WaterTower Theatre‘s annual Spotlight Gala on Saturday, June 3, had a lot to celebrate. In addition to its new Artistic Director Joanie Schultz, the event at the Marriott Quorum Hotel was honoring its past gala chairs as well as the theatre’s turning 20 years old. Longtime supporter Barbara Daseke chaired the evening with dinner, notables, a live auction and a whole bunch of entertainment. But then, what else would you expect from this theatre crowd? Here’s a report from the field:
WaterTower Theatre held its annual Spotlight Gala on Saturday, June 3, at the Marriott Quorum Hotel in Addison. Following last year’s celebration of WaterTower Theatre’s 20th Anniversary, this year’s Gala, chaired by Barbara Daseke, honored all of the Company’s past Gala Chairs: April Bosworth, Anita Braun, Laree Hulshoff, Corky Pledger, Debbie Staggs, Allie Theisen and Barbara Daseke. The Company also honored Liese and Michael Canterbury and Angie and James Canterbury for their family’s legacy and contributions over the years.
The evening began with cocktails for all of the underwriters and VIP donors, hosted by Barbara Daseke. Held in the Presidential Suite, the crowd swayed to the jazzy tunes of local favorite Jodi Crawford Wright, accompanied by Jordan Cleaver on cello. Celebrating over two decades of artistic excellence at WaterTower Theatre, guests arrived in a fashion flare ranging from black-tie to elegant summer cocktail wear. Guests at the VIP reception at 6 p.m. and the gala included Jennifer and Coley Clark, Laree Hulshoff and Ben Fischer, Norma and Paul Shultz, Tom and Anita Braun, Karol Omlor, Jennifer Swift, Addison’s new Mayor Joe Chow and his lovely wife Chi Chi, Margo and Jim Keyes, Eileen and Neil Resnik and special guest of honor, Emmy-Award winning actress and playwright Regina Taylor. For many, this was their first time meeting WaterTower Theatre’s new Artistic Director Joanie Schultz, who attended with her husband, nationally renowned opera conductor Frank Milioto. Corporate sponsors for the 2017 Spotlight Gala included Slalom, Oncor, Frost Bank, and Goody Goody Liquor.
The evening included entertainment by Max Hartman, singing tunes reminiscent of “Ole Blue Eyes” while newly elected Addison Mayor Joe Chow and a crowd of attendees danced to standards including “Fly Me to the Moon,” “Route 66,” “Mack the Knife,” “Come Fly With Me,” and “New York, New York.” WaterTower Theatre artists Janelle Lutz and Sarah Elizabeth Price sang tributes to the legendary Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli (characters they have played to high acclaim on DFW stages), as well as a trio with Kyle Igneczi to conclude the night.
The night included a live auction with auctioneer Kyle Igneczi (one of Dallas’ most beloved actors) including a theatre trip for two to Chicago with Artistic Director and Chicago native Joanie Schultz, and a luxury dinner for 10 at the Addison’s renowned Table 13. The evening concluded with an exhilarating “Fund The Mission” where virtually everyone in attendance played the “runaround” game vying for a theatre trip for two to Toronto!
- Executive Producer ($12,000) — Barbara and Don Daseke, Laree Hulshoff and Ben Fischer, Janiece and Jimmy Niemann and Norma and Paul Shultz
- The Producer ($6,000) — Rosalind and Mervyn Benjet, Liese and Michael Canterbury, Angie and James Canterbury and Larry McCallum
- The Director ($3,000) — The Town of Addison, Frost Bank, April Bosworth, Goody Goody Liquor Inc., Stan Graner and Jim McBride, Rodney Hand / Addison Magazine, Mary Kay Inc., Robert Mayer Jr., Kathleen A. Messina and Gary W. Goodwin, Karol Omlor, Oncor/Grace Daniels, Gregory Patterson and Eileen and Neil Resnik
- Valet parking underwritten by Slalom.
- Patron Gift underwritten by Mary Kay Inc. and Addison Magazine
- Cork Pull and Tabletop Wine sponsored Goody Goody Liquor, Inc.
- VIP Patron and Underwriter’s party sponsored by the Marriott Quorum, Addison
- Gala Signage provided by FASTSIGNS, Carrollton
- Gala Program provided by AlphaGraphics, Carrollton
Guests drove off with a special gift basket courtesy of Mary Kay and Addison Magazine.
* Photo provided by WaterTower Theatre