Carl Lee and family.
Image courtesy Chanhassen Dinner Theatres
Carl Lee and his wife, Linda Talcott-Lee, are longtime members of the Minnesota theater community. She is a dancer and teacher. He currently serves as the director of marketing and theatrical programming at Hennepin Theatre Trust.
Lee also has longstanding health concerns. Recently, these have forced the 52-year-old to spend weeks in the hospital.
Next week, Chanhassen Dinner Theatres will host a benefit performance to raise money for the Lee family. The program, featuring nearly two dozen top local performers, has come together very quickly, says Tamara Kangas Erickson, co-owner of the theater and a local choreographer.
Erickson learned about Lee's issues about a month and a half ago. "At that time, I didn't know it would be a big nightmare," she says. "[Talcott-Lee] is a freelance artist. She doesn't have a year-round thing, except for teaching, so that puts pressure on the family. The time she has to dedicate to the hospital has to be overwhelming on a day-to-day basis."
Erickson, like a lot of people in the area, is friends with the Lee family. Talcott-Lee has performed on Broadway as well as in the Twin Cities. This includes turns at Chanhassen in shows like West Side Story and Swing.
Erickson teamed up with several folks at Chanhassen to pull together a benefit. Tony Vierling (currently in CDT's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat) has been lining up talent. The evening's hosts will be Tod Peterson and Erin Schwab, while the likes of Michael Gruber, Christina Baldwin, Dieter Bierbauer, Ann Michels, Ben Bakken, Jared Oxborough, and Jen Burleigh-Bentz are scheduled to perform.
There will also be a silent auction prior to the performance, featuring gift certificates from restaurants, tickets from "every theater in town," and theater memorabilia.
"It's going to be a great show. It will be a really cool event in terms of the people who have come together to support the family. For us at Chanhassen, it will include some of our favorite actors," Erickson says.
Erickson has a personal goal in mind of raising $15,000 at and around the benefit.
Voices for Hope: A Musical Benefit for the Carl Le Family
7:30 p.m. Monday, July 29 (silent auction will be from 6 to 7:20 p.m.)
Chanhassen Dinner Theatres
501 78th St. W., Chanhassen
Suggested donation: $25. All proceeds go to the Carl Lee family.
For tickets, more information, or to make a donation, call 952.934.1525 or visit online.