and the Moscow Ballet.