MEET ME IN THE GARDEN

MEET ME IN THE GARDEN

Bayou Bend Celebrates With Annual Garden Party

By Jennifer Roosth      Photography by Jenny Antill and Wilson Parish

THE SETTING: Recently, guests enjoyed a beautiful spring evening at the annual Bayou Bend Garden Party to support the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. At twilight, the attendees gathered in the gardens of the historic Ima Hogg historic estate for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres under an extravagant tent featuring décor by The Events Company that included crystal chandeliers donned with greenery and lavender blooms.

 

THE STYLE: Everything about the event was ideal for the theme of a spring evening garden party. Tables were dressed with lavender-hued linens. The delicate floral arrangements of rosy pinks, lavenders, and magentas, and chargers with butterfly designs perfectly complemented the theme of this year’s event, the butterfly. Dinner was catered by City Kitchen and included summer melon salad with purslane, Jamon Serrano, pine nuts, basil gastrique, and shaved manchego; pinto bean cake; warm cabbage and celeriac slaw and jumbo asparagus; and grilled red snapper filet with olive oil, Meyer lemon, shallots, and capers finished with a chocolate pecan tart and Amarena cherry gelato. After dinner, guests danced the night away to live music by the David Caceres Band.

 

THE PURPOSE: This year’s soirée raised $533,000 for the Bayou Bend operating budget. Remarks were made by Gary Tinterow, Director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, followed by Jim Miller, the managing director for the Tanglewood Corporation. Earlier that weekend, the 5th Annual Bayou Bend Fashion Show Luncheon raised and additional $423,000, with The Galleria/Simon Property Group as the Principal Underwriter.

STARLIGHT, STAR BRIGHT

STARLIGHT, STAR BRIGHT

Alley Theatre Hosts 75th Anniversary Ball, An Evening at the Starlight Room 

 

By: Jennifer Roosth        Photography by Priscilla Dickson and Jacob Powers 

THE SETTING: Recently, over 650 guests attended the Alley Theatre’s 75th Anniversary Ball, An Evening at the Starlight Room at The Post Oak Hotel, raising a record $1.9 million for the organization’s artistic, educational and community engagement initiatives. As guests arrived, they entered the Grand Ballroom, staged as an elegant supper club reminiscent of The Rainbow Room in New York. 

 

THE STYLE: The vivacious energy of the room was palpable. Richard Flowers and his team at The Events Company pulled out all the stops for the Alley’s 75th. They had guests gasping at an abundance of quicksand, Sahara, and Majolica roses intertwined with orchids and calla lilies, all set among different banquet-laden tables. Walker Chancey designed the beautiful floral décor. A ballroom-wide champagne toast after dinner and dessert that was served was the cue for the band, Manhattan’s Starlight Experience, to rouse the crowd with their rendition of Bang Bang. The 17-piece show band kept the crowd dancing well past midnight

 

THE PURPOSE: The evening included heartfelt speeches from Board President Ken Kades, followed by Dean Gladden and Rob Melrose, who sighted the historical significance of the Alley’s 75th anniversary year. Then there was a special tribute to Beth Madison, the champion of arts and education in Houston.

 

MARVELOUS MOROCCO

MARVELOUS MOROCCO

Houston Opera Ball Returns With A White Tie Gala

By Jennifer Roosth       Photography by Michelle Watson and Wilson Parish

THE SETTING: The Houston Grand Opera Ball is back. In a big way. Le Voyage à Marrakech was the theme for this year’s signature white-tie event as it returned to the Wortham Theater Center after being displaced for five years—first due to Hurricane Harvey and then COVID-19. Now, back and better than ever, the dreamy and colorful Moroccan adventure set the tone for the evening. Over 470 guests were welcomed with a red-carpet arrival on Fish Plaza.

 

THE STYLE:  The evening proved an exotic festival of the senses with North African music by Moodafaruka, Morocco-inspired cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, fortune tellers, henna artists, Abraham’s Rugs, a traditional Moroccan tea service, and a live camel photo op. Once seated for dinner, the charm continued when Houston Grand Opera co-chair, Jennifer Fink, was carried in on a sparkling Amariya—a tradition typically reserved for lavish Moroccan weddings. A belly dancer performance and a surprise rendition of La Vie en Rose by soprano Ana María Martínez mesmermized the crowd. For dinner, City Kitchen tantalized the guests’ palates with a Mediterranean feast highlighting the flavors of Morocco and culminating with a Gilded Chocolate Genie Lantern filled with Dark Chocolate Mousse and garnished with Figs and Anise Whipped Cream. Following Le Voyage à Marrakech, the ENCORE After Party, chaired by Lauren Randle, joined the Ball crowd to carry on with a festive, late-night celebration featuring the music of DJ Little Martin.

 

THE PURPOSE: Chaired by Jennifer and Benjamin Fink, it was also the first Opera Ball with the new CEO and General Director Khori Dastoor. The Music and Artistic Director is Patrick Summers. Teresa and José Ivo chaired the luxe silent auction. The Opera Ball raised over $1.25 million to support the internationally renowned performances and community programs that distinguish HGO as one of America’s most outstanding opera companies. 

JEWELS IN THE CROWN

JEWELS IN THE CROWN

Houston Ballet Ball 2022 Celebrates Jewels Theme

 

By Jennifer Roosth        Photography by Alida Bonifaz, Wilson Parish, Dave Rossman, and Johnny Than

THE SETTING: More than 400 guests, clad in black tie and a sea of elegant gowns, made their appearance at the Wortham Theater Center to salute the in-person return of the Ballet Ball after two long years. This year’s event was inspired by the glamour and elegance of George Balanchine’s ballet, Jewels. As guests made their way into the lobby, the attendees admired and took photos in front of a beautiful custom wall crafted out of both painted and actual pointe shoes. During cocktail hour, guests sipped on libations and elixirs while perusing impressive silent auction items.

 

THE STYLE: Richard Flowers of The Events Company transformed the Grand Foyer of the Wortham Theater Center into a dazzling venue dripping with gemstones. The balconies of the Grand Foyer, adorned with statement necklaces, overlooked a stunning gemstone-shaped dance floor and tables decorated with vivid emerald tablecloths and ruby-red centerpieces. Once seated, guests indulged in a decadent dinner prepared by Jackson and Company. The night’s first course featured a 50 Carat salad, an homage to the evening’s theme, accompanied by lemon thyme lavosh bread. The feast continued with snapper topped with leek and kumquat emulsion saffron, poached fennel, Yellow Diamond au gratin potatoes, and Romanesco. For dessert, guests delighted in a Jewelry Box, comprised of a blondie dressed in white chocolate and caramel mousse with caramel-filled chocolate jewels. Following dinner, attendees crowded the dance floor and danced the night away to the sounds of Gen 8 presented by Elan Artists.

 

THE PURPOSE: The 2022 Ballet Ball, chaired by Stephanie and Frank Tsuru, along with Kelli and John Weinzierl, raised nearly $1.4 million for the Houston Ballet, led creatively by The Harris Masterson III Artistic Director, Stanton Welch. The organization’s mission is to inspire a lasting love and appreciation for dance through artistic excellence, exhilarating performances, innovative choreography, and superb educational programs. 

EXOTIC ALLURE

EXOTIC ALLURE

Asia Society Texas Hosts 2022 Tiger Ball

By Jennifer Roosth     Photography by Daniel Ortiz and Emily Jaschke

THE SETTING: The Asia Society Texas Tiger Ball 2022 commemorated the 10th anniversary of the opening of its center. Over 620 guests were welcomed into the venue’s Texas Center. The tented Gala Pavilion was filled with an elegant sea of red and gold executed beautifully by Bergner and Johnson Design. Adding a touch of magic to the atmosphere were floating candles suspended from oak trees above tables laden with exquisite arrangements of red roses, tulips, anemones, ranunculus, and hydrangeas.

THE STYLE: The evening celebrated the vibrant cultures and diverse experiences Asia Society Texas represents. During the cocktail hour, guests enjoyed Wagyu tataki and duck crepes while dancers from Dance of Asian America engaged with guests through demonstrations of traditional Chinese dance techniques. Guests perused a variety of luxurious silent auction items, including a Harry Winston Midnight Automatic 36mm timepiece, artworks by Houston-born artist and MacArthur Genius Grant recipient Mel Chin and British-Iranian artist Kour Pour, sets of first-class United Airlines airfare to Asia or Europe, and a five-day luxury Fabergé London experience. The attendees were then treated to a sumptuous dinner by City Kitchen that featured a seared miso-glazed sea bass with white soy and red pepper threads, accompanied by forbidden rice and heirloom cauliflower with mustard seeds and ginger. Following dinner, the guests enjoyed a variety of desserts while celebrating on the dance floor with the lively music provided by DJ ALX of Karma DJs.

THE PURPOSE: The evening raised over $1.6 million, a record for the organization’s event, which was led by Leigh and Reggie Smith and Tripp Carter, the ball’s chairs. The event celebrated Nancy C. Allen and Anne and Albert Chao, the honorary ball chairs, for their enduring commitment to building cross-cultural friendships and visionary spirit that made the Texas Center possible. In special recognition of the center’s 10th anniversary, Tiger Ball 2022 also celebrated three “Trailblazers” who share Asia Society’s dedication to building cross-cultural understanding and friendships: visual artist Tiffany Chung, astronaut Soichi Noguchi, and Chancellor of the University of Houston Renu Khator. The gala’s proceeds support Asia Society Texas’ efforts to advance cross-cultural understanding and build a more inclusive community.

 

STAGED FOR SUCCESS

STAGED FOR SUCCESS

The University Of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center 80th Anniversary Celebration Concert Raises $10.5 Million

By Jennifer Roosth   Photography by Wilson Parrish, Michelle Watson and Thomas Campbell

THE SETTING: The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center recently celebrated 80 Years of Making Cancer History at the Toyota Center to the sounds of The Beach Boys…and to the tune of more than $10.5 million raised to end cancer, surpassing an initial goal of $8 million. Actor John Stamos emceed the one-of-a-kind concert, which included artists Todd Rundgren, Christopher Cross, The Commodores, and Generation Radio featuring Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts and Jason Scheff of Chicago. The event raised awareness and funds for rare cancers in support of the musicians’ dear friend, rare cancer survivor Jeffrey Foskett, a vocalist, musician, and arranger who earned his credentials performing pop classics with The Beach Boys, America, and Jeff Beck. 

THE STYLE: The floor at the Toyota Center was a far cry from what VIPs are used to at a Houston Rockets game. Instead of folding chairs and fluorescent lights, luxury lounge seating–think plush velvet sofas and leather club chairs­–covered the arena. All eyes were focused on the blue lighting setting ablaze MD Anderson’s 80th Anniversary design that stretched across the 60-foot stage. Beachy floral arrangements, a nod to the evening’s much-anticipated entertainment, added a festive touch to the pods that hosted 20 to 30 VIPs. These special guests wore concert credentials around their necks, which contributed to the excitement in the air about what was soon to come. These passes also permitted access to the several lounges located throughout the Toyota Center.

THE PURPOSE: The evening featured almost too many memorable moments to count, yet the night’s highlight needed little build-up to appreciate. In 2018, Jeffrey Foskett lost his voice while touring with The Beach Boys. Then, in early 2019, he was diagnosed with anaplastic thyroid cancer, a rare malignancy. He received a grim prognosis at a California hospital before seeking a second opinion at MD Anderson, where a multidisciplinary team devised a treatment approach that reduced his cancer. His performance that evening brought tears to the eyes of the 2,500 guests who jumped to their feet to cheer for him. Stamos joined Foskett and The Beach Boys on tunes such as Kokomo, Barbara Ann, Surfin’ USA, and more.

Since opening its doors more than eight decades ago, MD Anderson has cared for hundreds of thousands of patients facing cancers both common and rare. The institution remains one of the world’s most respected centers devoted exclusively to cancer patient care, research, education, and prevention.