‘Flop of Ages’ Raises Much Needed Funds for 4th Wall Theater Company

"Great Songs from Bad Shows" is the winning ticket for the local theater company's 15th season show


Local theater company, , got a boost in fundraising with “Flop of Ages," a one-night-only show put together to help keep alive the company’s mission to expose their audience to interesting and challenging theater.

According to artistic director, Kate Swan, the group has a fundraising goal of $15,000 for their 15th season. Swan said they are already two-thirds of the way to that goal with half the season to go.

According to 4th Wall Business Manager Bruce McCandless, the concept for “Flop of Ages” was to rediscover (or in most cases discover) great music from unsuccessful musicals. He was inspired by the “Lost in Boston” music recording series which features songs that were cut from various musicals.

“Flop of Ages” was split into two halves — “They made a musical out of that?” and “Even Rodgers & Hammerstein wrote a flop”.

The production even featured work from failed shows from theater luminaries like Stephen Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

During intermission McCandless auctioned off packages, including tickets to “The Book of Mormon” and a photo session with 4th Wall photographer Tom Schopper.

The Rev. John Graf, Jr. was singled out for becoming a 4th Wall benefactor by submitting winning bids on several items and donating $1,500.

“I’ve been performing theater since I was 8 years old and I love supporting the arts. I think we all need to do our part to keep it alive,” he said.

Graf, a Bedminster resident, first discovered 4th Wall when he came to see “Jesus Christ Superstar” last month and loved the show.

“It’s 15 years and $1,500. So hopefully that will inspire some other people," he said. "I’ve been giving my whole life. My mother taught me it’s nice to be important, but it’s important to be nice. So that’s my credo. It’s important to give back.”

At a “champagne & sweets” reception later, McCandless explained why Bloomfield needs 4th Wall.

“We do things that are interesting, that are rarely done, for someone who doesn’t want to see ‘Annie’ or ‘Grease’ or ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ again," he said. "We’ll never do those shows. The people who do them, they do a great job. That’s not us.”

4th Wall's next production for the 2011–2012 season will be “The Story of My Life,” which will run from Feb. 9-11, 2012.

The 4th Wall Theatre performs at the Westminster Art Center on the campus of Bloomfield College, 449 Franklin St., Bloomfield.


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