When the TheatreWorks scene shop transforms itself into a party space on October 20, the spotlight will be shining on two people who have applauded countless performances and introduced many people to the company’s productions, Julie Kaufman and Wally Niemasik.
The Atherton residents will be honored at the 10th annual Anything Goes fundraiser, and we spent a couple of hours on a recent afternoon doing what makes this party one of the most distinct on the Peninsula — selecting costumes to wear to the event from the theater’s extensive costume collection. During the process, we got their take on playing dress up for a night.
“I like to look different and glamorous,” said Julie. “A lot of the 50s vintage dresses that I love to look at on stage look too normal on me. Plus at 5’11”, many don’t fit me. Actresses tend to be tiny.”
While in past years Julie and Wally have tended to choose costumes that “go together,” they deviated this year, with Julie selecting a slinky white jumpsuit and silver hat, and Wally slipping into some very wild surgical scrubs. (Note: Julie cautioned that it may not be her final selection — she may want to surprise people.)
“Picking out a costume was not something I always looked forward to,” said Wally. “It’s like going shopping — men don’t like going shopping. For that reason, I usually tried to get something that went along with Julie — she is the ‘lead’ on our family!
“The party itself is always fun because it’s like living someone else’s life for a few hours. And, you’re around a lot of people who seem to take on the mannerisms of how their dressed!”
The couple certainly deserves to be honored this year. Julie has served on the TheatreWorks board for eight years, and was a three time co-chair of Anything Goes, serving on the committee for a total of eight years. Wally was an original member of TheatreWorks investment committee, serving for seven years.
The theme of this year’s Anything Goes is “Opening Night.” The evening includes dinner, a performance by James Monroe Iglehart, star of Broadway’s MEMPHIS and dancing to Pride and Joy. Tickets are available online or contact Cameron Gross at (650) 463-7159; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo by Irene Searles