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Society / Featured Parties

Legendary Music Group Makes this Grooving Ball an Unforgettable Houston Night

And It Wasn’t Just Your Imagination

BY // 05.20.17
photography Dave Rossman, Jacob Power

The disco-inspired vibe of this spring’s Alley Ball was appropriate — not only did it nod to the original era of the Alley Theatre‘s modernist home on Texas Avenue, erected 1968, it also featured as headliners the greatest R & B act of all time. Rock & Roll Hall of Famers The Temptations, aka the Emperors of Soul, made this night extra special.

Once again, the party returned to the Washington Avenue Arts District. Silver Street Studios was transformed via the wizardry of Richard Flowers‘ The Events Company, into a Motown-flavored Lounge, decked out for the occasion with gigantic records blown up on the wall displaying the musical kingpins’ Solid Gold hits.

While the 2016 Alley Ball was all about “Peace, Love & Rock ‘n Roll,” this year’s theme — “In the Groove” — propelled the action a decade further. Chairs Florence and Tom Langford reigned as the perfect disco queen and king. She even received a impromptu tribute crooned by The Temptations, who gave the crowd what they clamored for with My Girl,” “Just My Imagination,” and “Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” among a classic set list undiminished by time.

City Kitchen catered the seated dinner, which reinforced the party’s motif: ’70s-era appetizers like cheese fondue, Swedish meatballs, and coconut shrimp segued into wedge salad, Steak Diane, twice-baked potato, asparagus, and the grand flourish — chocolate toffee ice box pie.

Other memorable moments were provided by the silent auction goodies. This year, it was all about grand getaways. The lucky winners included Tami Kazdal nabbing the ultimate African photo safari, Jena Clark securing the Napa wine tour, and Mike Loya scoring both Costa Rica and Belize luxury packages.

While The Temptations filled the dance floor after dinner, following their very high-voltage performance, revelers who weren’t ready to go home, were rewarded by dancing to DJ Kalkutta who manned the turntable.

Holiday Gifting

  • Wayne Smith
  • Mariquite Masterson
  • Elaine Turner - Felicia Stole in Magenta
  • Asher Gallery
  • Oscar De La Renta - Earrings
  • Loeffler Randall - Shoes
  • Bond No 9 - Candle
  • Cotton Club
  • Oscar De La Renta - Clutch
  • Loeffler Randall - Clutch
  • Museum of Fine Arts Houston
  • Cotton Club
  • Cle Du Peau - Nail Polish
  • Cle Du Peau - Lip Gloss
  • Bond No 9 - Perfume
  • Mariquite Masterson
  • Wayne Smith
  • Elaine Turner - GiGi Flats

Next year’s Alley Ball will have a hard act to follow — will they turn to the ’80s? Stay tuned.

Disco Darlings: The leading men of the Alley, artistic director Gregory Boyd, and  managing director Dean Gladden (who personally greeted guests in his best ’70s threads); honoree Justice Record Co. CEO Randall Jamail, extolled by Boyd on stage for his generosity underwriting new plays. Gold Level patrons including the chairs, joined by Margaret Alkek Williams squired by Jim Daniel, Cynthia and Anthony Petrello (the couple also chaired the Host Committee), and United Airlines represented by Brenda Bazan, hosted a table. Mady and Ken Kades made a grand entrance in a 1957 Cadillac Eldorado bearing a Big Mac license plate (an ode to their ownership of McDonald’s franchises). Vivian Wise hosted a table of decade devotees including blogger Beth Muecke, Maria Bassa and Jaquel Andrews.

Also grooving? Tootsies’ Fady Armanious in the world’s tallest ‘fro, and Gonzague Sallo with the French Consulate; Harry Winston salon director Petra Martinez with colleague Demond Monteilh; The Menil Collections’ Tommy Napier in tux sporting a surreal boutonniere from The Senterpiece, escorting Mary Margaret George who wore Cheeky Vintage; BeDesign’s Adrian Dueñas and Marcelo Saenz; Diane Lokey Farb in Oscar de la Renta twirling on the dance floor with photog John Bernhard; Pat Breen; Lois and George Stark also cutting a rug; Kathy and Marty Goossen; Philamena and Arthur Baird;  past gala chairs Brian Teichman and Andrew Cordes dazzling in matching tuxes from Dolce and Gabbana; Trini Mendenhall; Ken Christie of Creators and Collectors TV; designing handbag lady Debra Linse; Robert Hernandez in from Dallas; and the chairs’ son and daughter-in-law Vivian and Byron Langford, just wed, who rearranged their honeymoon to make the bash.

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