"He read the article in the newspaper," Whaley said. The conversation was brief - about two to three minutes - but it was clear that Questlove "wanted to help his alma mater." He "wanted to make a sizable donation to the school," Whaley said.
Questlove did not define "sizable" for Whaley, but did say his manager would work out the details with Whaley via email.
But no amount of Questlove's money can save this year's musical now: The deadline for producing a show passed about a month ago, Whaley said. The school is now looking forward to ensuring that next year's musical is funded and ready to be produced with the help of its Home and School Association.
The musicals generally cost about $65,000 to produce, Whaley said. "There's a certain standard of excellence we have. We don't compromise when it comes to production," he said.
The news prompted others to call Whaley as well, including local lawyer A. Charles Peruto and Abe Kasbo, CEO of Verasoni Worldwide, a marketing and public- relations firm in Montclair, N.J.
Kasbo, 43, said when he read the story about CAPA's financial issues, "It sort of hit a chord with me. It resonated with me."
Kasbo called Whaley and the two planned to meet May 13. Kasbo will bring along Verasoni's digital division chief, Sasha Idriss, for a tour of the school and to discuss some ideas with Whaley.
"I do have a campaign in mind," said Kasbo, who declined to give details. "That show will go on next year."
On Twitter: @ReginaMedina