The MisMatch Game Enjoys Biggest Crowd Ever — Heading to $150,000 Fundraising Milestone

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The MisMatch Game creator and host Dennis Hensley described the most recent edition of his long-running Los Angeles LGBT Center fundraiser as “totally off the chain.”

The side-splitting parody of the ‘70s game show not only had a record crowd on February 8 but is also close to crossing the $150,000 mark in overall money raised since 2004 for Center programs and services.

“This is the biggest crowd we’ve ever had,” Jon Imparato, the Center’s director of cultural arts announced to the Renberg Theatre crowd. ‘This has been amazing!”

The 78th edition of The MisMatch Game sold out with a number of people turned away for the first time. Two dozen people were on a waiting list to get into the 200-seat theater to see the show.

Hensley was joined onstage by a panel of some LA’s most creative and hilarious minds. On this most electric of nights, the cast was comprised of Jackie Beat as Bea Arthur, Julie Brown as Melania Trump, Nadya Ginsburg as Cher, Chris Pudlo as Pee-Wee Herman, Felix Fire as Ricardo Montalban, and Danny Casillas as Reba Areba, a takeoff on Reba McEntire.

“RuPaul is hosting Saturday Night Live tonight, and I’m here dressed like a dead old lady,” drag legend Beat jokingly lamented.

At one point, Ginsberg got a standing ovation after acting out an entire scene from the movie Mask, a film that earned Cher the Cannes Film Festival prize for best actress.

In the game, contestants chosen from the audience attempt to match celebrities’ answers to “fill-in-the-blank” questions which are written down on cards. Audience members can bid on a card with an answer on it with any bid of $20 or more entitling them to a prize such as free tickets to a local theater show or dance class. Bidding wars during the show drove the amount of several of the bids to over $100.

The performers’ racy, anarchic, and politically incorrect answers helped add more than $1,310 to the amount raised — another unprecedented total.

“The night was insane,” Hensley said. “Can’t wait for the next one!”

The February 7 show had a cast that included Tom Lenk (Tilda Swinton), Rebekah Kochan (Pamela Anderson), Dante (Jack Nicholson), Marc Samuels (Jack Nicholson), Maile Flanagan (Danny Bonaduce), and Willam Belli (Jessica Simpson).

A total of $5645 was raised over the two nights at the Renberg.

The classic TV game show Match Game aired in various incarnations from 1962 to 1991 and was recently revived in primetime by ABC with Alec Baldwin as host.

For the latest shows held at the Renberg or the Davidson/Valentini Theatres, visit lalgbtcenter.org/theatre.

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