|The Cast of the JTMF's 10th Anniversary Production of "Jeffrey"|
That's one of the official publicity photos (click image to embiggen) for the James Tolin Memorial Fund's 10th Anniversary production of Paul Rudnick's Jeffery. Uncle P and Dear D are both there, along with two members of the cast of Hairspray; three other JTMF alumni and one other new member of the company (he-he-he - I said "member"). I'll leave it up to you to sort out who's who (if you really want to know names, visit the JTMF blog tomorrow).
Ten years ago, the cast of the first JTMF (then known as 'The Friends and Family of James Tolin') production of Jeffrey gathered at that very location (and in that very hot tub) for a Memorial Day party that quickly devolved into a night of drunken debauchery. The party's host, who played Jeffrey in that production (and who will act as MC for this year's event), once again graciously lent his gorgeous home in Mill Hill (Trenton, NJ's "gayborhood") for our publicity photo shoot/video shoot last night and the evening (I am happy to say) once again devolved into something just short of an all-out bacchanal. Along with the eight cast members you see in the photo, our entire production team was there to take part in the photos and the video interviews that were conducted. Martinis; beer; sangria and SoCo flowed freely and often and I was honestly amazed to wake up this morning without a nasty hangover (lots of water before bed and plenty of sleep were key).
Now, I don't want you to get the wrong impression. Over the last nine years, the JTMF has raised over $50K for AIDS, Arts Education and Anti-Suicide/Anti-Bullying charities. We've produced 9-LGBT related comedies and two holiday radio-plays; sold countless items in our silent auctions and created a real family of performers, artists and technicians who love working together and stand behind all of our various causes. In my 35+ years of doing theatre, nothing has been as artistically or spiritually satisfying as the JTMF events. Oh, we may carry on a bit but in the end, each and every member of this amazing company knows why we do what we do and the end result is never anything less than fabulous.
If you would like to attend our 10th Anniversary Gala (as a certain Jeep Guy will be doing), you can order tickets online here. If you are unable to attend, but would like to make a safe, secure donation via PayPal, you can do so here. Of course, we'd much rather you join us for the show but we'll take what we can get. 100% of our ticket sales benefit the Open Arms Foundation; The James Tolin Memorial Scholarship at Mercer County Community College and the Tyler Clementi Foundation.
Hope to see you there!