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Wild Birthday Party

A wild birthday party with pole dancing in the limo, a former Friends star and Lynn Wyatt make waves

Shelby Hodge, head shot, column mug, white off-shoulder blouse
Ryan Hildebrand and Edward Sanchez at Triniti
Chef Ryan Hildebrand and Edward Sanchez at the birthday brunch. Photo by Roland Maldonado
Patti and Don Murphy, February 2014
Patti and Don Murphy on the birthday brunch tour. Photo by Dr. Roland Maldonado
Lionel Richie in concert
Lionel Richie headlines Houston Children's Charity gala on Nov. 8. Lionel Richie/Facebook
Matthew Perry in leather chair with red background
Matthew Perry talks addiction at The Council's Spring Luncheon. Matthew Perry/Facebook

No ordinary birthday celebration would do for makeup artist Edward Sanchez when he turned 43 on Sunday. He ordered a limo-length party bus complete with LED light shows and music videos and a center pole, which a few of his hip guests imagined was for pole dancing.

More than 20 celebrants started the birthday brunch tour at Sanchez' Vanity Lounge in West Ave for greetings and bubbly before loading onto the party bus from Entourage Limousine, a rolling special provided by his pals Stephen Santana and Jose Hinojosa. Skipping the limo party bus ride in favor of a roaring motorcycle were Patti and Don Murphy, who followed along.

First stop on the bus tour was nearby Triniti Restaurant where chef Ryan Hildebrand put out a lavish spread of party foods. Adding to the festivity was a signature cocktail called the Dirty Sanchez, featuring Titos vodka, ginger beer and, for a kick, a slice of jalapeno.

Back on the bus, the lively group made its way to The Palm where another Sanchez pal, assistant GM Marisa Starling, rolled out the red carpet, Moet & Chandon mimosas at the ready. Among the merrymakers were Jessica Rossman, Debbie Festari, Clifford Pugh and John Dascoulias, Miya Shay, Mauney Mafrige, Kim Padgett, Dr. Roland Maldonado, Dr. Angela Sturm O'Brien and the birthday boy's sister, Enid Sanchez.

"Hello, is it me . . . "

You might have heard that Lionel Richie will be performing at The Woodlands this summer, but the real ticket for a Richie Houston sighting will be Nov. 8 when he headlines the Houston Children's Charity Gala. No heat, no mosquitoes and no crowds as the 70-minute show will take place in the Hyatt Regency Downtown ballroom.

As soon as HCC executive director Laura Ward confirmed Richie's contract, she made a few phone calls and within minutes sold a dozen tables. Added to the draw is the fact that Terri and John Havens will be honorees.

Just among Friends

The Council on Alcohol and Drugs Houston is expecting a full house of as many as 1,000 when Friends star Matthew Perry headlines the Waggoners Speakers Foundation Spring Luncheon. Perry will discuss his battle with addiction to prescription drugs and alcohol at the Hilton Americas-Houston on May 1. 

The luncheon is being chaired by Shannon and Jim Braniff IV with co-chairs Carol and Jim Farnsworth.

Lynn Wyatt goes Downton

Houston Public Media supporters are abuzz that Lynn Wyatt, H-Town's own grande dame, is on her way to stepping into the spotlight with Rebecca Eaton, Emmy Award-winning producer of PBS's Masterpiece, which, as we all know, is currently presenting Downton Abbey.

The two join forces on April 8 when La Wyatt  chairs"A Masterpiece Evening." The fundraiser at The Houstonian will feature Eaton in an interview with HoustonPBS's Ernie Manouse. That PBS personality is well tied into the Downton Abbey mystique. After each new episode, he hosts Manor of Speaking, a 30-minute live program with a studio audience and rotating cast of local celeb fans and cultural experts.

Sight 'ems

Among the big guns sampling the beefy fare at Vallone's recently were Roger Clemens, Ray Childress and friends, dining on homemade pasta, shellfish towers and the 55-day dry-aged steaks. Dropping in for a late-night dinner on Tuesday — former mob boss now motivational speaker Michael Franzese . . .

A who's who in politics lunching at La Griglia where every table seemed to be headed by a notable. Among this barnburner crowd at various tables were U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, former Ambassador to Qatar Chase Untermeyer, trial lawyer John Eddie Williams, State Sen. John Whitmire, City Councilman Oliver Pennington, attorney Murray Fogler, State Rep. Sylvester Turner and a woman with her finger on the political pulse Cindy Clifford.

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