Venice Theatre celebrated 65th anniversary with black-tie gala and the opening performance of HAIR, reimagined and directed by Ben Vereen

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Venice Theatre celebrated 65th anniversary with black-tie gala and the opening performance of  HAIR, reimagined and directed by Ben Vereen
Venice, FL, Nov. 12, 2015 – Venice Theatre supporters and savvy theatre goers who wanted to be the first to experience Ben Vereen’s reimagined production of Hair, The American Tribal Love Rock Musical, attended  the theatre’s 65th Anniversary Gala on Monday, Nov. 9, 2015. The black-tie event included a souvenir photo on the red carpet (see link below for a selection of photos), hors d’oeuvres and desserts donated by local restaurants, an open bar, Hair’s opening performance, a talk-back with Vereen and his cast after the show, champagne and a commemorative Venice Theatre stemless wine glass.

The event was full to capacity and the show was well-reviewed by the two critic who attended that evening.

Hair continues on Venice Theatre’s MainStage Tuesdays through Sundays through Dec. 13, 2015. A product of the 1960s peace movement, hippie counterculture and sexual revolution, Hair won the 1968 Tony for Best Musical and the 1969 Grammy for Best Score from an Original Cast Show Album. Revived on Broadway in 2009, it won Best Revival of a Musical. Songs include “Aquarius,” “Good Morning Starshine,” “Hair,” and “I Got Life.” The show contains mature themes and nudity as well as strobe lighting. Audience discretion is advised.

Performances are at 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays with added performances on Saturdays Dec. 5 and Dec. 12 at 2 p.m. and Sunday Nov. 29 at 8 p.m. There is no performance on Thanksgiving. Tickets are $32 for adults, $20 for students (recommended for 18 and older) and are on sale now at the theatre’s box office, online at or by phone at 941-488-1115. Venice Theatre’s 2015-2016 MainStage Series is sponsored by Gulf Coast Community Foundation.

Tony Award winner Ben Vereen originally became involved with Venice Theatre in 2013 when he presented his concert “Steppin’ Out Live”.  He returned for a second performance in 2014. A few months later he served as the master of opening ceremonies at the international community theatre festival hosted by Venice Theatre where he also taught master classes. It was there that he and Venice Theatre’s Executive/Artistic Director Murray Chase discussed the possibility of Venice Theatre producing Vereen’s reimagined version of Hair.

Chase, in his comments at the gala said, “We could not have reached this level of excellence without the support of our community and the thousands of volunteers who have been involved with us over the last 65 years.”

About Venice Theatre
Venice Theatre is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to making a dramatic impact on all stages of life. The second-largest of 10,000 community theatres in the United States, it is located at 140 W. Tampa Ave. in Venice, FL. Its MainStage offers seating for 432 patrons and features musicals, plays, concerts and special events.  Its Yvonne Pinkerton Theatre seats 90 patrons and is home to the theatre’s “Generations,” Stage II and Cabaret Series. In addition to providing entertainment to the community, Venice Theatre offers a wide range of education and outreach programs for children and adults.

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