Vanessa Williams. Photo by Rod Spicer

Drum roll … Vanessa Williams to headline 2019 ‘Saturday Night Alive’

Former DCPA Chairman and CEO Daniel L. Ritchie to receive inaugural Spotlight Award at 39th annual event on March 2

Multi-platinum recording artist and star of television, film and the Broadway stage Vanessa Williams will headline the 2019 Saturday Night Alive, the Denver Center’s 39th annual signature fundraiser to be held next March 2, it was announced tonight.

SNA 2018. Photo by Amanda Tipton

A look back at the 2018 ‘Saturday Night Alive’ afterparty. Photo by Amanda Tipton.

“I can’t wait to come and raise some money for arts education. Love it,” said Williams, who has sold millions of records worldwide. Moreover, Williams’ work has been recognized by every major industry affiliate over the course of her 35-year career garnering 11 Grammy nominations, four Emmy nominations, and 7 NAACP Image Awards including Best New Artist of 1989.  Her platinum single “Colors of the Wind,” from the Disney film Pocahontas, won the Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe for Best Original Song.

In 1994, Williams made her Broadway debut when she replaced Chita Rivera in Kiss of the Spider Woman. In 2002, she was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance as The Witch in the Broadway revival of Into the Woods. She has since returned to Broadway in Sondheim on Sondheim, The Trip to Bountiful (co-starring with Cicely Tyson), After Midnight and a special limited engagement in Hey, Look Me Over at New York City Center earlier this year.

Williams, a mother of four, was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2007. Her autobiography, titled “You Have No Idea” and co-written with her mother, Helen Williams, was a New York Times Best Seller in 2012.

It was also announced tonight that the new Daniel L. Ritchie Spotlight Award will be given annually to an individual or organization that advances the mission of the DCPA. Former Chairman and CEO Daniel L. Ritchie will be the recipient of the inaugural award named after him for his dedication to the DCPA over the years.

Since its inception, Saturday Night Alive has raised an estimated $22 million to help DCPA Education provide theatre programs to 2 million students. Last year, the Denver Center  engaged 142,000 students through classes, workshops, matinees, Shakespeare in the Parking Lot, the annual High School Playwriting Competition and much more.

Vanessa Williams. Photo by Rod Spicer

Photo by Rod Spicer.

In addition to William’s performance, the 2019 Saturday Night Alive events also will include:

  • Surprise Box Sale
  • Computerized Luxury Silent Auction featuring more than 100 items including artwork, jewelry and trips both domestic and worldwide courtesy of United Airlines and Starwood Hotels and Resorts
  • Dinner, desserts and dancing provided by Epicurean Culinary Group in the Seawell Grand Ballroom

Individual tickets for Saturday Night Alive start at $1,000 and are now on sale. Tables of 10 start at $10,000. Prices include a donation to the DCPA and all Saturday Night Alive activities. Visit for more information.

Saturday Night Alive Gala Chairs are Trustee Gala Chairs Roberta and Matt Robinette; Corporate Gala Co-Chairs Wanda Colburn and Dick Havey of CIBC Private Wealth Management; Alliance Gala Chairs Lyn and Michael Schaffer; and Auction Gala Chairs Adrienne Ruston Fitzgibbons and Jack Fitzgibbons. The blacktie fundraiser is sponsored by United Airlines, The Westin Denver Downtown, Epicurean Culinary Group, Kathie & Keith Finger, BOK Financial, University of Colorado, Arleen Brown, AT&T, UCHealth, University of Denver and Capital Focus.

Tonight’s announcement event was hosted by CIBC Private Wealth Management and held at the JW Marriott in Cherry Creek.

More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

Video bonus: A look back at 2018 Saturday Night Alive: