Mark Holley, chair Angela Lee, honorary chair Rick Smith
Asomgyee Pamoja, Justin Hibbert
Gala co-chair Merele Yarborough, honorary chair Rick Smith, Eileen J. Morris
John Rolfe, Warren Luckett, Keith Davis
Vernon Landers, Michell Cockrell, Caesar Grantham
Ken Cowan, James Davis, Janette Cosley, Tony Black, William Wallace
Charles N. Coleman, Fran Brown, Vincent Dawson
Patrick Mitchell, Micheal Helm
Tony Black, Robert Ross
Eileen J. Morris, Janette Cosley, Ford McWilliams
Edward Jackson, Phil Batchelder, Christian Brown
Will Harrison, Clifford Houston
Thomas Jones, honorary chair Rick Smith, Ken Cowan
Keith McWilliams, James Davis, William Lee
Bill Littlejohn, Michael Black
Lamar Smith, Scott Thomas
Douglas Trimmer, Cheryl Ramagos, James A. Smith
Tommy Brooks, Jonathan Cohen
Ange Hillz entertained the crowd by painting a portrait of Rick Smith on the spot.
Castel Hibbert, Rosalyn Boyd, James A. Smith
William Lee & chair Angela Lee
The gents enjoyed a preview of The Ensemble's "Simply Simone."
Cast of "Simply Simone" takes a bow: Samantha West, Lakeisha Randle, Teacake Ferguson, Rita Hughes.
What: Gentlemen’s Night for The Ensemble
Where: The Ensemble Theatre
PC Moment: Dressed to impress, some of Houston’s leading men in business, sports, banking, and law flocked to the Ensemble Theatre’s first ever Gentlemen’s Night. The evening served up a theatrical preview, paired with dining, cognac tasting, and power brokering. DJ SupaStar successfully set the scene upon the gents’ arrival. Hors d’oeuvres crafted by Ray’s Barbecue, Holley’s Seafood, and Phil & Derek were complemented by quaffs of D’Usse Cognac.
Event committee chair Angela Lee gave a warm welcome alongside honorary chair Rick Smith, general manager of the Houston Texans. Afterward, The Ensemble’s artistic director Eileen J. Morris introduced a teaser of the season’s finale show, Simply Simone, a musical tribute to the life of influential jazz artist Nina Simone. Ange Hillz painted a portrait of Smith to the tune of Simone’s “Flying High,” capping off the night with a visual component.
The party was the second in a series of fundraisers leading up to the theater’s upcoming black-tie gala commemorating its first four decades. Save the date: Saturday, August 19, at the Hilton-Americas, for Live it! Love it! Celebrate! The fête aims to bring in $1 million toward the theater’s annual $2 million operating budget.
Who: Gala co-chair Merele Yarborough, Ensemble executive director Janette Cosley, chef Mark Holley, Judge Bill Littlejohn, Keith McWilliams (whose wife, Shawntell McWiliams chaired the gala kickoff this spring), Warren Luckett, Lamar Smith, William Lee, Clifford Houston, Douglas Trimmer, Scott Thomas, Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau’s John Rolfe, Castel Hibbert, Phil Batchelder, Chalres N. Coleman, Caesar Grantham, and Asomgyee Pamoja.