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Julie Benko Returns to the Hangar Theatre October 23 for Night Of The Living Musicals!

Oct 13th, 2021

The Hangar Theatre welcomes you back to their Outdoor Stage (in a heated, open-sided tent) for Night of The Living Musicals, Saturday October 23rd from 3-5 PM!

Attendees can enjoy indulgent hors d’oeuvres from Ithaca Bakery catering, wine from Sheldrake and Damiani vineyards, and beer from Lucky Hare Brewing, while socializing  with Ithaca’s change-makers and art lovers. Attendees can take a keepsake photo of themselves in costume at Jyl’s Photobooth, hear incredible music, and support Hangar Theatre’s ambitious and exciting future plans in the process.

Proceeds will benefit thousands of community members who rely on the Hangar’s year round cultural programming. Costumes are completely optional, but attendees are encouraged to dress up as their favorite musical, or a character from it. A prize will be awarded for “Best Costume”. 

Hangar Artistic Director Shirley Serotsky states, “We hope to have your support in increasing access to arts education programming for all young people, allowing them the opportunity to express their most authentic and joyful selves through theatre, music, storytelling and movement. The funds we raise will help enhance the experiences of young artists and their ability to pursue their best paths.”

Julie Benko, the incredible actor-musician who delighted audiences  as Girl in the Hangar’s production of Once this past July, will headline the event. Since her time at the Hangar, Benko presented a workshop performance of her original full-length play-with-music, The District,  set in the legal red light district that existed in New Orleans prior to World War One, at the Astoria Performing Arts Center in Queens, NY. 

Hangar audiences loved Julie’s take on the role of Girl, admiring her humor, authenticity, and incredible voice. Her debut album “Introducing Julie Benko” is available for purchase, and she is currently recording her second record due to be released next spring: a duo jazz album with pianist (and her new spouse) Jason Yeager. She was awarded the Gold Medal and Johnny Mercer Award at the 2017 American Traditions Vocal Competition, as well as the Wilde Award for “Best Actress in a Musical” for her performance as Girl in Once. She holds a BFA in Drama and an MFA in Acting from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. 

Benko’s acting highlights include Broadway revivals and national tours of Les Miserables, Fiddler on the Roof, and Spring Awakening, as well as leading roles in off-Broadway and regional productions of Once, Rags, The Fantasticks, Our Town, The Golem of Havana, Bar Mitzvah Boy, and more. 

Accompanying Benko on piano is Music Director and assistant professor in the Department of Theatre Arts at Ithaca College, Jeff Theiss. Theiss was the music director for Grammy Award winner The Band’s Visit, a musical that opened on Broadway in 2017. He is a highly in-demand music director, accompanist, arranger, and coach in New York and throughout the country.  Outside of NYC, Jeff has served as the music director at The REV Theatre Company in Auburn, NY since 2009.

Theiss and Benko will be performing a mix of classical and contemporary favorites  from hit musicals like My Fair Lady, Les Miserables, The Band’s Visit, Funny Girl, Guys and Dolls, and of course, Once.

The Hangar thanks event sponsors Cargill, NYSEG, Lucky Hare, Damiani Wine Cellars, Ithaca Bakery, Jyl’s Photobooth, the Ithaca Voice, Grayhaven Motel, Ithaca Beer Company, and Gimme! Coffee.

For those that cannot attend the event, they can purchase a “staycation” raffle ticket for their chance to win incredible prizes like a lake cottage stay, an overnight stay at Firelight Camps, a Discover Cayuga Lake boat cruise, local gift cards, event tickets, and more! Exciting news about the Hangar’s 2022 season, and announcement of the costume and raffle winners will close out the evening. 

Ticket Information 

Night Of The Living Musicals runs Saturday, October 23 from 3-5 PM. A $250 donor ticket includes $150 tax-deductible gift to the Hangar, a $100 patron ticket covers the cost of attendance, and a $25 community ticket is available to make this event accessible to anyone. Learn more or buy now at or by phone at 607.273.ARTS(2787). 


About the Hangar Theatre

The Hangar Theatre is located at 801 Taughannock Blvd., north of Ithaca on Route 89 on the shores of Cayuga Lake. Originally opened as a summer theatre in 1975, the Hangar is home to the Hangar Theatre Company and serves as a venue for a variety of performing artists and community organizations. The Hangar Theatre Company offers professional theatrical productions throughout the year and a renowned education program.

Hangar Mission

The Hangar Theatre creates and presents performances of exceptional quality in New York’s Finger Lakes region while training the next generation of theatre artists.  We inspire our community with work and classes that enrich, entertain, and enlighten. We believe in the power of theatre to transform lives. 

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