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Academy Of Music Theatre to Host ‘125 Years Of Memories’ Benefit

NORTHAMPTON — The Academy of Music Theatre will host a “125 Years of Memories” benefit on Thursday, April 21st at 6:30 p.m. in the theater.

In the late 19th century, Edward H.R. Lyman, a philanthropist and Northampton native, had a vision for a new venue for culture and theater in his hometown. On May 23, 1891, the 800-seat Academy of Music Theatre opened its doors to the public for the first time. One year later, Lyman deeded the Academy to the citizens of Northampton, making it the first municipally owned theater in the nation.

The theater quickly became a favorite stop on tours of leading troupes and big-name performers: legendary French actress Sarah Bernhardt, film star Mae West, and illusionist Harry Houdini all performed at the Academy in the early 20th century. Today, the 800-seat Academy of Music has been renovated and reclaimed as a venue for live theater, as well as dance, film, music, and performing-arts education.

The “125 Years of Memories” benefit will begin with a cash bar reception in the lobby, where guests will mingle and enjoy hors d’oeuvres, craft beer, and wine. In addition, silent-auction items donated by local businesses and artists will be on display. At 6:30 p.m., guests will move into the theater for a brief program, paying tribute to the Academy through the decades. Following the production, attendees will be invited onstage for the party, with musical accompaniment by jazz pianist Jerry Noble, appetizers from River Valley Market, craft beer, and wine provided by Black Birch Vineyard.

Tickets for the event are $50, and can be purchased online at www.aomtheatre.com. For those who prefer to pay by check, tickets are available at the Academy of Music Theatre box office, Tuesday through Friday, from 3 to 6 p.m.

Any questions can be directed to Development Coordinator Kathryn Slater at (413) 584-9032, ext. 101, or [email protected].

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