“Portrait of an Artist” with Linda Lavin and Steve Bakunas to Benefit Spencertown Academy


 Spencertown, New York–“Portrait of an Artist”—an evening with the Tony Award-winning actress Linda Lavin and her husband Steve Bakunas, a painter and jazz drummer—will be presented at Spencertown Academy Arts Center for one-night-only on Saturday, April 28 at 5:00pm to benefit the current fundraising campaign to restore and renovate the Academy building. The audience will join the performers after the show for a cocktail party in the Academy galleries.

The talented couple moved to Columbia County five years ago and recently opened a The Country Suites B&B in Spencertown. “Linda and Steve are such creative and generous additions to our community. We are most grateful to them for their avid support of The Campaign for the Spencertown Academy Arts Center,” said Academy Board President Nick Van Alstine. “We’re in the midst of a $600,000 building campaign and though we’ve made great progress raising enough money to take care of urgent repairs to our landmark 1847 Greek Revival schoolhouse, there is still a lot more to be done.”

“Portrait of an Artist” features Ms. Lavin and Mr. Bakunas in a 90-minute intimate, improvisatory show during which Ms. Lavin answers questions about her life and career, posed by her husband while he paints her portrait on stage. An evening of warmth, romance, humor, and nostalgia, the couple has previously performed the program at venues around the country.

Mr. Bakunas’ finished portrait of Ms. Lavin will be raffled off by the Academy at the conclusion of the event.

Linda Lavin, a six-time Tony Award nominee, won the 1987 Tony for Best Leading Performance by an Actress in a Play (as well as the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and Helen Hayes Awards) for her performance in Neil Simon’s Broadway Bound. Her other widely acclaimed stage appearances include Last of the Red Hot LoversThe Diary of Anne FrankThe Tale of the Allergist’s WifeCollected Stories, and The Lyons. She is well known to television audiences for her portrayal of the title role in Alice, which ran for nine seasons (1976–1985) on CBS.

Steve Bakunas is an artistic Renaissance man. His life and travels have taken him from Connecticut to California, from living in cars to joining the circus, and now as a painter and jazz drummer, performing frequently with musical director Billy Stritch and combo, including his wife’s upcoming concert engagement at the Carlyle Hotel in Manhattan. He also has an extensive background as an actor, performing in regional theater for 25 years and in a Broadway production, and he built the Red Barn Studio Theatre in Wilmington, NC, where he served as co -artistic director and as resident set designer.

Founded in 1972, Spencertown Academy Arts Center is a cultural center and community resource serving Columbia County, the Berkshires, and the Capital region. The Academy is located at 790 State Route 203 in Spencertown, New York. Tickets to the benefit performance of “Portrait of an Artist” are $100 and raffle tickets are $25. For reservations, see spencertownacademy.org or call 518-392-3693.

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