Constantine Maroulis gets the crowd revved in a private concert during the Jungle Book Gala kick-off. (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Jungle Book Gala kick-off party hosts Dr. Monte & Deborah Stavis, gala chairs Kyle & Amy McCully (Photo by DanielOrtiz)
Broadway star and rock singer Constantine Maroulis gets up-close-and-personal with kick-off party guests. (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Katie Tsuru, Lindsay Bowman (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Gala chair Morgan Stautzenberger, Cameron Stubbs, gala chair Kristen Stubbs (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Tom & Grace Gosnell (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Simin & Gaurdie Banister (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Patrick Thrash, Sarah Frazier, Monica Lunsford, Austin Buchanan (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Jeff Carnrite, Joselyn Tego, Julie and Ron Finck (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Kasey McNorton, Nick Carnrite (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Monica Lunsford, Melissa McDaniel, Grace Gosnell, Victoria Villarreal, Alexa Bode (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Kayla & Rory Tolunay (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Allison Schulze, Mark & Lisa Jakel (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Lindsey Koszela, Nikki Ellis (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Eddie & Nedra Cohen, Deborah & Monte Stavis (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Aubrey Leatherman, Constantine Maroulis, Peyton Leatherman (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
How much fun that during the summer party drought, a generous couple throws open the doors of their River Oaks swankienda for a charitable bash that could rival a full-blown gala, thanks in no small part to the 45-minute concert by a Broadway star who headlined Rock of Ages and Jekyll and Hyde.
Merci beaucoup, Deborah and Dr. Monte Stavis, who hosted the rocking night as a kickoff to the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation‘s fifth annual “Jungle Book Gala.” The invitation-only guest list included gala host committee members, sponsors and special peeps including brothers Nick and Jeff Carnrite, who announced that their Carnrite Group oil and gas consulting firm will serve as title sponsor of the gala for the second consecutive year.
More than 150 VIPs glided through the Stavis home which had been transformed by Stevenpaul Creative Resources into a convincing jungle scape. Think faux snakes serpentining through the decor that included oodles of fresh orchids, yards and yards of animal-printed fabrics, a near-herd of stuffed toy animals, a wall of succulents and a larger-than-life “Jungle Book Gala” backdrop in the shape of a book, the perfect Instagram inspiration.
Following a cocktail hour of light bites and libations from chef Soren Pederson, the party relocated to the tented lawn for remarks including introduction of gala chairs Amy and Kyle McCully, Morgan Stautzenberger and Cameron Stubbs.
And then, the party kicked into high gear with rock singer Constantine Maroulis, two-time Tony Award nominee and a top 10 finalist on American Idol, taking the stage. He was flown in from home base in New York by by Stavis & Cohen Financial just for this evening. He did not disappoint, kicking off his concert with Gun’s and Roses’ Welcome to the Jungle. His repertoire included Bryan Adam’s Summer of ’69 and his special rendition of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. Maroulis closed the concert with the crowd dancing to Livin’ on a Prayer by Bon Jovi.
The gala is set for November 8 at The Revaire. The Matchmaker Band from Austin has already been booked for dancing.
PC Seen: Nedra and Eddie Cohen, Trent Hrncir, Simin and Gaurdie Banister, Alexa Bode and Andrew Gauthier, Katie Tsuru, Lindsey Koszela, Sarah Frazier and Patrick Thrash, Kayla and Rory Tolunay, Grace and Tom Gosnell, Joselyn Tego, Monica Lunsford, Austin Buchanan and Ron Finck and Julie Baker Finck, who heads the foundation.