Music of the Night

by Praveena Raman
Tri-City Voice – May 20, 2009

Music of the Night, StarStruck Theatre’s annual fundraising dinner and silent auction will be held on May 30 at Spin-A-Yarn restaurant at 6 p.m. The cost for attending this event is $60 per person.

StarStruck Theatre has been enthralling the community for the past 14 years with top notch musical productions showcasing the talented youth from all over the East Bay. As one regular attendee puts it “these musicals are of such a high quality and so affordable we as a family would rather come here than go into the city [San Francisco].” This organization started in the living room of founder and director Lori Stokes in the early nineties with eight students doing small musical shows. After a few years and a few more students, Lori who grew up in a musical environment and has a degree in Theatre Arts decided to put on full length musical productions for kids.

The group, which was then called Kids on Broadway, performed at Broadway West for six years. During this time they changed their name to StarStruck Theatre. Their popularity grew in leaps and bounds with their shows always sold out even before they opened. Children of all ages from all over East Bay flocked to the auditions for a chance to be cast in a StarStruck production. As they grew in size and fame StarStruck theatre moved their performing venue to the Smith Center at Ohlone College with a capacity of 400 seats. This change also supported a larger cast size and a live orchestra for a given production. However the downside of the change has been the skyrocketing costs of the productions. “The Licensing Rights to produce a show are about $10,000 for 8-10 performances” says Lori, “[together with] costs for sets, props, costumes, orchestra, rent for Ohlone Smith Center, rehearsal studio as well as a set construction shop, it gets very expensive.”

Besides these costs StarStruck also gives scholarships to students so that financial reason is not a limiting factor for a student to not be in a show. Moreover, “we also provide discounted tickets and special school matinees to our local elementary schools. Being a youth theatre we try to keep our tickets prices low as we want to encourage families to attend and experience the magic of theatre together,” adds Lori.

Currently the funding for StarStruck comes from the tuition fees paid by students, tickets sales of productions, their annual fundraiser and community generosity. This year’s fundraiser, organized by StarStruck volunteers, will feature a silent auction and raffle consisting of wonderful prizes such as a week in Hawaii, Tahoe golf getaway, Star treatment and yoga packages, tickets to Great America and their summer musical “Cats” and more. The event will also feature cocktails, a three course dinner with live entertainment provided by StarStruck alumni pursuing stardom in theatre and young rising stars including the cast of “Cats” the summer musical which opens at Ohlone on July 31.

If you are unable to make the event, monetary donations to the group is welcome. A donation of $50 will help in getting the script and music for a child, $250 can sponsor an actor, $1000 royalties for a performance and more. At a time when theatres are closing, this award winning group is very much in production with high quality and affordable shows for all families. Let us come together as a community and help StarStruck and our youth thrive by attending the fundraiser, their summer show and/or donating to the organization.

Information about the fundraiser, donations and upcoming shows can be found at

Music of the Night
Spin a Yarn Restaurant
6 p.m. – No -host cocktails and Auction Preview
7 p.m. – Dinner, Entertainment and Bidding
45915 Warm Springs Blvd., Fremont

(510) 659-1319

$60 per person
RSVP by May 22