The Ensemble Theatre celebrated the launch of its 37th season Saturday night with its annual celebrity gala, this year themed "Creating Magical Moments: All the World's a Stage." Stars of stage and television took their bows during the black-tie evening at the Hyatt Regency Downtown.
It was a nostalgic turn for fans of the CBS sitcom The Jeffersons, who remembered Marla Gibbs' turn for nine seasons as the sarcastic and sassy Florence. Gibbs was in from Los Angeles to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Ensemble. She is currently cast as the mother of the first lady in Entertainment Studio's The First Family.
Awards were also presented to Spectra Energy, Corporate Founder's Award; H-E-B, Corporation of the Year; E-STEM Academy, Community Partner of the Year; Becky and Ralph S. O'Connor, Individual Founder's Award; and A. Renee Logans, the President's Award.
Welcoming the throng of guests were gala chairs were Regina Rogers, Sharon Murphy and Laurie Vignaud.
The party crowd included Ensemble executive director Janette Cosley, artistic director Eileen J. Morris, Jackie Phillips, Judge Clarease Yates and Carey Yates, Annella and Michael Metoyer, Wondy and Clarence Weston, Rosalyn Boyd and James Smith, Kelly Coleman and Jacqueline Bostic and Art McElroy.