With art deco type characters with great pecs and no fat decked out in attire ranging from Cleopatra regal to Midsummer Night’s whimsical, the Dallas Theater Center fundraiser “Centerstage” played it to the hilt on Saturday, May 9, at the Wyly Theater.
As the crowd that included Honorary Chair Jeanne Marie Clossey, Underwriting Chair Kersten Rettig and her husband Clark Knippers, Rebecca and Barron Fletcher, Jennifer and Coley Clark, Shelle and Michael Sills, Patricia Meadows, Debra Nelson, Melinda Rathke, Donna Wilhelm, Angela Winter with Colby Boren, Alicia and Paul Howell, Catherina and Craig Haynes and the Dedman clan (matriarch Nancy Dedman and son Bob Dedman with his wife Rachael Dedman) eventually moved from the cocktail reception in the lobby on the lower level to the upper level where dining tables with art deco gilded centerpieces surrounded a runway leading from the stage. There they discovered the season’s hot act — a female silk aerialist suspended from a mammoth sparkling donut-shaped chandelier.
One worldly type sniffed, “How Cirque de Soleil!” Didn’t matter. Some were so mesmerized that they drained their cellphone batteries recording her twisting and turning. Others were so caught up in their conversations and checking out the other guests that they hardly noticed.
Deedie Rose’s Elizabethan collar fooled some. Nope. It wasn’t a design by daughter Lela Rose. Rather, it was a piece of jewelry that caused second looks.
First-time Event Chair Yvette Ostolaza gave a lot of credit for the sold out gala to Lyn and John Muse. She explained the reason for her decision to chair the event was due to the oldest of her three children being away at college, so she had a little more time. She was perfectly accessorized on the arm of buddy/handbag designer Bruce Hoeksema and one of his clutches.
The Food Company then presented dinner (The Gatsby Trio – tomato aspic with cucumber and basil, baby Caesar and jumbo shrimp cocktail; petit filet mignon on buttered pepper brioche with ferro with herbs and asparagus with hollandaise; and bittersweet chocolate pot de crème and individual red velvet cake).
As dinner was being served, Dallas Theater Center Artistic Director Kevin Moriarty welcomed the group and posed for a farewell photo with Managing Director Heather Kitchen, who had decided to retire when she hit Social Security age, explaining, “My family dies young, so I wanted to ‘live’ at least five years.” But she won’t be cutting ties with her love of the theater. She’ll be teaching at SMU.
Before Wes Pool conducted a lively auction, he supervised one of the favorite indoor fundraising games— heads or tails. With table companions Diane and Hal Brierley and husband Billy Payton looking on, Jodie Payton was one of the final two standing. But alas, she wasn’t the last one standing.
Following a live auction, blonde Broadway babe Megan Hilty proved why she has such a fan base. Joining her in storytelling about Broadway life was Sirius/XM’s On Broadway host Seth Rudetsky. Word was passed that Megan had discouraged photos from being taken while she was on stage. Don’t know why. Didn’t ask. But one behind the scenes type indicated it had something to do with a weighty situation.