Houston Charity Guide
cocktails with coward

Houstonians can go 1930s glam at this swanky summer theater soiree

Houstonians can go 1930s glam at this swanky summer theater soiree

Private Lives Main Street Theater 2019 gala
The Main Street event captures the charm and élan of the 1930s theater scene.  Photo courtesy of Main Street Theater

An evening of elegance and wit awaits as Main Street Theater hosts a fundraising soiree to coincide with opening night of its sparkling summer comedy, Noel Coward's Private Lives. The gala performance on July 20 promises to be a special VIP event.

"This is a very classy show," says Main Street's artistic director Rebecca Green Udden. "And it's fun for us to do a stellar opening a la Noel Coward."

Coward, of course, is a playwright known for his razor-sharp observations about people and their foibles, and for his stinging wit and wordplay. Private Lives explores what happens when a couple, once married and now divorced encounter each other on their honeymoons with new spouses.

Coward is one of the seminal playwrights of the 20th century, and his edgy works were the delight of two continents from the 1920s to the 1940s. Main Street's fundraiser seeks to recapture the élan of the 1930s theater scene, allowing guests a private opportunity to see the show, then mingle with the cast.

Starting at 6:45 pm, there will be a cocktail reception with hors d'oevres, prior to the 7:30 curtain. Following the show, a dessert reception provides the perfect opportunity for guests to dish about the performance, while meeting those who made it happen.

"This is meant to be a glamorous evening, a chance to really re-create what opening night was like during Coward's heyday," says Udden. "When there were cocktail parties with celebrities, all of them were celebrating great theater."

Proceeds from the evening benefit Main Street Theater, allowing it to continue offering high-caliber theater. Guests will not only have an intimate experience in an intimate space but know that their participation helps to keep great theater alive.

Individual tickets for the gala performance are $150, but there are sponsorship packages that will single out donors for their generosity. The Dress Circle Sponsorship, named for the most-coveted seats in the Phoenix Theatre, where Private Lives premiered, are $1,500 and come with VIP reserved seating for six, as well as special recognition at the event. A Box Seats Sponsorship, taking its name from the seats for those who wanted to see and be seen at the theater, is $1,000, and offer seating for four, as well as event recognition.

"This is an evening that's not only for those who already know and love Main Street," says Udden. "It's a chance to have people who may not know our work come and meet us, to see what we do in a special setting."

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The Private Lives cocktail soiree takes place July 20 at Main Street Theater; 2540 Times Blvd. For tickets and more information, visit Main Street Theater.