Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Denim and diamonds

nexStage benefit and auction keep going

Express Staff Writer

Jilla Web Bruce Innes

The amount of community outreach that has surfaced in the face of the nexStage Theatre's possible closing represents the heart of small town living. When a community joins together to save valuable entities, such as the nexStage Theatre, great things happen.

There is a lengthy list of benefits and donations that have already transpired, but there are more needed for the nexStage to raise the $325,000 needed by June 30, 2007, to purchase the property. On Wednesday, April 25, at 7:30 p.m., a benefit concert and auction, "Making Music for the nexStage Theatre," will feature the vocal talents of Jilla Web and the Wood River Valley's very own Bruce Innes. Tickets are $25 for general admission and $100 for 75 special reserved seating spots. Tickets are available at Sturtevant's in Ketchum and Hailey as well as the nexStage Theatre. All proceeds from the concert will go to the nexStage capital campaign.

Web is the daughter of Henry James of the Henry James Orchestra and has followed in the footsteps of her father having maintained a singing career for more than 25 horizon expanding years. She has opened for singing sensations such as Lee Ann Womack and LeAnn Rimes and has performed in clubs and casinos throughout Las Vegas as well as at numerous music festivals across the country.

In addition to her singing career, Web has developed a career as a major commercial voice-over talent for most of the major television networks as well as several national television shows and events. She has worked for Le Reve, at the Wynn Casino in Las Vegas as a vocal and dialect coach, and her success as a vocal teacher has led to her opening another location in addition to Las Vegas in Nashville, Tenn.

"Gilla is one of the great singers in the country, and she's a great person. We'll sing songs that her mom sang with the Henry James Orchestra, some rock and standard songs and some of my original songs," Innes said. "It's mostly going to be her."

"Making Music for the nexStage Theatre" is sponsored by Sturtevant's, DL Evans Bank, Dennis and Patti Hanggi, Architecture +, The Roosevelt Grill, The Sawtooth Club, KECH Radio, Castle Rock Mortgage, Fox Creek Interiors, Sunburst Guitar Gallery and Sun Valley Resort. In addition, donations of food and wine by Rick Lum of Buffalo Bites, Tracy McCarthy and Frenchman's Gulch Winery will be offered.

"We have got to keep it here because we need the space, but if it turns into another bank or whatever that's not good," Innes said. "It's so small and intimate, and the people who run it are so artistic. Plus they are always doing things with children. It is a multi-purposeful place, and they are always doing so much for the community."

The auction will include the drawing of the nexStage's Diamond raffle as well as original paintings from local artists Lisa Holley and Diana Fassino. The Gail Severn Gallery and the Ochi Gallery have donated artwork to the auction as well, and there will be an opportunity to bid on Sun Valley memorabilia from Sun Valley Motors, which once operated on the site of the nexStage Theatre.

"I really believe that places like the nexStage are the real lifeblood of any community, such as the guy who did the ski films to raise money, as well as the Hispanic concerts and live Shakespeare that are performed. When you get five feet away from a singer or actor there's no comparison, and live theater is spectacular," Innes said. "It will be a really fun evening, and we are treating it like a party."

Upcoming benefits for the nexStage include a concert with The Maladies and a talent competition, "Ketchum Idol." The nexStage will also honor all the major contributors to its capital campaign with commemorative bronze star plaques that will be embedded in the sidewalk on Main Street.

For more information about auction items, donations and tickets, call 726-4857(4TKS).

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