Last May, newspaper people across the metropolitan area lost a treasured colleague with the passing of Bob Heisler, a former editor at The Journal News, Newsday, The New York Post and the New York Daily News.
Bob was my editor here for about four years. He was the most positive, convivial and vibrant of colleagues. His laugh could rattle the rafters. He always said yes. He celebrated the arts and believed in nurturing them at every instance. He helped me breathe life into a beat covering high-school theater the way most papers cover high-school sports.
On March 23, Pleasantville’s Axial Theatre will honor Bob at its annual benefit and will unveil a scholarship in his name.
The gala, called “An Evening of Note,” begins at 7 p.m. and will include a video tribute to Bob featuring those who knew and loved him. The interviews were conducted by Roz Abrams, the former local anchorwoman who is now studying with Axial’s Howard Meyer.
Among those who added their voices to the tribute are ArtsWestchester CEO Janet Langsam, Howard Meyer, Bob’s former Syracuse University colleague Bruce Apar, and Gayle Williams, who worked with Bob at Newsday and at The Journal News before moving on to Consumer Reports. I was happy to take part, too.
The Axial benefit will also feature a cabaret of sorts, with music provided by Westchester choral pianist Dan Forman, and blues and jazz singers Ann Gulian and Aisling Mulhern-Dono.
There will be hors d’oeuvres and desserts and a live auction hosted by Abrams. Among the auction items: A week-long stay at a B & B in Ireland
Founded in 1999, Axial Theatre is a professional theater company dedicated to presenting original works by local artists
Tickets for the benefit — which will be held at Axial’s home, St. John’s Episcopal Church, 8 Sunnyside Ave., Pleasantville — are $35.
For reservations, call 1-800-838-3006 or click here. I’m sure if you wanted to contribute but couldn’t attend the event, you could do so there. It’s a cause that’s near and dear to my heart.