Laguna Playhouse raises $370,000 at annual gala 


Night featured tunes from Broadway musical ‘Jersey Boys’ and the sensational 60s

 Laguna Playhouse raised $370,00 at its annual gala “Oh What a Night! Celebrating Songs from Jersey Boys & The Sensational 60s” held on Sunday, March 3 at the Laguna Playhouse.

Oh, What a Night Performers Courter Simmons, Christopher Kale Jones, Ryan Williams and Shonn Wiley. Photo courtesy of Laguna Playhouse

Courter Simmons, Christopher Kale Jones, Shonn Wiley, Ryan Williams from the Broadway, Chicago and Los Angeles companies of the Broadway musical Jersey Boys united and performed many of the hit songs from the show including “Sherry,” “Walk Like a Man,” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” which featured slick dance moves and the glorious harmonies and sounds of the era.

The gala raised $370,000 to support Laguna Playhouse’s Youth Theatre programs, funding for actors and designers for its live theatrical productions, as well as technical equipment required for both backstage and onstage.

Artistic Director David Ellenstein welcomed the donors and their guests and updated them on the Playhouse’s renewed success. He also gave a sneak preview of the 2024-2025 season, which kicks off in September with the comedy hit “Don’t Dress for Dinner.” The guests were thrilled to be the first to know. The season lineup was announced publicly on March 12, and seven-play subscriptions are now available.

Cast members from the Laguna Playhouse Youth Conservatory displayed their talents by presenting a montage of Broadway songs from their upcoming production of The Addams Family, which performs May 10 – 12 at the Playhouse.

“What a fantastic evening filled with good feelings, wonderful spirits, and great entertainment,” Artistic Director David Ellenstein said. “It was a night to celebrate Laguna Playhouse and the energy at the Playhouse was high as our loyal patrons and donors joined together in supporting live theatre in Laguna Beach.”

“This annual fundraiser supports our extraordinary work with young people in Laguna Beach and Orange County, as well as the great theatre we produce on our stage,” Board of Trustees Co-Chair Lisa Hale said. The success of the evening is evident when we witness year-round how live theatre engages people of all ages and proves that theatre matters to everyone.”

For more information on all shows and programming, visit

Founded in 1920, the historic Laguna Playhouse is one of the oldest continuously operating not-for-profit theatres on the West Coast and is an active participant in the celebrated Laguna Beach arts community. 

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