PaperCity Magazine

October 2014 - Houston

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MATTHEW RAMIREZ SURVEYS THE STAGE. PHOTOGRAPHY JENNY ANTILL, FULTON DAVENPORT, PRISCILLA DIXON, WILSON PARISH. OCTOBER | PAGE 36 | 2014 FÊTE ACCOMPLI: GUCCI ROCKS T he freshly minted Silver Street Studios was the backdrop for this year's Alley Ball. The title, "Ultimate Construction," only hinted at the extravagant planning of chairmen Andrew Cordes and Brian H. Teichman, who undertook a year-long odyssey to craft a fitting tribute before the theater's $46.5 million renovation kicked in. (The Tony-garnering troupe has taken up residence this season at the University of Houston Theatre). The opulent fête merged a rock 'n' roll Hall of Famer (more on that extraordinary diva in a moment) with a luxury motif that began and ended with one label: Gucci. The chair duo flew to Milan to be fitted with bespoke tuxes from the Lapo Elkann Collection for Gucci. Cordes and Teichman also arranged for a curated exhibition of Gucci's greatest red-carpet hits worn by Hollywood types such as Amy Adams, which were presented for gala-goers in a display worthy of the Met Costume Institute. And, above all, they enjoined Gucci to come on board as presenting sponsor. Gucci's Behnaz Ghahramani was on hand to represent the fashion house, as were other luxe retail sponsors including Montblanc's Sam Walker and Cartier's Houston store director Kari Gonzales with beau John Dagley. Alley Theatre Ball AND ITS ILLUSTRIOUS PLAYERS THE PLAYERS Ascending the social stage: scene-stealer Lynn Wyatt; the Alley's leading men artistic director Gregory Boyd and managing director Dean Gladden; record-setting wine auction chairman Robert Sakowitz; Saks Fifth Avenue's Bobby Dees and wife Wezy; Joni Baird with sponsor Chevron; Margaret Williams, squired by Jim Daniel; Donna Teichman, mom to chair Signor Teichman; Cynthia and Tony Petrello; Debbie Wernet and Trisha Harper; Michelle and Alan Smith; Deana and Larry Blackburn; Beth Madison; Marie Bosarge; Diane Lokey Farb; Winell and Doug Herron; Mary and Tony Gracely; Debbie and Robert Penshorn; Denise and Daniel Domeracki; Grizell Garcia; Carmen and Butch Mach; Aparna and V.V. Rao; Cathy and Jesse Marion; and Morgan Ostroski (the Marions' niece) with Parker Grant. GLADYS KNIGHT + A PIP IN THE HOUSE Entertainment chair Trini Mendenhall secured a live performance from none other than Gladys Knight and a Pip, Gladys' brother Merald Knight. The superstar performed a breathtaking concert of the greatest R&B staples of all time, delighting rapt guests who stormed the dance floor. Next spring's gala chairmen, Mady and Ken Kades, underwrote breakfast at midnight: McDonald's egg-white McMuffins (the Kades own nearly 30 area McDonald's franchises, you see). All told, 475 sharp-dressed men and women raised more than $1 million for the renowned theater as it prepares for its next act. (Save this ball date: Much Ado about The Alley, set for April 18, 2015.) VEDDY POSH PACKAGES T he live auction generated its own drama. Packages included a week-long getaway to Cabo on a private jet (donated by Jesse Marion and Penny and Paul Loyd), complete with opulent stay in Casa Playa, overlooking the Sea of Cortez; this prize was shared by the chairmen, along with entertainment chair Trini Mendenhall and Diana and Brad Wander. Debbie Wernet drove away in a 2014 Audi Q5 SUV, courtesy of Audi Central Houston. Greg Miller came away with the over-the-top Made in Italy Gucci fashion experience, which consisted of a five-day trip to Milan, his and hers five-figure Gucci luggage, two front-row seats to either a men's or women's runway show and a private tour of the Gucci factory and museum. Montblanc also got into the act, donating a six-day marathon of Broadway stagecraft: Each day, a collective of celebrity writers, directors, actors, musicians and a production team breathe life into new plays from scratch, given only 24 hours to incubate a play a day. The gala chairs again stepped up to nab this avant-garde performing arts opportunity, to be enacted in NYC or L.A. TONY-WORTHY TOUCHES God was in the details, directed to tony perfection. The mise en scène was created by The Events Company, which took a disco "wrecking ball" as its point of departure for the Studio 54 silvery tones. Crooner Yvonne Washington and Positive State of Mind set the jazzy tone during the cocktail hour, which segued into the cabaret riffs of Julie Johnson that accompanied a four-course seated dinner crafted by Tony's, which starred osso buco and concluded with raspberry Vacherin, topped by a meringue "G" (an ode to the lavish sponsor). Supporters also partook of flutes of Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque, served from a Christofle vasque brought in for the occasion. A Bravura Five-Act Social + Philanthropic Drama Lynn Wyatt Behnaz Ghahramani Joel Glover Mady Kades Ken Kades Florence Langford Julie Stephenson Lois Stark Diane Lokey Farb Mickey Rosmarin Cynthia Petrello Alan Smith Michelle Smith Joanne King Herring Tony Petrello Dancie Ware Deana Blackburn Larry Blackburn Melinda Stubbs Pat Breen Celina Hellmund Jane Gladden Kari Gonzales Jana Arnoldy Susan Hansen Gucci on parade John Dagley Bobby Dees Wezy Dees Gracie Cavnar Dean Gladden Doug Herron Winell Herron Trini Mendenhall Gregory Boyd Donna Teichman & Positive State of Mind Gladys Knight Chairman Andrew Cordes Chairman Brian H. Teichman Tom Langford Gladys Knight

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