Merced County Times Newspaper
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Playhouse Merced gets back into the swing of things


On Saturday, Aug. 20, Playhouse Merced was able to host its annual gala once again in honor of all of its patrons and supporters. This formal gathering was held in downtown Merced at the Women’s Clubhouse. The evening was full of friends, fun, food, and topped off with phenomenal live music. This year’s title, and corresponding theme, “Back in Swing,” is a beautiful representation of how Playhouse Merced is getting back into the swing of things after all the uncertainty and difficulties surrounding the last few years.

“The gala was an event to remember,” said LuanaLei Turetzky, the director of Education and Youth Programs at Playhouse.  “The most incredible focus of the evening, for me, was sitting with our community members and hearing their appreciation for our programs, productions, and offerings. I loved listening to people as they sang along with the music, reminiscing coming to shows and events at the Playhouse, and then telling me how much they can’t wait to see what’s coming next.

“Each guest’s kindness and generosity made me so proud to be part of this growing organization. We need so much support in this line of work and it makes me feel good knowing that this community has our back. I, too, am looking forward to what’s next.”

Taking the stage that night was local band Disco Lemonade, who perfectly carried the atmosphere of the event with their soulful and solid performances. Additionally, they were occasionally accompanied by various beloved Playhouse Merced performers, those being: G B Blackmon III, LuanaLei Turetzky, Rachel Battisti, Katy Uyeno, and Jeshamon Volkerts. All of the performances were vibrant and radiated passion. It was incredibly refreshing to hear so many beloved modern songs remixed into a jazzy swing style.

One notable Honoree of the event was Emily Langdon, who was recognized for her outstanding service to and support of playhouse throughout the pandemic. Playhouse Merced is incredibly grateful for all of those who have given their time and support to help ensure that the theater community persists. Additionally, Playhouse Merced is open to more sponsors and is always looking for volunteers.

If you would like more information, visit their website at

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