The invitation to the Society for the Performing Arts's "Forever Paris" gala called for black-tie or "jazz age chic" attire, the invitation clearly hinting at the lively evening that was on tap at Wortham Theater Center. But few could have imagined the turnout of costuming (even Margaret Williams wore a fetching feather in her coif) or the delightful fun inspired by jazz band The Hot Sardines.
It was an evening worthy of rounds and rounds of applause for everything from the efforts of chairs Elizabeth and Tim Vail to the 39 years that honoree Karl Killian, founder of Brazos Bookstore, has devoted to the SPA.
Then there was the striking decor by Rebekah Johnson — a towering image of the Eiffel Tower hovering over the auction area and crystal chandeliers linked by strings of lights that stretched across the party space. Giant mirrors added to the sleek club-like interior.
For the second time in three nights, Jackson and Co. knocked it out of the ballpark with its boeuf en croute (Beef Wellington to most of us) three-course menu that had guests cleaning their plates. (Two nights earlier, the Jackson and Co. team had another major dinner hit with its southern-inspired menu for the Moores School of Music benefit.)
Best dressed ladies in jazz age cum flapper attire included Liz Glanville, Jessica Rossman, Stef Levy, Rosemarie Johnson and Amy Miller. For those who played it fashion safe, every dinner chair was draped with ropes of playful pearls.
Applause, applause to SPA CEO June Christensen for bringing in the Hot Sardines from New York. The hot jazz sound, part Paris and part New Orleans, had more than a few feet tapping including those of the group's tap dancer and the chanteuse.
Getting into the swing of things were Ginni and Richard Mithoff, Melanie Gray, Gordon Bethune, Phoebe and Bobby Tudor, Betty and Stephen Newton, Chree Boydston, Rosemary Schatzman, Linda and Willie Chang and Dr. Lynda Chin and Dr. Ron DePinho.