Those Dallas theater-loving types gathered in the lobby of the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre lobby for the Dallas Theater Center’s Centerstage on Saturday, May 31. But during the cocktail reception, it might have been a Discovery Channel special on gamma rays.
With a westward facing wall of glass windows and doors, the summer setting sun created a glare that would have blinded Jack Nicholson’s stronger cheaters. As one tall female chatted with her shorter socialite friend, she realized her pal was becoming squinty-eyed. Like two accomplished dancers, they repositioned themselves so the back of the taller blocked Old Man Sol from her friend’s view.
Another younger guest complained about the noise level. Raising an eyebrow that would have straightened Bernadette Peter’s hair, he suggested, “Carpets would reduce the noise level.” Those within earshot asked him to repeat his recommendation. They couldn’t hear him.
But shoot! It was just the cocktail reception and only lasted an hour, so no one suffered sunburn or hearing loss.
Upstairs in the Potter Rose Performance Hall, it was a different story. The lighting was so friendly that nary a wrinkle could be seen. As for the noise, the wide-open space provided perfect acoustics for dinner-table chatting for Gala Chair Ann Hobson, Honorary Co-Chairs Kate and Dana Juett, Linda Custard, Caren Prothro, Brock Compton, Becky Bright and Claire Dewar. But then all was not perfecto when it came to the floor. It was those naughty in-between flooring pad inserts that trapped an occasional stiletto like the La Brea Tar Pits.
But Kent Perkins had no problems with the flooring as he rolled around to conversations in his wheelchair. Seems his horse got the better of him and threw him. Kent, who doesn’t recognize pain, walked around for 10 days before realizing that he had broken his leg. Despite the break, Kent still spoke highly of the pony.
So what were the theater buffs doing? Diane Brierley and Barbara Daseke were talking about their trip to Africa. Husbands Hal Brierley and Don Daseke were already for their trek — new cameras!
Speaking of cameras, Tracy Rowlett was trying out a brand new Samsung camera that he had bought for his wife Jill. His targets were Ruth Buzzi, Jean Lattimore, Carolyn Lupton, John Clutts and Dr. Sami Arslanlar, Megan and Andy Meyercord, Dr. Carri Carter and Ben Fischer.
It was a poignant evening of anniversaries. On one hand, it would have been Dee and the late Charles Wyly’s 59th anniversary, but it was also Jody and Billy Payton’s 17th.
In the middle of the hall was a small circular stage cloaked in panels of flowing fabric. It was just there during the live auction and dinner, but would come into play later.
On the walls were mammoth screens that featured photos of guests taken earlier in the evening, as well as the live auction and evening’s entertainment.
The live auction was simple and sweet. Just two items that fit the evening perfectly. The first was strictly G-rated — a walk-on role in the DTC’s annual A Christmas Carol. Rebecca Fletcher snapped that one up. The next was more PG-rated — a cameo in The Rocky Horror Show. The package included “10 tickets for your friends and family to see your performance (squirt guns, newspapers and toast included!)” It went for $6K to someone who phoned in their winning bid. You’ll just have to see the performance to figure out the winner.
In the meantime, catering queen Cassandra strolled among the tables to see if everything was copacetic. No need. The first course was so delicious that no following courses were needed. It was a sous vide “hen” egg ravioli with house made ricotta cheese, truffle cream and roasted cauliflower.
When it came to dessert, it was an every other situation. Some received a caramelized hazelnut and chocolate torte with vanilla bean champagne zabaglione sauce; others got a lemon pistachio tart and Clementine reduction. According to a quickie poll, the tart won out over the torte by just a couple of licks of approval.
During dinner Laree Hulshoff’s dinner companion noted her Margot McKinney drop earrings. How unique! One had a large citrine and the other nothing. Laree looked startled as she grabbed both lobes. For the next few minutes, a successful search was underway to find the MIA citrine.
At one point between the live auction and the dessert, the panels surrounding the center stage had disappeared. Rightly so. Rent and Disney’s Aida star Adam Pascal arrived on the mini-stage with a guitar in hand. For Broadway aficionados, Adam is to the Great White Way that Kenny Loggins is to rock n’ roll — handsome, talented and down-to-earth.
But like Kenny’s mid-life change to more of a ballad-style, so Adam’s presentation was more balladeer oriented with songs like “Joanna” and “Hotel California.” He was in fine voice, but some in the audience were a little disheartened hoping the program would be strictly Broadway. When he did do “Memory” from Cats, he lamented it as being from the “worst musical I’ve ever seen.”