THE INCOMPARABLE BONNIE CONGER
Regards from Broadway Rose
Bonnie in costume for The Music Man
Bonnie Conger has been part of the Broadway Rose family for 20 years. Her staunch support of and generous donations to Broadway Rose Theatre have funded multiple projects over the years.
Bonnie first visited Broadway Rose with her husband Jon in 2003 for a production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Appreciation for live theatre was something Bonnie and Jon shared, and it wasn’t long before they became season ticket holders in 2007.
After her husband passed away in 2011, Bonnie attended a fundraising event for sound and lighting. She learned that ticket sales cover just 60% of theatre operating costs, and thought, “Why can’t I open up my purse strings now? I can do more.” Bonnie’s first major donation was in answer to that plea in October of 2014.
In 2016, Conrad Pearson, friend and financial advisor since 2004, asked Bonnie to join him as a title sponsor. Bonnie accepted, and continued to go above and beyond by sponsoring a total of six shows to date.
“Frankly, I can’t sing, dance, act, or play a musical instrument,” admitted Bonnie. “So my only way to support the arts is to donate. Broadway Rose brings me so much joy and happiness.”
Broadway Rose isn’t the only theater Bonnie supports; she is also a proud sponsor of Lakewood Theatre Company and Gallery Theater. “I do hope to inspire others to think about donating, well certainly to the Broadway Rose, but to other organizations and charities that are dear to their heart.”
When asked about her favorite productions, Bonnie was quick to respond with My Fair Lady and The Music Man, as she experienced both productions onstage through walk-on parts secured with bids at Broadway Rose galas. Walk-on parts allow patrons to experience a few minutes onstage during a performance, as well as a costume fitting, rehearsal, and a chance to meet the actors.
The incomparable Bonnie Conger with Dan Murphy
In My Fair Lady Bonnie played the “lady in the flower shop,” and was then able to watch the rest of the play in the wings. The next year, Bonnie signed up for The Music Man, which offered a slightly more involved role. She had to learn two songs and assorted dance steps, and would be escorted onstage and off by an actor—but in Bonnie’s case, the actor forgot to escort her offstage, and she enjoyed a record 18 minutes of fame!
One of Bonnie’s major delights available through her support of Broadway Rose has been learning more about what goes on behind the scenes. She has delved into as many backstage experiences as possible, shadowing Sharon Maroney while directing Oklahoma!, learning how sets are made, attending dinners with the director, and watching rehearsals, and traveling to New York City with Broadway Rose patrons for her third visit this year.
“My mission is to help make the world more loving, and I think Broadway Rose really does that,” said Bonnie. “They truly bring a lot of pleasure and enjoyment to people.”
We at Broadway Rose can never thank Bonnie enough for her support of musical theatre. Bonnie’s commitment to giving has contributed to so many successes, and we look forward to seeing her in the audience at each production. Our many thanks, Bonnie, for your support!