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Society / Featured Parties

Houston Ballet Shakes Up the World of Underwriter Dinners With Dramatic Surprises

Celebrating a World Premiere and One of Houston's Most Generous Couples

BY // 03.08.19
photography Priscilla Dickson

What: Houston Ballet underwriter dinner

Where: On the big stage in Wortham Theater Center

PC Moment: Underwriter dinners, while a nice way to thank those with deep pockets, can be ho-hum affairs. But Houston Ballet elevated the genre to a new level with the dinner celebrating the world premiere of Stanton Welch‘s Sylvia and honoring the production’s generous underwriters, Phoebe and Bobby Tudor.

It was a night filled with little surprises beginning with arrival through the theater’s stage door and down a hallway lighted by glowing chandeliers. Guests made their way to the Brown Theater stage where they enjoyed cocktails and schmoozing amid the shoulders of Sylvia‘s  dramatic”grotto” and where costumes from the production were on display.

Cocktail hour over, the curtain rose to reveal a grand setting, compliments of Bergner & Johnson, of two long tables anchored center stage in one of the more dramatic dinner scenes in recent memory.

Jackson and Company served a three-course menu of field greens with arugula and poached pear, golden beets, goat cheese medallions and spiced olives with an herb vinaigrette, followed by tagine style lamb chops with couscous pilaf, batons of carrots and haricots verts, and a Moroccan citrus cinnamon dessert with honey gelato and toasted pistachio crumble.

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Kudos to the Tudors, without whose generosity the production would not have been possible, and the celebration of Sylvia were delivered via a video presentation introduced by Welch, who also introduced the ballet’s principal dancers.

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