Dallas Symphony Gala Launched The Season’s Formal Hoop-la With Everything From Butterflies to Buc-ee’s
Some of the black-tie guests got a bit of sticker shock when they arrived at the Meyerson Symphony Center on Saturday, September 15, for the Dallas Symphony Gala 2018. In addition to the parking ticket, they were told, “That’ll be $25.” Traditionally, upper-echelon formal events in Dallas that charge $500 per person provide complimentary parking. Some were caught off guard; some grumbled. One millionaire and long-time DSO supporter laughed: “Well, somebody’s making money!”
Once inside, though, the spit-and-polish of the crowd made the bitter bill pill past tense. Instead of posing for photos against razzle-dazzle floral displays, guests were positioned in front of a shower of bitty-bitty butterflies on threads hanging from the ceiling. The half wall of glass separating the entry from the formal lobby appeared to have been etched to reflect the pattern on the tablecloths for the seated dinner. But instead of a painstaking, ever-lasting display, it was actually a temporary wrap.
Alas, no one seemed to notice when all the couture gowns, diamonds and custom tuxedos were the real showstoppers.
Among the first to stop the show were Honorary Co-Chairs Niki and Ryan Anthony. While blonde Niki looked fully coiffed, the gentleman at her side was equally eye-catching. Despite his bald pate, the sparkling blue eyes and dynamite smile could only belong to Ryan, who revealed that he was due for another stem-cell transplant. While the famed trumpeter wouldn’t be onstage tonight with his fellow DSO performers, he made it clear there was no way he was going to miss the evening with songbird Kristin Chenoweth on stage. Niki teased him, saying that when he first lost his hair, his scalp was so, so white. Now he looked like a wholesome younger version of Patrick Stewart.
Another main topic making the rounds was the just-completed presentation of the Crystal Charity Ball’s Ten Best Dressed at Neiman Marcus Downtown, with Oscar de la Renta’s creative co-directors Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia and CEO Alex Bolen with his wife/Oscar de la Renta’s stepdaughter, Eliza Bolen, in attendance.
When asked about daughter Kimberly Whitman’s necklace that she had worn to the CCB Ten Best Dressed Cocktail Party, Myrna Schlegel, decked out in a gown by Balmaine, recalled how she had discovered the necklace in Europe when Kim was having her dress created for her 2005 wedding to Justin Whitman.
And speaking of NM, head man Geoffroy van Raemdonck and Alvise Orsini arrived with Mimi and Rich Sterling and Cheryl Bryant, who’d been a classmate of Geoffroy’s at the University of Chicago. Alvise was just back from a quick trip to NYC. Overhearing someone tell Alvise that Geoffroy had impressed the Ten Best guests with a story about their twin sons, Geoffroy laughed that perhaps next time he ought to bring the boys along.
The NM CEO was wearing a Louis Vuitton tux, while Alvise was in Ralph Lauren. But, they were hardly the only ones bringing the show-and-wow factor. Other standouts included Kim and Greg Hext in Calvin Klein and Burberry, respectively; Mary and Bob Potter (the former in a colorful Dolce & Gabbana number); Sheila and Jody Grant in Oscar and Ralph Lauren, respectively; Barbara and Don Daseke (Barbara sporting Naeem Khan); Kara (in Rosie Assoulin) and Randall Goss; Diane and Hal Brierley; Jennifer Clark in Cucinelli; Tracy and Ben Lange (she was wearing Michael Faircloth); Myrna and Bob Schlegel (in black-velvet tuxedo shoes by Lanvin); Nikki and Crayton Webb; Lisa and Clay Cooley; Marnie and Kern Wildenthal (he was wielding a handsome, silver-tipped cane to support his tennis-ravaged knee); Betsy and Guinn Crousen (she in Ralph Lauren, he in a unique, custom-made tux by Stefano Ricci); and Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger.
After enjoying a dinner of green salad with berries and grilled beef filet with vegetables, Gala guests participated in a live auction by Heritage Auctions’ Roberta Kramer benefiting the DSO’s educational programs. A private dinner provided by the Symphony with Maestro Fabio Luisi went for $26K, a private performance by DSO Principal Trumpeter Ryan Anthony attracted $19K, and an “Unparalleled DSO Experience” during the 2018/19 season raked in $10K.
With that, it was time for the evening’s big show. Following a welcome by Gala Co-Chairs Lisa and Bob Segert, Emmy and Tony Award-winning actress and singer Kristin delivered a dynamite performance that had the audience eating out of the palm of her hand. With the DSO accompanying and famed music director Mary-Mitchell Campbell conducting, the petite, blonde Oklahoma native opened with “Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be”), the old Doris Day hit, and never looked back.
Sipping occasionally from a giant-sized Whataburger cup, Kristin mixed such standards as “Moon River” and “The Man That Got Away” with humorous commentary about Texas (she’d just visited her first Buc-ee’s, and was mightily impressed) and Dolly Parton’s breasts (“She calls hers Shock and Awe … I call mine Dumb and Dumber”). She also performed lively versions of “Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart,” “I Could Have Danced All Night” and, of course, “Popular,” from the Tony Award-winning musical “Wicked.” Many in the audience knew Kristin had played Glinda and sang the song in the show’s first Broadway production, back in the early 2000s.
Her encore song was “Smile,” performed without a microphone. Talk about a showstopper! Kristin’s energy propelled many on to the after-party, where Co-Chairs Courtney and Andrew Nall wrapped up the Gala by presiding over a late-night dance-a-thon.
For more photos of the night, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.
This 2018 Cattle Baron’s Ball live auction package may be the ultimate memento from the Saturday, October 20th “Sapphires and Spurs.” While anybody can snag a pair of spurs, only the winner will wear a 6.06 carat sapphire selected by Diamonds Direct. To enhance the beauty of this magnificent gem, the winner and friend will be flown to NYC to join world-renowned jewelry designer Christopher Slowinski in his very private Christopher Designs studio to create an exclusive design for this oval shaped treasure. As Christopher put it, “I have always been intrigued with taking something established and making it even more beautiful.”
To learn the details of the trip, the sapphire and an extra perk or two, read the details below.
Sapphire In The City **
A weekend away in New York City is just the beginning of this sparkling excursion package donated by Diamonds Direct. The lucky winner will receive a stunning 6.06 carat oval-shaped natural blue sapphire, hand selected by the experts from Diamonds Direct and certified by GRS Swiss Lab, to be crafted into the jewelry piece of their dreams by world-renowned designer and longtime partner of Diamonds Direct, Christopher Slowinski of Christopher Designs.
Pack your bags and get ready to enjoy business class round-trip flights to the Big Apple and a two-night getaway in a five-star hotel for two. You’ll be able to see all the wonders that the Christopher Designs studio has to offer during your exclusive, behind-the-scenes tour of his state of the art facilities and get a peak at some of the jewelry that lands on red carpets all over the world. During your visit, Diamonds Direct and Christopher himself will sit down one-on-one to sketch your new prized possession for you to ensure that every detail is just right. While you’re there customizing your dream piece, Diamonds Direct will also gift you with a gorgeous one-of-a-kind painting from Christopher’s personal works to commemorate the unforgettable experience.
A true visionary in his field and a highly acclaimed artist, Christopher is opening his studio to two guests for the very first time. There will be plenty of inspiration to be found throughout your exploration, which will be just the thing to get your creative juices flowing to help you envision the perfect setting.
* Donated by Diamonds Direct ** Trip to be coordinated based on the availability of the Christopher Designs team. Blackout dates may apply and must take place on mutually agreed upon dates *** Photo provided by 2018 Cattle Baron’s Ball
On the stiletto heels of the 2018 Crystal Charity Ball Ten Best Dressed Fashion show, the coifed and black-tie set hardly had time to refresh before the gala season opener for the Dallas Symphony Gala on Saturday, September 15, at the Meyerson.
As if songbird Kristin Chenoweth’s singing and brandishing a Whataburger cup on stage with the DSO wasn’t enough, the guests proved their stuff with their fashion statements. Some played it sleek, suave and safe; while others opted to get into the spirit of the evening’s flutter of butterflies décor.
The men in the crowd were turning heads as well from Gala Honorary Co-Chair Ryan Anthony with his new look to Neiman Marcus President Geoffroy van Raemdonck and Alvise Orsini.
The post is being finalized, so in the meantime take a peek at the faces and fashions at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.
One of the favorite words in this neck of the woods is “free!” And that’s the sweet gift that the Nasher Sculpture Center is offering Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The occasion is the 15th anniversary of the center that has been the home of the Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection, “one of the finest collections of modern and contemporary sculpture in the world, featuring more than 300 masterpieces by Calder, de Kooning, di Suvero, Giacometti, Gormley, Hepworth, Kelly, Matisse, Miró, Moore, Picasso, Rodin, Serra, and Shapiro, among others.”
In addition to free admission to the Center, there will all types of activities for the young and old including birthday cupcakes, birthday button-making, a live DJ and music presented by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
Whether you’re an oldtimer or have never set foot in the Nasher, this is a great opportunity to celebrate the birthday of one of North Texas gems. And if you want to share the fun with your friends, you can post on social media by using #Nasher15.
The city slicker factor will be nowhere in sight for the winner and friend of this 2018 Cattle Baron’s Ball live auction package. It will be a true, blue experience that any cowboy/cowgirl would hanker for. Besides tickets to the National Finals Rodeo followed by VIP floor seats at the “Sir George” Strait concert in Vegas, the winner will return home to design his/her own Tony Lama boots and debut ’em at a six-course dinner for 19 at The Capital Grille Dallas.
Tony Lama National Finals Rodeo In Las Vegas**
Giddy up – you’re heading to Las Vegas! This package, from Tony Lama Boots, includes two tickets to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, taking place on Thursday, December 6, 2018. This season-ending championship event for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys will have you yee-hawing all the way home. But, not so fast, this package has another king-size treat in tow. The following evening, December 7, 2018, you and your guest are heading to the George Strait concert, where you will rock out with the former Cattle Baron’s headliner in your VIP floor seats.
While in Vegas, you will stay three nights December 5-8, 2018, at the Signature at the MGM Grand in a King Room. Trip includes 80,000 miles provided by American Airlines, and one $500 gift card for extra spending money.
Upon returning from your trip, visit Pinto Ranch to design your own two pairs of Tony Lama Boots! Experience the in person custom boot design process, including having your foot measured, picking the stitch patterns, leather swatches, toe shape, and the heel shape.
Finally, you may invite 19 friends for a six-course dinner with wine pairings, prepared by Chef JP Dacio and a Louis XIII toast at The Capital Grille Dallas. Transportation to and from the dinner will be provided by Premier Transportation.
* Donated by Tony Lama Boots, American Airlines, The Capital Grille and Bill and Wendy Payne ** Custom boots take 90-120 days and must be ordered by October 20, 2019. The Capital Grille blackout dates include November 24, 2018 - January 1, 2019. The Capital Grille expires October 20, 2019. Gratuity not included. Trip to Las Vegas expires December 7, 2018. *** Photo provided by 2018 Cattle Baron’s Ball
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