Gainesville Daily Register

May 15, 2013

Stanford House to benefit from Butterfield show

Staff Report

Gainesville — Tickets remain available for Thursday’s benefit performance of “The Prisoner of Second Avenue,” a comedy by playwright legend Neil Simon.

The show is set for 7:30 p.m. at Butterfield Stage Players, and doors open for refreshments at 6:30 p.m., courtesy of Pecan Health and Rehab of Gainesville.

Proceeds directly benefit Stanford House of Gainesville and its general operations fund. Facility director Carolyn Castleberry said 50 tickets are still available — roughly half of the Butterfield seating capacity — and will be on sale up until curtain time.

Simon’s dark comedy follows a New York-based advertising man who goes through all kinds of misery when he loses his job. The gods seem to conspire against him as he tries to cope with his unemployed status while being particularly depressed over the fact that he must now subsist on the income of his wife.

The show, directed by Sally Page, is a continuation of Butterfield’s “Benefit Performance Series,” which provides special presentations of Butterfield-produced plays to assist local nonprofit organizations.

“I would love for us to sell out,” Castleberry said Tuesday. “This is the first time we’ve had this opportunity. They are being so kind and generous to do the performance.”

Ideally, Thursday’s proceeds would be in excess of $1,000, an amount that covers roughly half the monthly utility bills at the 20,000-square foot Stanford House. The presentation of “Prisoner” and a recent themed style show are examples of local events that raise four-figure amounts on behalf of the senior facility.

“For people who don’t realize, we operate only on donations and fundraisers,” Castleberry said in April. “And so that money keeps the doors open and brings activities to other seniors in the community.”

Other “Benefit Performance Series” shows during the 2012-13 season have included “Driving Miss Daisy,” “Vanities” and “The Red Velvet Cake Wars.” Butterfield Marketing Director Frank Mahnich explained in September that the community should work together to support charitable and service organizations.

“As part of this effort, Butterfield Stage will provide the opportunity to raise funds while rewarding their supporters with quality entertainment,” he said.

Cast members for “Prisoner” include Kat Guyon, Rob Samsel, Shelley Head, Page and Kim Brasher. Tickets are $15 and are available at Stanford House, 401 W. Garnett St. in Gainesville.

For more information, call (940) 668-1452.