POUND RIDGE, N.Y. – Four-time Tony Award winner Zoe Caldwell is an iconic name among theater fans. On Saturday, the 42-year Pound Ridge resident will use her celebrity to help the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts raise money for its historic Rosen House.
Caramoor will host Un Ballo in Maschera, (A Masked Ball) to benefit the Rosen House, one of the region's most important historic houses, which was recently elevated to the National Significance Level on the National Register of Historic Places. Caldwell will perform several readings in conjunction with the performance.
Guests are encouraged to attend the performance incognito, an idea inspired by the costume parties of Caramoor’s founders, Walter and Lucie Rosen. Hors d'oeuvres and cocktails will be served in the Spanish Courtyard, followed by the special reading by Caldwell.
“I think they’re just using my name to get people to buy tickets,” Caldwell said with a laugh. “No, but really, I have lived here for 42 years. I’m not a Johnny-come-lately celebrity, and I would do anything for the community. My two sons were schooled here.”
The Caramoor property in Bedford was originally purchased in 1928 by the Rosens as a summer home and country retreat. Both were passionate collectors and accomplished musicians. From 1929 to 1939, Walter Rosen designed and built the rambling stucco villa now known as the Rosen House. What is now the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts was originally created by a foundation established by the Rosens to operate the estate in perpetuity. They decided to leave their home as a legacy for all to enjoy after they had gone. Proceeds from Saturday’s show will help to maintain that legacy.
“I am reading three letters, including one written by [Lucie] Rosen, who the house was built for, and one written Walter to her, which is all about love. I hope I get some laughs,” said Caldwell, who will also serve as co-chair of the evening. “I also will read part of a letter from the mother of [Walter] Rosen.”
Caldwell said this won’t be the first time she has trod the boards at Caramoor.
“I’ve performed there twice before – one time I read a poem,” she said. “It’s a remarkable place – truly beautiful. I am not asked by them to do too much, so when they asked this time, I thought, ‘Why not?’ ”
Arias from “Un Ballo in Maschera,” an opera in three acts by Guiseppe Verdi, will be performed by tenor Cameron Schutza accompanied by Will Crutchfield, Caramoor's director of opera. The party then continues with a dinner provided by Great Performances and dancing in the Music Room. The evening will also include a silent auction.
Caldwell has won four Tony Awards for her Broadway performances in Tennessee Williams’ “Slapstick Tragedy,” “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie,” “Medea” and “Master Class,” in which she portrayed opera diva Maria Callas. She has also appeared in films, including Woody Allen’s “The Purple Rose of Cairo” and, most recently, the Tom Hanks film “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.”
Tickets for Saturday night’s event are $350, $750 and $1,000. Tables of 10 are available. For more information email the special events office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 914-232-1492.