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My View: Inside The Barrington Stage Co. Gala

My View: Inside The Barrington Stage Co. Gala

A historic 1904 building was transformed into an elegant space by  the Gala’s producers, and for you theatre folks used to those NYC Actors Fund exciting Events think Barrington Stage Gala 2017 in Pittsfield MA. 

Appropriately headlined “Bringin’ it Home” the evening featured a Broadway favorite Jay Armstrong Johnson who starred in BSC’s Pool Boy in 2010 and On The Town in 2013 which went on to Broadway. The Gala honored Bernie and Jessie Wolfson whose generosity have provided BSC with a building (Wolfson Center) that houses it’s administrative, production and rehearsal spaces located in the heart of Pittsfield and is nearby to the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage and St. Germain 2nd Stage.  Pittsfield is looking a lot like Shubert Alley and coincidently Barrington Stage Co. is the recipient of a substantial grant from the Shubert Organization for it’s 2017 season.  BSC’s artistic director and founder Julianne Boyd stated, “We are thrilled to receive a Shubert Foundation grant once again this year;” said “It is an honor to be recognized by one of the greatest theatre granting foundations in the country.”

The evening started off on Barrington’s Mainstage with a performance by Jay Armstrong Johnson, who lately has been busy as the genius computer hacker Dr. Will Olsen on the ABC series Quatico, In addition to On The Town, Jay was seen on Broadway in Hands on a Hardbody, Catch Me If You Can, and Hair.  His New York Off Broadway credits include, Candide (NYCO), Sweeney Todd ( New York Philharmonic), The Most Happy Fella (Encores), and many others.  Jay brought along “some friends” who joined him for his show……Stephanie Umoh & Meghan Picerno.

The Gala was a Pittsfield happening and the cast of BSC’s current Mainstage production Ragtime were on hand to add excitement to the evening.  Could you ever ask for a more glamorous speaker than Elizabeth Stanley and aclaimed playwright Mark St. Germain addressing the Gala audience. 

BSC’s 2017 Gala was sponsored by Esta & Kenneth Friedman. Gala Chair is Debra Miersma and Reba Evenchik and Laurie Schwartz were  Gala Co-Chairs.


All proceeds from the annual BSC Gala support BSC’s educational programs and the commissioning of new plays and musicals and $100,00o was raised at the silent auction last night.

(For another article by Stephen & complete photos of the Gala go to

Jay Armstrong Johnson & Elizabeth Stanley

Darren Cohen, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Elizabeth Stanley, Julianne Boyd

Neil Chrisman, Stephen Sorokoff, Mary Ann Quinson, Board Chair BSC

Eda Sorokoff & Jay Armstrong Johnson

(For complete photos of the Gala go to


Stephen studied at the Manhattan School of Music. Besides being a pianist, Stephen’s business career was in the Fashion Industry. He was CEO of a textile manufacturing facility and President of an international textile machinery company. Stephen was on the Board of Directors of the “First All Children’s Theatre” which brought the Stephen Schwartz musical The Trip and Captain Louie to the Kennedy Center in Wash DC. His wife Eda, an interior space designer and classical pianist was on the Board of Barrington Stage Company and is still active at BSC. Stephen’s photographs, videos and articles appear on, and The New York Observer. He is active in the entertainment events at the Friars Club, where he is a member. Stephen is also an Honorary Board Member of The Society For The Preservation of The Great American Songbook. Stephen

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