Houston Ballet Production Underwriters Dinner sets the stage in Wortham Theater Center for an evening of rare elegance. (Photo by Alida Bonifaz)
Stephanie Tsuru, Jim Nelson, Beth Zdeblick (Photo by Wilson Parish)
First Soloist Monica Gomez, Ted & Melza Barr, Stanton Welch (Photo by Wilson Parish)
The Wortham Theater Center stage becomes an exquisite dinner setting in the hands of Richard Flowers and The Events Company. (Photo by Alida Bonifaz)
Angel Rios, Lynn Wyatt, Richard Flowers (Photo by Wilson Parish)
Margaret Alkek Williams, Houston Ballet Principal Chun Wai Chan (Photo by Wilson Parish)
Akemi Saitoh, Houston Ballet Principal Charles Yoshiyama (Photo by Wilson Parish)
Bill King, Hallie Vanderhider, Jay Jones (Photo by Wilson Parish)
Cabrina & Steven Owsley (Photo by Wilson Parish)
Houston Ballet Principals Connor Walsh and Jessica Collado (Photo by Wilson Parish)
Houston Ballet Principal Soo Youn Cho, First Soloist Allison Miller, First Soloist Monica Gomez (Photo by Wilson Parish)
Marvin & Martha McMcMurrey (Photo by Wilson Parish)
Frank & Stephanie Tsuru, Houston Ballet First Soloist Oliver Halkowich (Photo by Wilson Parish)
Nick & Beth Zdeblick (Photo by Wilson Parish)
Kate Fowler, Jill Grimes
Myra Brown, Hope Bliss
The '2-D' chandeliers from The Sleeping Beauty production add a magical note to the dinner setting (Photo by Wilson Parish)
The cocktail reception featured a three-tiered fountain and images from the season's productions. (Photo by Alida Bonifaz)
On stage at Wortham Theater Center where The Events Company created a spectacular dinner setting for a salute to production underwriters. (Photo by Wilson Parish)
Before coronavirus self distancing became the new norm, Houston Ballet, in the midst of celebrating its 50th anniversary, honored this season’s production underwriters with a grand, on-stage dinner in a setting as beautiful as any ballet fantasy.
Ben Stevenson‘s gilded presentation of The Sleeping Beauty, which ran through March 6, set the stage for The Events Company to create a lavish tableau for the invitation-only throng that included top donors, choreographers and Houston Ballet principals and first soloists.
Arrival for the spectacular evening was via the stage door where just past the security desk, the cocktail-attired guests were whisked through a silver draped tunnel lit by glistening candelabras and lined with a VIP red carpet before arriving stage right for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. No ordinary cocktail setting this. Visual centerpiece was a three-tiered fountain embellished with bathing cherubs. Surrounding were gallery presentations of photographs from the 50th anniversary productions, each with the work title and the supporting underwriter.
Those included Melza and Ted Barr for Stanton Welch’s Romeo and Juliet, Myra Brown for University of Houston’s Moores School Performance with Houston Ballet Academy, Anne and Albert Chao for Disha Zhang’s Elapse, Leticia Loya for Arthur Pita’s World Premiere, Allison and Troy Thacker for Trey McIntyre’s Pretty Things, Stephanie and Frank Tsuru for Oliver Halkowich’s Following, Hallie Vanderhider for Edwaard Liang’s Murmuration, Margaret Alkek Williams for Margaret Alkek Williams Jubilee of Dance, and Lynn Wyatt for Stanton Welch’s Giselle.
Guests were awed as the curtain rose on the stage where two lengthy family style tables dripped in rich warm-colored fruit and bounteous swaths of flowers and shone with gilded candelabra. The magnificent “2D” chandeliers from The Sleeping Beauty were hung overhead as if in the grand hall of Princess Aurora’s castle. It was a royal setting, indeed, set for ballet’s regal donors.
City Kitchen contributed its culinary grandeur to the evening, serving burrata upon white asparagus and Belgian endive with almond parsley pesto, grilled halibut with a kohlrabi puree and for dessert, a strawberry and basil tart with black mascarpone and saba.
PC Seen: Jay Jones, Martha and Marvin McMurray, Gary Beauchamp, Richard Flowers and Angel Rios, Myra Brown, Cabrina and Steven Owsley, Kate Fowler, Jim Jordan, Kris McGee, Akemi Saitoh, Liliana Soltero, Bill King, Beth and Nick Zdeblick, Houston Ballet artistic director Stanton Welch, Houston Ballet executive director Jim Nelson and company members Trey McIntyre, Oliver Halkowich, and Connor Walsh.