Society / Featured Parties

River Oaks Couple Draws a Broadway Star to a House Party Like No Other

Who Says There is No Summer Partying in Houston?

BY // 06.27.19
photography 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.

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