Stages In The Gordy Hosts Grand Opening Gala

By Jennifer Roosth          Photography by Priscilla Dickson and Wilson Parish

THE SETTING:  Having recently completed the new $35 million campus, Stages in The Gordy kicked off their opening weekend festivities by hosting the annual gala in their new home. More than 230 black tie attired guests eagerly made their way into The Gordy to enjoy the finished space. Still, in awe, guests sipped libations and perused the silent auction. Prior to dinner, guests gathered at the Sterling Stage for a special performance by three Broadway stars: Alysha Umphress, Joseph C. Wiggan, and Tony Yazbeck,  as the trio performed various numbers, including Don’t Rain on My Parade, All I Need is the Girl, and I Wish I Knew.

THE STYLE:  The décor, designed by Bergner & Johnson, was created to show off the focal point of the evening–the new building. Lanterns and a purple runway style carpet lined the walkway to the front lobby doors to greet the guests. White floral arrangements topped the tables throughout the space. The dinner, prepared by Jackson & Company, began with an amuse-bouche, which was a trio of deviled quail eggs followed by a seafood crepe with Mornay sauce. The main course was prime-aged Angus beef tenderloin with an old vine Zinfandel sauce served with potatoes fine herb gratinée, French baby carrots, asparagus, and yeast rolls. For dessert, guests enjoyed a spectacular twist on Baked Alaska, complete with a flaming presentation.

Following dinner, attendees could either dance the night away to the sounds of DJ Gracie Chavez on the Lester and Sue Smith Stage, which had been transformed into a disco. Or, they could enjoy the featured performances by Stages’ fan favorites Mark Ivy, Ben Miller, and Holland Vavra on the Rochelle and Max Levit Stage, which served as a piano bar.

THE PURPOSE:  This year’s event raised a record-breaking amount of more than $750,000 for Stages. Isla and T.R. Reckling, III, served as event chairs, along with the namesakes of the building, Glenda and Russell Gordy, who served as the underwriting chairs. Both couples were instrumental in making Stages’ vision for The Gordy come to life. The silent auction was led by the auction chairs, Trish and Rock Morille.