Society / Featured Parties

Behind the Curtain With Elf at the Hobby Center — a Snowy Adventure Becomes Real

Houston Kids and Their Parents Get a Rare Treat

BY // 12.10.19

Neither youngsters nor their parents will soon forget Sunday’s adventure at Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, a midday fête that included a whimsical, snowy lunch on stage in Zilkha Hall, a matinee performance of Elf The Musical, and photos with a Buddy the Elf character.

The festive alternative to Sunday blues was hosted by Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital (CMHH) and Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS) and chaired by a quartet of fashionable young moms — Shannon Addison, Amanda Boffone, Elizabeth Dwyer and Stephanie Fleck — with a trio of influencer moms serving as honorary chairs — Christine Falgout, Melissa Juneau and Rachel Regan. (All except for Dwyer were reprising their roles from the CMHH “Illuminate the Night” event at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in early November.)

We would guess that only the sets for Houston Ballet’s The Nutcracker could best the setting for this luncheon that found the Zilkha stage wrapped in a wintery cloak of oversized snowflakes, billowing white florals (think orchids and amaryllis), a Big Ass Balloons wall of white and a “snow” station with a backdrop of a shimmering winter forest. Kudos to DeMartino Design Group for the dreamy execution.

Sunday’s CMHH friend-raising event was titled “Behind the Curtain.” Welcoming the folks were Susie Distefano, CMHH CEO; Dan Knechtges, TUTS artistic director; and Dr. Matt Greives, chief of pediatric and reconstructive surgery at CMHH, who introduced a video on a young cleft lip and palate patient’s success story.

The pre-performance event featured child-oriented diversions including a winter-themed arts and crafts table, the “snow” playground complete with mini shovels and snow plows, and the antics of the Buddy character including his reading of the Elf story.

Cocktails and champagne entertained the adults who joined their children in sampling a perfect array of hors d’oeuvres from Tony’s that included mini grilled cheese skewers, mini mozzarella calzones, creamed spinach tartlets and mini turkey and cranberry sandwiches. The dinner chimes rang and all in the intimate gathering were seated for lunch, also from Tony’s, that featured pesto drizzled grilled chicken atop cappellini for grownups and crunchy chicken tenders mack and cheese for the kiddos and for all family style desserts that included Tony’s signature tuxedo cake, key lime pie, blackberry crostata and cookies.

PC Seen: TUTS executive director Hillary Hart, Memorial Hermann board chair Deborah Cannon, Dr. Phuong Nguyen, Leanne Doringo, Amalia and Brian Stanton, Drs. Pam and Kevin Lally, Bethany and Ben Buchanan, Donna Vallone, Tracey Hull, Katherine and Richard Rose, Lia Vallone and Vivian VandenBout.

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