The nonprofit Oscar Hammerstein Museum and Theatre Education Center (OHMTEC) will present “Broadway Sings the Sound of Hammerstein,” an exclusive gala evening on July 11, at The Inn at Barley Sheaf Farm, Buckingham.
The glamorous evening with cocktails and a three-course dinner will feature entertainment by Broadway stars Christy Altomare (“Anastasia,” “Mama Mia,” “Carrie”), Derek Klena (“Jagged Little Pill,” “Wicked,” “Anastasia”) and Justin Guarini (“In Transit,” “Wicked,” “American Idol,” “American Idiot”). The “talented and dynamic” Ted Chapin (former president and chief creative officer of the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization) will host the event.
The gala will support OHMTEC’s fundraising campaign to purchase, restore, and preserve Highland Farm in Doylestown, Oscar Hammerstein II’s former home and creative epicenter. The mission is to honor Hammerstein’s work as a librettist and lyricist, and his legacy of mentorship and social activism.
“This very special event will be an opportunity to join the chorus of people who are lending their voices to support the preservation of this national treasure for generations to come,” said Greg Roth, president of the OHMTEC Board of Directors. “The museum will be an inspiring place for musical theater enthusiasts and the theater education center will provide an opportunity for children to learn, create, write, and perform – just as Stephen Sondheim was taught as a young man by Oscar himself in that very place.”
The Hammerstein family lived at Highland Farm for the last 20 years of Oscar’s life. This is the place where he forged his legendary partnership with Richard Rodgers and that inspired many of their greatest musical works, including “The Sound of Music,” “Carousel,” “The King and I,” “Oklahoma!” and “South Pacific.” At Highland Farm, Hammerstein wrote the lyrics to songs loved the world over, including the final lyrics he wrote before his death, “Bless my homeland forever,” from the song “Edelweiss” in The Sound of Music.
The historic house at Highland Farm is also the place where Hammerstein mentored a young Stephen Sondheim, and where he contributed to society by increasing awareness of social issues and the need for tolerance of diversity, as illustrated in songs like “You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught,” from South Pacific. Over 75 Academy Awards, Grammy Awards, Tony Awards, and Pulitzer Prizes can be directly traced back to Highland Farm.
OHMTEC’s goal is to create a multifaceted and dynamic museum experience, with a strong theater education component, serving as a place of inspiration for Broadway fans and humanitarians alike. Through fundraising efforts, grants and private donations, OHMTEC has raised nearly $1 million towards the purchase of Highland Farm. The project is the recipient of a $500,000 matching grant from the state of Pennsylvania. An additional $1 million is needed to complete this first phase of the project, to purchase and preserve the home.
The Inn at Barley Sheaf Farm, the venue for the gala, is the former estate of George S. Kaufman. Oscar Hammerstein is known to have spent time with Kaufman there, where writers and celebrities of the time would often come for dinner, or for the weekend.
The evening will include silent and live auctions, featuring uniquely Hammerstein curated experiences consisting of Broadway show tickets, original oil paintings of Highland Farm by Bucks County artist David Ohlerking, and a limited-edition Byers’ Choice “Maria” Caroler signed by actress Shirley Jones. Also featured will be an experience of a lifetime – “Dinner for Eight at Highland Farm.”
The gala is being presented with support of a grant from Visit Bucks County, along with sponsors including Café with Soul, Capital Health, Class-Harlan Real Estate, Gemmi Construction, Byers’ Choice Ltd, Concord Theatricals, Doylestown Health, The Doylestown Inn, Golden Blossom Honey, Parx Casino, Snap Divorce, Van Cleef Engineering, von Trapp Brewing and Jacobs Music.
Businesses and individuals who are interested in sponsoring this exclusive event should contact board member Grace Alfiero (email@example.com). If you would like to donate an item for the live or silent auction, contact board member Amy Cinque (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Ticket information is available at hammersteinmuseum.org. OHMTEC is a registered nonprofit organization, and a portion of ticket purchases are tax-deductible.