Posted by Phil Whiteway
First, let me apologize to all parties involved. With nothing but good intentions, we at Barksdale have facilitated the publication of incorrect information. We regret that it happened. If we have confused or offended anyone, we’re sincerely sorry.
We have great affection and respect for Cynthia McMullen. This misstep is our fault, not hers. We apologize to her as well.
In her On the Aisle column in Sunday’s Times-Dispatch, she listed 23 talented and beloved performers in the cast of this year’s Home for the Holidays benefit cabaret, noting that the roster was “subject to change.” The problem is, twelve of the 23 outstanding singers listed will not be appearing in the holiday cabaret, and nine of them hadn’t even been contacted. Also, the names of two of the performers who will be taking part in the cabaret didn’t make it onto the list.
The annual Home for the Holidays cabaret raises money for the Richmond Theatre Artists Fund, sponsored by RAPT (the Richmond Alliance of Professional Theatres) and managed by The Community Foundation.
After spending yesterday trying to figure out what went wrong, we now understand our error. There were three computer lists of performers created during the planning of this year’s cabaret. The first list included many of our favorite theatre singers with established reputations and name recognition. The second list included up-and-coming performers who are still relatively new or unknown to the ticket-buying public. (We created this second list because we wanted to add some "new blood" to this year's cabaret.) The third list was narrowed down from the first two, and included the names of the performers whom we invited to participate in Home for the Holidays 07.
In an inner-office communication, a staff member mistakenly emailed the first list of established singers while intending to email the third narrowed down list. The mistake went forward from there without anyone realizing it. When Debra Wagoner declined the invitation to perform due to a scheduling conflict, her name was removed from the list, as requested, but it was removed from the wrong list.
So the list that wound up being distributed to media outlets was the list of some of our favorite theatre singers with established reputations, minus Debra Wagoner. A couple of other favorite theatre singers were also not on the list, for a variety of reasons.
We apologize. As soon as we realized our mistake, it was immediately corrected in the form of updated information being sent out and published in the paper. Individual notes of apology are being written. We regret that our clogged schedule creates situations ripe for error. We try hard to open shows and distribute accurate information all around.
The finalized list of performers, as of last night, is: Brett Ambler, Corey Davis, Jan Guarino, Audra Honaker, Katrinah Lewis, Jason Marks, Robyn O’Neill, Fernando Rivadeniera, Janine Serresseque, Durron Tyree, and Tony Williams at the piano. Erin Thomas is our emcee.
It’s a great group. We’re embarrassed and sorry that other names were distributed to the media without their knowledge or consent. I hope everyone involved, whether you are an artist or an audience member, will forgive us for this blunder. I ask for your understanding and appreciate your acceptance of this heartfelt apology.