Society / Featured Parties

Houston Ballet Fantasy Comes to Life With Grand On-Stage Dinner — 50 Years of Wonder

Partying in the Time Before Coronavirus

BY // 03.19.20

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 ElapseLeticia 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 FollowingHallie Vanderhider for Edwaard Liang’s MurmurationMargaret 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. 

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