What are good friends for, if not to help out with legal bills in times of woe? Just ask fashion designer and Project Runway alum Vanessa Riley, whose coterie of BFFs stepped up to help her with monumental bills in her battle to regain custody of her 2-year-old, Levin Riley.
Dan Allison, Vicki Giannukos and Carolyn Farb came to Vanessa's aid with a Saturday night party and sale of rare and vintage unpublished photographs by British photographer Derek Riley. His subjects — celebrities performing in England in the early 1960s, including Marilyn Monroe, Arthur Miller, Brigitte Bardot, Sean Connery and more.
More than 200 guests turned out at 4411 Montrose in a gallery space provided by Bruce Eames to view and purchase the limited edition photographs. Prints are still available at d.m. allison art on Colquitt and all proceeds benefit The Levin Riley Legal Fund.
Among those checking out the mid-century mod photos were Jo and Jim Furr, Kimberly DeLape, Linda and Fred Hofheinz, Marie Myers Bruns, Deborah Colton, Barbara Davis, Anya Tish, Monsour Taghdisi, Henry Richardson and artists Perry House and Keith Hollingsworth. Ever the good guy, Stewart Skloss arrived straight from the airport with plenty of his Pura Vida Tequila for all.
UH talent reunion
Toes will be tapping and shoulders swaying at the University of Houston's Wortham Theatre on Sept. 7, when a host of successful graduates of the School of Theatre & Dance return to share their talents in a night of tony entertainment benefiting the Cecil J. Pickett Scholarship Endowment Fund.
Headliners include Brett Cullen (Dark Knight Rises), Brent Spiner (Star Trek: The Next Generation) and Robert Wuhl (Arli$$), each of whom studied under the late renowned drama professor Cecil J. Pickett.
Adding a lively note to the proceedings will be the reunion of popular jazz trio Montgomery, Mayes & Stritch, comprised of UH grads Billy Stritch (Liza Minnelli protege), Sally Mayes (popular on concert and cabaret tours) and Sharon Montgomery (popular Houston-based singer).
The UH grads will present songs and stories in tribute to the university and its long-running theater school.
New headmaster at Kinkaid
The change won't take place until next July but when Andrew Martire takes the reins as head of The Kinkaid School, it will be only the fifth time in the private school's 106-year history that the the top leadership has changed.
The school's board of trustees announced that Martire, currently head master at the prestigious Calvert School in Baltimore, Md., was chosen from a field of 100 interested candidates from across the nation.
In a prepared statement, Kinkaid School board chair Tad Mayfield said, "It is rare for an institution, like Kinkaid, to identify an individual who is more qualified and aligned with its values and traditions than Dr. Martire. We are absolute ecstatic that he will be leading the next generation of our school."
Current Kinkaid head Don North announced his upcoming retirement last March, after 22 years with the school.
Martire, his wife and three children will move to Houston next summer.
A million matzos
Kenny & Ziggy's regular and big-time Citizens for Animal Protection supporter Beverly Wren found herself the center of attention on Wednesday, when she just happened to be the diner who ordered the dish that would contain the popular New York-style deli's one millionth matzo ball.
Horns blew, confetti fell and the cameras rolled as her dish arrived and Ziggy Gruber (owner and chef) presented her with gifts, including a $100 gift card to Kenny & Ziggy's, and congratulations.
Since its opening on Post Oak Boulevard 12 years ago, Kenny & Ziggy's has served more than 1.3 million pounds of corned beef, 658,000 pounds of pastrami and 680,000 slices of cheesecake.
ABC special news correspondent Katie Couric lunching with the KTRK Channel 13 team in the private room at Tony's, where they feasted on homemade pasta among other delights and closed out the luncheon with one of Tony's famous ice cream bombes. She was in town on a promo tour for her new talk show, Katie, which launches Sept. 10.
Couric was friendly enough to pose for photos with at least on midday diner, Rosemary Schatzman.