Thanksgiving is always a wonderful time at Spey – signaling the start of the holiday season (we’ve been patiently awaiting that first cup of eggnog), and reminding us of all the blessings, friends, and family that enrich our lives. It’s also a time that focuses our thoughts on giving back to the DC community we love. This year, we were honored to pay special tribute to the men and women of our nation’s Armed Forces.
To thank those who serve and sacrifice for our freedom, together with the loved ones who support them, Spey joined forces with Arena Stage for the eighth annual Military Thanksgiving. This one-night event began (as all good evenings do) with a cocktail reception. Guests were warmly welcomed to the theatre under the graceful melodies of the U.S. Army String Quartet. Our founding chief executive Paul Ashe was the first port of call, volunteering to check-in and greet the deserving service members and their families. After mixing and mingling, the arrival of the Armed Forces Color Guard signaled the start of the program and guests were seated for a roast dinner and remarks.
Three courses later and it was just time to lift the curtain on the evening’s entertainment (or to be more precise in the case of the Fichandler Stage’s curtain-less roundhouse theatre: the lights came on). And did they ever! The stage erupted with the sights and sounds of Tony Award winner Cole Porter’s madcap musical, Anything Goes.
The infectiously fun, high-octane show brought all of Broadway’s wow-factor to DC with a plot set aboard the SS American as it sails from New York to London. Intermingling stories of forlorn love, unrequited love, gangster love, and puppy love carried the audience through hilarious hijinks and familiar delights including “I Get a Kick Out of You,” “You’re the Top,” and “De-Lovely.” Will Billy find, woo, and win back his true love? You’ll have to stop by Arena Stage to find out. Anything Goes, directed by Molly Smith, runs through December 23, 2018.
The entire evening was a wonderful reminder of the spirit of selflessness and service that guides the men and women of the military every day. To give back a bit of thankfulness and gratitude, even in so small a way, was a singular highlight of the Thanksgiving holiday at Spey.
Image: Soara-Joye Ross and the Lady Fair Quartet perform in Anything Goes. Credit: Maria Baranova.