Expect things to get really hot in D.C. on Monday, August 17th, as the Signature Theatre presents the Fourth Annual Summer Hummer, the raunchy and mostly hilarious benefit for theatreWashington’s Taking Care of Our Own, which provides emergency assistance to Washington-area theatre professionals.
“We have close to 60 performers, all dedicating their time. This is a great way to raise money, take care of our own, and also let our hair down and just have some fun at the theater,” says Matthew Gardiner, who is co-directing the night with Eric Schaeffer. “This is a chance for people to show another side of themselves.”
This year’s show is subtitled “Foreplay” and while words like “sexy” “risqué” and “frisky” are often used to describe the Summer Hummer, it’s nothing too lewd and audiences walk away smiling every year.
“As always, there’s lots of skin and lots of raunchy humor, but it’s all done in a fun way,” Gardiner says. “It’s a mix of spoofs on songs, videos and funny monologues; like a unique variety show.”
The show will open with an original number by local composer Darius Smith, and most of the 60 singers, dancers and strippers will be featured, strutting their stuff and playing for the crowd. Some numbers have as many as 40 or 50 people performing together, hamming it up.
“We’ve been rehearsing this past week and it’s been so much fun; this is an event a lot of us look forward to each year,” Gardiner says. “There are a lot of familiar faces taking part, and some newbies who people will be excited to see.”
SUMMER HUMMER IV: FOREPLAY
One night only: August 17, 7:30 and 9:30
Signature Theatre and theatreWashington
at Signature Theatre
4200 Campbell Avenue
Arlington, VA 22206
Tickets: $35, VIP: $100
Details and Tickets or call 703 820 9771
Among those confirmed to appear include Evan Casey, Carolyn Cole, Sherri Edelen, Will Gartshore, Donna Migliaccio, Tracy Lynn Olivera, Nova V. Payton, Bobby Smith, Stephen Gregory Smith, and Nicholas Rodriguez.
Over the years, the Summer Hummer has raised more than $130,000 for the cause and Gardiner says he has been impressed with how it’s grown each and every year.
“It’s become more of a production for everyone. We take it more seriously and we’re more committed to raising funds,” he says. “This is a chance for all of these performers who don’t always get to perform together—people who do a lot of straight plays and people who do musicals—to come together for a common cause. It really brings the theater community together in a way that a lot of other events can’t do.”
For the first time ever, audience members were invited to sponsor a performer for only $500, which resulted in $8,000 being raised before the event even happened. Audience members are also encouraged to bring extra money and spare change for original stripteases from The Jockstrap Boys and Foreplay Pasties.
“We’re all really committed to making the show as much of a production as possible and also making as much money as we can,” Gardiner says. “Although it’s at Signature, this doesn’t feel like a Signature event. It’s a mix of theater from all over and we all have a good time seeing people we don’t normally get to be around and working with performers we don’t usually get to work with.”
One thing’s for sure about this year’s production: people can expect the biggest Summer Hummer yet.