Ben & Tracy Lange
Bill & Linda Custard
Bob & Lisa Segert
Cecelia Smith, Marlene Ehring
Charles Cascio, Graham McCall
Chuck & Trudy Best
David Haemisegger & Nancy Nasher
Greg & Kim Hext
Kara & Randall Goss
Key & Katherine Coker
Taylor Johnson, Nick Boulle
“For all the straight men here, I’m Kristin Chenoweth,” deadpanned the musical star as she introduced herself to the crowd from the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center stage. Clad in a radiant sequined number, this would not be the first laugh-out-loud moment for Chenoweth as she headlined the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s annual gala — a departure for the symphony after years of selecting classical musicians the likes of Yo-Yo Ma for their gala’s main act.
The DSO Gala is still one of the few black-tie evenings in Dallas done the old-school way — gowns and tuxes are non-negotiable and cocktail hour is promptly followed by a sophisticated dinner. Todd Fiscus took the lead on decor, with an earthy kind of glamour that felt light, youthful, and airy, but still spoke to the symphony’s old-guard-elegant patrons.
Perhaps, Fiscus used Chenoweth’s spritely spirit as inspiration.
But back to the show: Chenoweth, an Oklahoma girl, no doubt feels at home in Texas. Standing at just barely five-feet tall, she came on stage with a large to-go cup from Whataburger that she sipped from during breaks in her set list, a range that included everything from “Moon River” to “Popular” from Wicked — the hit musical that made Chenoweth a bona fide star.
Early in the program, Chenoweth described her road-trip through Texas for the gala — a northbound trek from Houston.
“I could talk for 20 more minutes about Buc-ee’s,” she said of the beloved truck stop famously en route between Dallas and Houston. “But, I’m here to sing.”
And sing she did earning a boisterous standing ovation after her final bow. Now, our sights are set on next year, when the DSO’s new music director Fabio Luisi will make his gala debut.