NasherSALON Series’ Award-Winning Kristin Chenoweth Hits All The Rights Notes Perfectly Despite A Case Of Bronchitis

Last week a bevy of fabulous, well-known ladies overnighted in Dallas for different reasons. Don’t know if any of the Kardashians were in the crowd, but Cyndi Lauper, Oprah, Katie Couric and Kristin Chenoweth were and they made lasting impressions. At the Mansion a newlywed couple walked in only to be greeted by overnight guest Oprah who congratulated them on their nuptials. Katie had Mansion guests and staff members almost giggly as she charmed one and all. Cyndi, who looked a little puffy, did a meet-and-greet at an event that was so fast-and-furious it must have set records.

And then there was Kristin, the all-around mega talent, who hails from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. She was here Thursday for the NasherSALON including an afternoon session with Booker T. Washington students.

But before getting started, know that Kristin was not in the best of health. She’d been fighting a nasty case of bronchitis since hosting Monday’s American Country Music awards show. Skeptics muttered that she’d probably cancel out on the Nasher, but they evidently didn’t know the Tony Award-winning songbird/actress very well. Kristin not only showed up, she scored home runs at every turn.

Booker T. Washington

Kristin Chenoweth

Like a scene out of Glee, Kristin had a love fest with an auditorium filled to over-capacity. She told the students that her visit to Booker T. Washington had been “very emotional for me. I see myself 20 years ago. It’s been inspiring. . . very inspiring to be here.”

Originally the 4’11” Kristin wanted to be a ballerina, but at the age of 7 was relegated to the role of a rabbit in the Nutcracker because of lack of height. “Now, the rabbit sits next to Clara in Act 2. . . a very important job. The Sugar Plum Fairies dancers now have their vine that they dance with. One of them dropped on the floor. Those of you who are in theater know that when a prop falls on stage, it needs to be moved, especially in ballet. And I’m sitting next to Clara and there’s the vine left on the stage and Russian dancers were waiting and the orchestra was waiting. In my head I remember thinking, ‘What would a bunny do?’ So I hopped out there and put it (the vine) in my mouth and hopped back and the place went insane.”

She didn’t talk down to the 400 students. She talked with them like a big sister providing inspiration and tips about being an artist. Admitting that she had made personal sacrifices for her career, Kristin went on to say that she doesn’t believe there are rules, “which is why I love this place. You guys do it all. . . I didn’t have the opportunity that you have.”

Continuing on she admitted that she tries to stay out of the tabloids; “I’m about being an artist and less about the fame part of it. Nothing against the Karadashians. They should make the money while they can. But. . .  and I do say ‘but’ (much laughter from the audience).”

Kristin Chenoweth

On a serious note, she added, “It’s more about the process of creating what we do than the red carpet crap. That’s actually more work than it looks like, because you have people looking at every little thing instead of how your high C sounded.”

Later she warned them, “What we all are is artists. . . . Our job is to keep the flow (of creativity) going. . . Fight for those practice rooms. Fight for time by yourself. Be with people who inspire you. Work together. You have such a gift to be here.”

Of course, Glee came up and she explained how the cast of Glee was an extension of her.  “Having kids look up to you is probably the most rewarding aspect of my time on this earth. . . and it makes me so happy that I could affect somebody like that. It’s very emotional, very emotional.”

Regarding training and education, she admitted to being “a big proponent of conservatory and college. Because all that stuff that you can’t wait to get to is going be there. There are going to be 20 people in line behind you who sound just like you, but what’s going to make you different is the fact that you spent the time looking at a Monet painting and wondering what kind of aria you could sing to it.”

Her advice to the students: “If you have anything else you want to do, go do it. It is hard. This takes everything you have. I have sacrificed a lot. I made some sacrifices . . . big time in my personal life, but I don’t think I’d have it any other way. I’m a lifer.”

About her upcoming role in TV’s GCB, she said, “It’s got a lot of interesting press around it because it’s based on a book by Kim Gatlin called Good Christian Bitches. However, this gives me a great opportunity to talk quickly about this. I am a Christian. I would never do anything that would make fun of my religion. This is about five women who grew up in church together and how they deal with their demons and how they deal with their love for each other. It’s more about relationships than it is religion. It is very funny. . . It’s comedy, comedy, comedy. It’s one big package of chocolate cake.”

Asked to sing Popular, she responded without hesitation and it was noted that some of the students started singing along.

Her parting advice to the students was “to take care of yourself, and sleep is the best way to do it. Do whatever you have to do. Pop Benadryl. I’m sorry, people. Sorry, teachers.”

In addition to a standing ovation, the powerhouse received a goody bag that she rummaged through as if it were her first.

NasherSALON

Kristin Chenoweth

For a lucky few, the NasherSALON hosted a private meet-and-greet on the ground level of the Nasher Sculpture Center for sponsors and VIP types just prior to the salon taking place downstairs. Kristin showed up early for a tour of the Nasher, loving the Tony Cragg show, and then faced the lineup of guests including Lisa Troutt, Veletta Lill, Lynn and Allan McBee, Tanya Foster, Jeanne Marie Clossey, Jim Moroney and daughter 

Jenny Moroney and Kristin Chenoweth

Jenny and Schlegel sisters Kim and Krystal. One warning was passed to photographers — turn off camera flashes. It seems that they result in Kristin having migraines. Didn’t matter. The little star shone bright enough as she greeted each person as if they were the celebrity. Instead of the Lauper hustle-through, Kristin chatted it up like a politician trying to lock down major contributors.

Jeanne Marie Clossey, Kristin Chenoweth and Lisa Troutt

But once the photo session was over, she headed downstairs for the talk with KERA’s Jeff Whittington. Unlike the afternoon session of hanging with fellow artists, the evening Kristin was a tad more sedate. There was still the mischievous look and the Chenoweth giggle, but she was talking to nearly 200 adults with a couple of youngsters mixed in. In addition to retelling some of the stories from the afternoon, she told the group:

  • Kristin Chenoweth

    She lives in New York City more than Oklahoma, but she’s still just a girl from Broken Arrow.

  • Speaking of the South, she said, “You know, there’s a misconception that we’re dumb. . . but we’re not. We’re smart.”
  • Her dad, who is a chemical engineer, negotiated her first contract.
  • She waited seven hours once to do an audition in New York.
  • At one point in the talk she looked down at her dress and was surprised to discover: “I have a sensor on my dress from the store! That says it all!”
  • To prepare for her role as Sally Brown in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, she went to Central Park for weeks watching little kids.
  • “My biggest challenge to this day is staying healthy. I have bronchitis right now. . . but it’s not contagious!”
  • “I love junk food, 7-Eleven, chain-store food.”
  • “The only way to grow and get better is to push yourself.”
  • She has a animal charity called Maddie’s Corner, which supports animals in need: “It’s animals helping people helping animals.” It was named after her Maltese, Madeline Kahn Chenoweth, that is the namesake of the actress Madeline Kahn, Kristin’s big hero.
  • “I don’t have a husband. . . so I may have paid a price for [having a busy varied career] in that way.”
  • Loves horror films and science fiction films.
  • “Going to the theater is like water in the desert for me.” After a CD-signing in Frisco on Friday, she’s headed to New York City to catch up on plays, and “I can’t wait.”
  • Kristin Chenoweth

    She suffers from Meniere’s disease, an inner-ear disorder that can cause vertigo, headaches and nausea.

Then it was off to her hotel for a night’s sleep, to Frisco on Friday for the CD-signing and then to New York City for an appointment with a doctor.

Evidently the pride of Broken Arrow firmly believes that the show must go on. . . even if she’s got a nasty case of bronchitis.

 

Tutu Chic Fashion Show And Luncheon Had Ballerinas, Legs And A Generous Secret Sugar Plum Fairy

Daffan Nettle

Timing is everything. Just ask the four Tutu Chic (aka 2-2) co-chairs (Kristi Hoyl, Daffan Nettle, Paige Slates and Alicia Woods). The quartet took over the reins for the Texas Ballet Theater benefit fashion show and luncheon at the Winspear

Paige Slates

Thursday from the event’s original chairs (Elaine Agather, Gina Betts, Tanya Foster and Olivia Kearney), who had been in charge for two years. While it wasn’t the 2011 chairs’ first rodeo, these fundraising vets faced a juggling challenge of having 2-2 on Thursday and the Crystal Charity Ball on Saturday.

What’s that? They had Friday to rest up in between gigs. Evidently, you’re new in town, partner. The CCB committee starts the ball preparations and installation the week of CCB at the Hilton Anatole. So, that meant the foursome were literally on their toes holding down duties for 2-2 and CCB. And you thought they just spent the week at a spa!

Naeem Khan

But the 2011 2-2 foursome were raring to raise funds and fun. Luckily, they had 2-2 vets like Stanley Korshak’s team led by Crawford Brock and Korshak fav designer Naeem Khan, who had been so very impressed with last year’s show that he brought his new collection for the ballerina models to wear.

Limo lineup

As the limos lined up in front of the Winspear and the guests arrived, it became apparent that not all the fashions were going to be on stage. The ladies chatting and champagning in the lobby were making it known that black

Leg fashions

hosiery (opaque, lace, fishnet, floral, stripes, dots and sheer) and boots (leather, fur, feather, over-the-knee, bootie, wedge and flat) are back for the season. As for the issue of where the hems should be, they were all over the place knee-wise — some above, some at and some below.

Tutu Chic models

When it was time for the really big show, all adjourned to the stage with its Nutcracker backdrop. The show did not disappoint. Once again the lithe ballerinas showed off Naeem’s fashions beautifully with their male partners. From short to flowing, the clothes once again proved they could handle any dance step.

Alas, walking was another issue. It seemed that a couple of the very long gowns felt the force of the models’ heels. Hey, but these are ballerinas and they knew how to simply sweep the train aside or pick up the errant skirt nicely as if it were all planned.

Tutu Chic finale

The finale was a kaleidoscope of glitter and vivid colors received with a standing ovation.

After all this, emcee Scott Murray started the bidding for a trip to Naeem’s show in New York during Fashion Week plus a $5,000 outfit. It went for a steal — $4,500. Oh, dear. Last year the trip and a Naeem gift certificate of $3,000 went for $11,000.

A knight was needed to champion the dancers’ cause for support. He appeared. It was Crawford. A man who is no stranger to a microphone or a crowd pled the case with overwhelming sincerity and emotion. He told them

  • how the lovely ballerinas often wait tables and work side jobs to allow them to rehearse and perform.
  • the dancers often go through two pairs of slippers ($80 a pair) a week.
  • unlike hungry professional models, the ballerinas were healthy looking

and on and on.

Nutcracker performers

His quest for the dancers had a definite effect on the guests. It seems that during lunch in Prothro lobby, an anonymous donor (wink, wink) asked how much it would cost to adopt one ballerina. . . well, what about two? . . . say, three? . . . Ah, shoot! The lady decided to cut to the chase and provided the group with an early Christmas gift of $100,000. Nice one, Secret Sugar Plum Fairy.

For more photos, check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

 

November 15 MySweetCharity Round Robin: Billiard Ball And Texas Ballet

It seems like nonprofits were trying to squeeze in as many teasers (Fly Away With The Bridge Preview’s party at the Marquee Grill in Highland Park Village and shop-a-thon at Stella McCartney,  Q Custom Clothiers and Anne Fontaine) and patron parties (Friends of Wednesday’s Child at Place on Perry) as possible last Tuesday with the Thanksgiving holiday approaching. Some of the other activities included:

THE BILLIARD BALL ANNOUNCEMENT PARTY

The Marquee Grill was the place to be definitely. The question was which party was your party. The ever-adorable hostesses at the entrance patiently directed guests — “Billiard Ball party straight ahead up the stairs” and “Bridge Network up the stairs and to your left.”  After a while they probably could spot who was going to which party. Those with ties straight ahead for the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Dallas; those tie-less ones turn left at the head of the stairs.

Becky Frey

Among the tied-up set were Becky Frey, Lynn McBee, Paul Stewart and Lydia and Dan Novakov and Bobby Nail, who

Bobby Nail

married Dedman daughter Patty in 2008 and is the newest BGCD board member. Guarding the PA system was Scott Murray, who admitted that his son had set it up and he was simply there to turn on a switch and to make sure no one stepped on the equipment. Wife Carole was home dogsitting their granddog, while their daughter gets settled in NYC. . . Bank of America’s Gillian Breidenbach reported that some of the various companies were joining forces to support local efforts instead of going solo. . . . Susan Stanzel was seated in the back of the room, as

Rachel Trowbridge

her daughter/BB Co-chair Rachel Trowbridge and husband/Co-chair Chris Trowbridge started the program without BB Co-chair JB Hayes, who was running late.

Chris Trowbridge

Chris started off reminding the assembled group that for nine years the Robert H. Dedman Lifetime Achievement Award in Philanthropy has been presented to individuals for “generosity shown to those who cannot provide for themselves.” The list of honorees has included Ruth Altshuler, Linda Pitts Custard, Caren Prothro, Dee and Charles Wyly Jr., Henry S. Miller Jr., Gay and Bill Solomon and Bobby Lyle.

Being added to the list this year will be Barbara and Steve Durham, who stood nearby. Having moved from Omaha to Dallas in 1996, the Durhams have been involved with everything from

Barbara Durham

Thanksgiving Square Foundation, Southwest Regional Board of BGCA, Phoenix House, Dallas Symphony, Human Rights initiatives, the Dallas Zoological Society, and the Dallas Museum of Art to this year’s Ebby Halliday 100th birthday party benefiting the Horatio Alger Association.

Taking place on Saturday, February 18, at the Ritz-Carlton, The Billiard Ball’s theme will be “Twenties-Twelve and Putting on the Ritz” with a seated dinner and music by Hunter Sullivan and his 14-piece big band.

First to sign up for a sponsorship were the Durhams’ good friends Jan Miller and Jeff Rich. Ebby also had already committed to a Break Shot sponsorship and had wanted to attend the announcement party, but she had already attended a luncheon and her doctor was restricting her to one event a day.

PriceWaterhouseCoopers agreed to sponsor a Center Pocket and Bell Nunnally & Martin LLP had committed to a Break Shot.

In other words, before the announcement was even made, JB and the Trowbridges had already sold 23 tables.

TEXAS BALLET AT TIFFANY & CO.

Across town at the shoppers’ worship center, NorthPark, the exterior entrance of Tiffany & Co. was open, but not for all. Rather, supporters of the Texas Ballet and the upcoming Tutu Chic fashion show/luncheon/champagne fest were allowed entry. Only prob was no one was quite certain who was in charge. But thanks to champagne, who cared! It was a mix of beautiful women checking the counters of trinkets and men in suits and men not in suits.

Richard Lamberston

Ironically as the late Dennis Hopper‘s dotter Marian Hayward was holding a Hayward bag party at the Mansion at the same hour, Tiffany handbag designers Richard Lambertson and John Truex were

John Truex

actually autographing their precious purses as guests bought them.

While Gina Betts, who had made it to the Boys & Girls Club’s Billiard Ball at the Marquee, was jolly on the scene, husband Ken Betts was walking the mall with their six-year old in tow.

Daffan Nettle and Alicia Wood

Luckily Tutu Chic Co-chairs Daffan Nettle and Alicia Wood appeared at 7:17 p.m. to check out the merchandise and talk up the upcoming December 1 event at the Winspear.

Better get your tickets for Tutu because the champagne, Korshak fashions and ballerinas are going to be in prime condition.

Art and Commerce Merge as Business Council for the Arts Gives Its 2011 Obelisk Awards

When attorney Mike Birrer accepted the 2011 Obelisk Award from the Business Council for the Arts on behalf of his Carrington Coleman law firm last Wednesday, Birrer humorously recalled his own brush with the arts back in grade school. When young Mike turned in an artistic depiction of a “baby chick,” he recalled, his teacher Mrs. Nelson sent the picture back with these three words written across the top: “Not very good.”

In contrast to Mrs. Nelson’s discouragingly blunt style, the Obelisk Awards are intended to encourage those who practice art — and commerce – in an effort to enhance Dallas-Fort Worth’s quality of life and economic development. The Nov. 2 “Obelisk Luncheon and Awards Ceremony” at The Fairmont Dallas drew a crowd of more than 340 people from local companies and arts groups who watched as the nonprofit BCA gave a total of nine awards.

Proclaimed Katherine Wagner, the business council’s CEO: “Today we recognize the companies and business leaders whose commitment to this region is creating a better tomorrow for all of us.”  

First, though, there was a bit of soulful hilarity. Just as guests were finishing up their lunches, dancers from the Dallas Black Dance Theatre, cleverly clad as waiters and waitresses, broke out in frenzied dance to a disco song. Tom Leatherbury, the BCA Chair, mounted the stage and said with a laugh, “They asked Nancy [Nasher] and me to do the encore, but we didn’t.” Nasher, the business council’s Founder’s Chair, was a tad more serious during her remarks, pointing out that the arts generates “over $1 billion annually” for the North Texas economy.

Then, it was on to the much-anticipated awards.

Birrer, of Carrington, Coleman, Sloman & Blumenthal, accepted the Arts Partnership Award for mid-size businesses, for Carrington Coleman’s support of the Creative Arts Center of Dallas. The Arts Partnership Award for small businesses went to SullivanPerkins for its support of Kitchen Dog Theater, while the Arts Partnership award in the large-business category went to the Texas Instruments Foundation, which supported Richardson’s Eisemann Center.

Gene Jones

Three firms also received New Initiatives Awards. RD2 Inc. nabbed the honor in the small business category for its support of the Asian Film Festival of Dallas, while the Dallas Cowboys Football Club and the Jerry Jones Family were given the award for mid-size businesses, for their decision to integrate a “stunning art collection” into the design of Cowboys Stadium. (Gene Jones accepted the award for the family and the club.) Wells Fargo snagged the award in the large business category, for the bank’s support of the Dallas Black Dance Theatre.

Three additional individual awards were given out as well. The Arts Leadership Award went to Jennifer Junker, president of the John F. Clark Co., for her work on behalf of the Trinity River Audubon Center. Ron Whitehead, city manager for the Town of Addison, was given the Lifetime Achievement Award, for his efforts to make Addison a place where art is an “accessible, integral part of everyday life.” And Capital One Bank took the Arts Education Award, for its sponsorship of the Dallas Wind Symphony.

Tom Leatherbury, Jorge Calderon, Greg Mangum

Accepting the Education award for Capital One, the bank’s Jorge Calderon said

Nancy Nasher Haemisegger and Pat Porter

that it was Pat Porter, the BCA’s former CEO, and the late businessman/art collector Raymond D. Nasher (who helped found the business council in the late 1980s), who first “got me involved in the community.” Today Calderon sits on the BCA board.   

The banker’s story was personal, sure. But it was also a powerful testament to the BCA’s very real, long-term — and growing — influence on art and commerce in North Texas.

Lisa Blue Baron’s Thank You Benefits Pat And Emmitt Smith Foundation for Underserved Children

It was billed as Lisa Blue Baron‘s 60th* birthday party celebration Saturday night at her estate. Any invite from LBB is an occasion to drop everything and put the date on reserve. This one did not disappoint. But as Lisa took the stage, she said, “If you look to your left and to your right, you will see someone who touched my life during this difficult past five years. Thank for being there for me.” In other words, it was a “Thank You Party.” And instead of gifts for Lisa, she requested that the guests make donations to the Pat and Emmitt Smith Charities for Underserved Children.

It was also a whirlwind evening of changes for Lisa. To greet guests she wore an elegant off-the-shoulder dark blue floor-length gown in contrast with the immense mountain of sculptured deep red roses in the foyer. The guests then discovered three enormous tents on the grounds with numerous food and drink stations, white banquets, two dance floors and loads of judges, attorneys and family/friends (Linda Gale and former Governor Mark White,  Dr. Dale Robinowitz, Eric Moye, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, Jocelyn White with Kim Seal, Shannon and Skip Hollandsworth, the Wynne bros (Shannon and Angus), Gina and Scott Ginsburg, Ann Lardner, Regina and Paul Coggins, Gloria Campos, Claudia and Zach Stevens, Gene Street and Lisa’s 90-year-old mom in from Atlanta and Lisa’s stepson from New York.

But getting back to Lisa’s changes. When she addressed the guests from the stage, she was wearing a red dress with sequins and sheer long red sleeves. After officially greeting and thanking everyone, she introduced members of her staff as if they were her family.

Within minutes the hostess had changed once again for her dance with Emmitt. Both were in glittering white outfits.

The final change of the evening had her wearing a short white dress with green filigree. As one guest put it, “All the better for dancing the night away.”

* According to a couple of sources, Lisa turns 60 on October 12, 2012.

JUST IN: Tutu Chic Announces 2011 Chairs

Just received the names of the chairs for the 2011 Tutu Chic Luncheon and Ballet Fashion Show from Jeanne Cassidy. Total change of leadership for the Texas Ballet fund raiser! It will be Paige Slates, Alicia Wood, Daffan Nettle and Kristi Hoyl. Wow! If anyone can do a follow up act to Elaine Agather, Olivia Kearney, Gina Betts and Tanya Foster, this foursome can.

The champagne is chilling and the ballerinas are warming up. Block out Thursday, December 1, to party and to recover for Crystal Charity Ball the following Saturday.

Share-A-Date: Tutu Chic Fashion Show and Luncheon

Models

Thursday, December 1: The Texas Ballet Theater has scheduled the third Tutu Chic Fashion Show and Luncheon for the Winspear. Names of the chairs and details are to be announced soon, but we wanted you to get it down on your calendar now.

You remember this one. It’s a gorgeous gathering of gals on stage watching the fashions being modeled by members of the Texas Ballet company. Needless to say, it’s not your typical fashion show.

FYI: The champagne flows like the Roaring Rapids at Six Flags.

Stay tuned and we’ll keep you updated.

Top Hat & Tails Was Dog’s (And Cat’s) Best Friends With Dancing Celebs And Awards

Photo Gallery Alert: Additional photos are available for viewing at MySweetCharity’s “Photo Gallery”

Phoenix

Phoenix looked a little confused Saturday night. Instead of hanging out in his foster home, he was high rolling it with a bunch of swells at the Frontiers of Flight Museum. Obviously, this was his first Top Hat & Tails. But in a form-fitting T-shirt that covered the scars of being scalded, he fit in nicely. . . especially when some of the gorgeous gals held him. But did any of the beauts want a long-term commitment? More later.

As mentioned above, the Paws In The City event always seems to bring out the beauties and the beasts. Perhaps it’s pitting local celebs in a “Dancing With The Stars” competition for The Lucy Award. This year’s competition was fearsome. Little did the 700 guests checking out the pooches, kittens and silent auction goodies have any idea of the weeks of training that had taken place by the eight contestants (former NFL-er Tony Casillas, KLUV’s morning drive man Jody Dean, KXAS traffic reporter Tammy Dombeck, restaurateur Gilbert Garza, actor Burton Gilliam, KDFW weather gal Fiona Gorostiza, WB33’s meteorologist Rebecca Miller and philanthropist Krystal Schlegel). Jody had lost 20 lbs. due to the rehearsals plus had an angiogram; Krystal had only three weeks to train; Tammy had to make a three-hour round-trip for her dance lessons; and so on.

Jack Knox

While the anxious dancers were upstairs getting coiffed, lip glossed and dolled up, families, friends and animal lovers were chatting it up downstairs. Jack Knox, who was to receive the Man’s Best Friend Award, spoke of his brood of rescued critters with pride. One is a Bichon/Shih-Tzu/poodle mix named Wal-mart because he hailed from Operation Kindness via a Wal-mart parking lot. His close friends call him “Wally.” Jack’s second pooch is a 2-year old mix-breed named Woodrow. He joined the Knox household after Jacquelin Sewell found him in a ditch on Northwest Highway. The last animal in Jack’s collection is a calico cat of undetermined age name Callie. According to Jack, the Knox sleeping arrangement in the king-size bed is, “I share their bed, not the other way around.”

Speaking of living arrangements, when asked if a street rumor that the Schlegel estate was on the market, Bob Schlegel looked surprised at the very idea. Seems the palatial house was indeed undergoing some major construction right now. So major, he joked, they’ve “almost had to move out!” Evidently during the frigid blast during the Super Bowl, some of the Schlegel pipes busted. As a result they’ve had to redo the kitchen and at least two other rooms. In the meantime, the Schlegels were also orchestrating the mega wedding of their daughter Kari to Troy Kloewer on May 7.

Puppy and Tara Harper

Lila Cotran was kissing up to an adoptable kitten; Rich Emberlin was escorting two of his favorite gals — his daughter and Honorary Chair LeeAnne Locken; ­­­­­­­­­­­­ PITC’s Tara Harper arrived midway during the reception. Seems she had been at the Dallas Animal Shelter rescuing a wee mother with her three pups. Showing up in a flowing gown with two crates, Tara presented her new fosters for possible forever families.

Speaking of the DAS, the event had new and old faces on hand. One was Dallas Police officer Scott Walton, who stepped in this past year when DAS was lacking top management. “There’s still a lot of work to be done there, but real improvements have been made.” A couple of the greatest improvements have been the morale of the staff, as well as an increase in adoptions under Scott’s leadership.

Scott Walton, Jonnie England, Jody Jones and Andy Allen

In the meantime, he’s been helping new DAS Division Manager Jody Jones around. Having held a similar position in Richmond, Virginia, Jody said, “Everybody is ready for the success of the shelter. I see huge opportunities.”

Joining Jody and Scott were longtime animal advocate Andy Allen and Director of Animal Advocacy and Communications for the Metroplex Animal Coalition Jonnie England, who was having a busy evening. Not only was she with her best gal pal, 92-year-old mother Lil, but Jonnie was receiving The St. Francis of Assisi Award. Among her many, many contributions to the animal efforts, Jonnie got PITC on both the

Lil England

Russ Martin and Jody Dean radio shows, as well as going to the DAS weekly and sending photos of adoptable animals on the euthanasia list. Thanks to this combined effort of Jonnie, PITC and the DAS, hardly an adoptable animal has been euthanized this year. However, as Top Hat & Tails host Preston Pearson later told the well-heeled audience from the stage, 200,000 animals are “killed” each year in the Metroplex. Please note: Preston did not use the word “euthanize”.

But soon emcee Scott Murray called the group together, so the show could go on. After all, the contestants had taken at least 10 lessons and they wanted to show their stuff. But first

Scott Murray, Janie Tilford, Mike Woodyard and Preston Pearson

there was a call out for donations. To remind guests of why they were there, some of the adoptable pooches (Sheba, Gizmo, the DAS pups and Phoenix) were brought on stage. Mike Woodyard called  Preston  over to the side of the stage. Preston then announced to the sell-out crowd that Mike had agreed to “match everybody up to $2,000.” Asked why he did it, Mike said he had “zero” animals now, but did it “because of my personal friendship with Preston and Janie [Tilford],” Preston’s wife.

Next up was the live auction. While Tara and Becky Haisma stood on the sidelines with fingers crossed, Scott and Preston worked the room like burger slingers at In-n-Out. Most interesting item up for bid was La Dolce Vita, a trip to Venice. A bidding war developed on either side of the stage between Mike Woodyard and Jack Knox. After Scott negotiated a truce of selling the trip twice for $10,000, the dust didn’t settle. Not only did Mike and Jack agree to the deal, Jack gave the trip back to raise an additional $5,000.

Claudia Marshall

Finally it was time for the dancing to begin. First to be introduced were the trio of judges — local Arthur Murray Studios owner Claudia Marshall, Dallas Cowboy great Drew Pearson and

Drew Pearson

ever-quotable philanthropist Angie Barrett. Alas, Angie was minutes late coming onstage. Some

Angie Barrett

reminded the group that Angie had been a contestant in a previous year, to which Scott said, “How’d she do?” Preston answered, “She was excellent.” Not enough for Angie, who coyly had the last word saying to Scott, “Don’t you remember?”

Then it was time for the dancing to begin. Each couple took to the stage to perform, be interviewed by host Preston and face the judges’ reviews:

Sarah Dantes and Tony Casillas

Tony Casillas with partner Sarah Dantes did a merengue/samba. Preston told the audience, “He was worried a little about his hips, and thinking too much.”

  • Claudia’s score – 9 saying, “Only thing better than a football player is a dancing football player.”
  • Angie’s score – 8 saying, ”I felt the testosterone.”
  • Drew’s score -9 mentioning he and Tony were both inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame together (in 2008).

Jody Dean and Adriann Alexander

Jody Dean with partner Adriann Alexander did the Swing. Jody told the audience, “If she can teach me, she can teach anyone.” What he didn’t tell was that through his efforts he had raised $15,000 from KLUV listeners and put a shout out to Janice and Bob Carter of Panda Energy to support PITC. Boy, what a shout out! The Carters wrote a check for $20,000.

  • Claudia’s score – 7 asking, ”Do you still need a quart of vodka, Jody?”
  • Angie’s score -7 saying, ”Great chemistry. If only you could find that chemistry in your personal life, Jody.”
  • Drew’s score – 8 saying, ”Nicely done.”

Tammy Dombeck and Justin Brown

Tammy Dombeck with partner Justin Brown did a rhythm medley. Like the other female contestants, her outfit was one of those worn by the “Dancing With The Stars” contestants. Tammy’s outfit had been worn by Cheryl Burke. Afterward Tammy said, “My dad wanted me to wear a turtleneck. I did!” and then added, “Happy Father’s Day, Dad!” Regarding her previous stage appearances, she said, “When I was 7, I was in a Bambi play. I was a fawn.”

  • Claudia’s score – 9 saying, ”Did great.”
  • Angie’s score – 8 saying, ”You look amazing. A lot of men out there would love for you to unlock their grids.”
  • Drew’s score – 9 saying, ”If I had legs like that, I’d wear that red dress too.”

Gilbert Garza and Bailey Kenzington

Gilbert Garza with partner Bailey Kenzington did a 3-step. When asked by Preston if he had any pets, Gilbert proudly said, “I have an 8-year-old Chihuahua named Lucy.” During his performance, a spray of black rubber spiders were showered on the stage evidently thrown by Gilbert’s friends.

  • Claudia’s score -7.
  • Angie’s score – 6 saying, ”At dance school, maybe one child should have been left behind.”
  • Drew’s score – 7.

Spider sweep-up squad

 

Lindsey Jordan and Burton Gilliam

Burton Gilliam with partner Lindsey Jordan did a country western/paso doble finishing up flat on the floor. When Preston asked Burton if he had any pets, a big old smile broke out on the contestant’s face. He told the crowd that he had “two Pomeranians, Sophie and Sadie — best in the world.” The Pomeranian lovers in the audience went wild.

  • Claudia’s score – 9 saying, ”Extra points for entertainment.”
  • Angie’s score – 8 saying, ”Awesome.”
  • Drew’s score – 8 saying, ”Where do you find moves like that? The key was attitude.”

Fiona Gorostiza and Ian Kelley

Fiona Gorostiza with partner Ian Kelley did a rumba/samba. After raising the roof with both her outfit and her moves, Preston informed the audience that she holds three world championships in taekwondo. When asked about her pet ownership, Fiona reported she had had two rescue “multi-poos,” but both “have passed.”

  • Claudia’s score – 10 saying, ”Fluid, fantastic.”
  • Angie’s score – 9 saying, ”Some Wesson oil and tarps and this would be a pay-per-view.”
  • Drew’s score – 10 saying, “She can kick my ass anytime.”

Rebecca Miller and Daniel Dellucci

Rebecca Miller with partner Daniel Dellucci did a cha-cha. Known for baking doggie cookies, Rebecca fessed up to having a 14.5-year-old Border Collie rescued from euthanasia; a sheltie and a Schnauzer, both rescued from puppy mills; and a cat she found in a dumpster.

  • Claudia’s score – 9 saying, ”Like a sunny day with a little thunder.”
  • Angie’s score – 9 saying, “Amazing.”
  • Drew’s score – 9 saying, “Great coordination.”

Krystal Schlegel and Duce Roddick

Krystal Schlegel with Duce Roddick did a cha-cha. Scott asked if her father (Bob Schlegel) had seen her outfit before its onstage debut. The yorkie-poo owner giggled, “No.”

  • Claudia’s score – 9.
  • Angie’s score – 9 saying, ”You’re beautiful girl. Did an amazing job. We girls have to stick together. Except for that Fiona chick; she’s on her own.”
  • Drew’s score – 9 saying, ”Too bad Duce is so shy. I used to wear shirts like that. When I had a chest.”

But the final decision was not left to the judgmental trio. The audience was given a short break to cast their ballots for their picks. Someone asked Preston how the Dallas mayor’s runoff results were coming in. Knowing how to keep interest high, he said results would be announced after the winner was revealed. People started hitting their smartphones to learn the early returns.

Fiona Gorostiza

Soon Scott called all back to hear the results. Little did Scott and Preston realize that all the contestants were on stage except for Fiona. Perhaps that’s why they went ahead and announced the winner. Preston looked at the results and said, “Ooooh.” Scott got a gander at the winning name and went, “Aaaaaah.” They announced together, “Fiona.” Everyone looked around. No Fiona. Her name echoed through the hall and still no Fiona. A minute later, she scurried up to the stage and like a naughty child explained, “I was about to adopt a dog. I’m sorry.”

“Aaaaaaw,” was heard throughout the room. Fiona was forgiven.

Being presented the Lucy Award and a bouquet of flowers, Fiona said, “This is awesome. My instructor Ian has been fantastic. I’ve been in and out of town. . . Thank you!”

Oh, you wanted to know about what happened to Phoenix. Well, guess which pooch Fiona was considering for adoption?

SOLD OUT: Top Hat & Tails

If you had planned to show up at Frontiers of Flight Museum tomorrow night without a ticket for the Top Hat & Tails gala, you’re going to be an unhappy camper. It’s a sellout. Even groveling won’t work at this point.

This Paws In The City fundraiser has grown in popularity to a point that even the 100-degree heat doesn’t discourage folks from joining the fun. You just never can tell how good or bad the dancing is going to be with the local celebrities competing on the dance floor. Early betting is giving KDFW-CH. 4’s Fiona Gorostiza an edge. Dang! Saw her on Good Day this week and the girl’s got talent.

Hopefully, you have a pooch or a kitty to keep you company tomorrow night if you waited too long to buy your ticket.

Summer Block pARTy Leaves No Excuse For Staying Home Friday Night

The Mavericks fans left downtown Dallas in one piece. Okay, so maybe they also left some trash on the streets and sidewalks, too, but that’s being picked up lickety split. Good news, because the Arts District is gearing up for a hot Summer Block pARTy Friday night. The public is invited to join the festivities at the Crow Collection of Asian Art, Dallas Museum of Art and the Nasher Sculpture Center. To make pedestrian traffic more convenient, Flora Street will be closed to vehicular traffic. There will be food, music, art, and so much more. For details (and there are a lot of them), follow the jump!

[Read more…]

Candice Crawford And Tony Romo Wedding Won’t Have The Fireworks That CityArts Festival Will

Don’t you just know the folks attending the wedding of Candice Crawford and Tony Romo Saturday at “Lee Park Tent City” are going to think the fireworks display over at Fair Park was part of the newlyweds’ celebration.

Children's Area at CityArts Festival

Wrong! It’s just a smidgen of the activities at CityArts Festival presented by Big City Crushed Concrete. The Saturday night fireworks are thanks to Gold Metal Recyclers.

But the excitement starts today. The Friends of Fair Park have arranged for a three-day extravaganza for the Memorial Day weekend at Fair Park and it should be great this year. The weather is supposed to be perfect for the entire family to wander along the Lagoon and Cotton Bowl Plaza.

The best part is that there’s no admission fee. OK, so the City of Dallas is charging $10 to park within the gates of Fair Park, but times are tough, don’t you know. (Editor’s note: There’s always DART, but make sure you check the weekend schedule.)

What can you expect to see and do? Just follow the jump and you’ll be amazed. [Read more…]

Tutu Chic Fashion Show Scored “Wow!” Despite Winspear Sniff Factor

While Dallas audiences have been accused by some of being too generous with their standing ovations, the word “Wow!” is another situation entirely. Rarely is the word heard rising from audiences at a fashion show. Usually, the predominantly female audiences smile and nod with approval, as if at a tennis tournament.

Thursday “Wow!” was popping up all over the Winspear stage as Stanley Korshak presented designer Naeem Khan and his collection at the Tutu Chic Fashion Show and Luncheon benefiting the Texas Ballet Theater. Instead of the everyday, lean professional models, the runway was strutted and danced with dancers (pictured) from the TBT.

Before the show started, Naeem was asked about the presentation of his Spring 2011 collection at New York’s Fashion Week, when he received a standing ovation from the audience of fashion experts. The former Halston assistant admitted that Fashion Week is a killer and none of the audiences go overboard with praise. If you check out the video, you’ll see Naeem take a bow looking like the proudest peacock on the walk. What you don’t see is the crowd giving him a standing ovation.

But back to Dallas and Tutu. The event started off on a bit of a rocky footing. There was a definite “scent” in the lobby of the Winspear that reminded one how important it is to have a good plumber available 24/7. When asked if the problem was a result of the Virgin America party with Sir Richard Branson and Willie “Six Ounces” Nelson, one organizer said that the odorous situation had been in the air for a couple of days.

Luckily, the crowd gathered at the foot of the stairs and the ladies wearing the scents of Oscar, Armani, Gucci and Michael Kors overcame the Winspear Downwind. Also, adding to the fashion excitement was the arrival of Honorary Chair Nancy Rogers and her entourage (pictured from the left, Nancy Gopez, Tanya Foster, Paige Lane, Nancy Rogers, Donna Baker, Sonia Black, Leisa Street, Sunie Solomon, Kris Johnson and Mary Gill) quickly followed by the Amy Turner posse (pictured from the left, Lori Jones, Raina Snell, Dallas Snadon, Amy Turner and Kathleen Hutchinson).

After a glass or two of champagne, the ladies headed to the stage of the Winspear with its Nutcracker scenery and the fashion show. Co-chair Elaine Agather took to the stage. Korshak’s Crawford Brock‘s smile got bigger and bigger each time Elaine hyped the fabulous clothes available at Korshak. The gal needs to leave the banking world and start being the Korshak spokesperson!

As Naeem’s backstage-man Tim Quinn looked on from the sidelines, the show went on flawlessly with the clothes being displayed beautifully as the ballerinas (pictured) put them through their paces. For evidence, check out MySweetCharity’s “Photo Gallery.”

Then Elaine was back on stage to auction off two tickets to Naeem’s fashion show during Fashion Week and a $3,000 gift certificate toward an outfit. She started at $1,500 and eventually got it up to $4,500 thanks to Dwight Emanuelson, who was on the front row. Elaine admitted that she really wanted to get it up to $5,000. With that teamwork got into play. Naeem kicked in $500 to make it happen, then Dwight  added a bit more change with Nancy Rogers and Crawford kicking in, too, until the number hit $11,000+.  Co-chair Gina Betts, Tanya Foster and Olivia Kearney (pictured right with, from the left, Gina Betts, Nancy Rogers, Tanya Foster, Naeem Khan and Elaine Agather) were dazzled by Elaine’s auctioneering talents as well as the “kick in” attitude of the bidders.

With a nice bit of change going to the TBT and the ladies button holing Naeem’s folks as well as Crawford’s about pieces that they were interested in, the group headed to lunch in the lobby of the Winspear. . . the part of the lobby that was way far away from odorous side.

Congratulations to the two-year old event that earned a “Wow!” from fashion lovers and some nice financial support for Dallas dancers.

Tutu Chic Patrons Party Bodes Fashionable Luncheon Today

If you’re putting on your best duds for today’s Tutu Chic Luncheon at the Winspear, you’re gonna feel right at home with the rest of the gals. Let’s just say that Wednesday night’s patrons party hosted by Claire and Dwight Emanuelson (pictured left with Claire Emanuelson)  at their gem of a home was just a warm-up of fabulous things to come.

Since Wednesday’s weather was perfect for the Emanuelsons’ outdoor entertainment area with its fireplace, the group of fashionable types gathered there. While Claire worried that it might be too chilly, Dwight just stoked up the fireplace a smidge.

Despite the fact that two of the Tutu Chic founders were MIA (Gina Betts had to take care of an international client and Tanya Foster was helping get the Anatole ready for Saturday’s Crystal Charity Ball), Elaine Agather (pictured) and Olivia Kearney were fashionably holding down the fort.

Designer Naeem Khan and his Director 0f Sales Tim Quinn along with a Stanley Korshak entourage (Crawford Brock, Rose Clark and Ann Sappington) were deep in conversation with locals nonprofessional fashion experts Sunie Solomon in Jimmy Choo black feathered boots and matching purse and Barbara Daseke (pictured right with, from the left, Sunie Solomon and Olivia Kearney) in a gold and silver glittering pencil skirt. 

Oh, by the way, if you haven’t picked up on it, stockings are back. No, not support hose. Oh, please! Think opaque, sheer, lace, anything goes except naked legs. They’re so yesterday.

Sidenote: The Winspear is going to show its versatility today. Just last night Virgin Airlines had Willie Nelson on stage and today it will be the prima ballerinas from the Texas Ballet Theater and models.