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Houstonians celebrate the arts in NOLA style at a garden of good and evil

Houstonians celebrate the arts in a garden of good and evil

Stephany Olsen LeGrand, Curt Karges
Stephany Olsen LeGrand and Curt Karges.  Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Bob Devlin and Kendra Rohrer
Kendra Rohrer and Bob Devlin. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Kase and Eilen Lawal
Kase and Eileen Lawal.  Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Janet and Bill Swanstrom
Janet and Bill Swanstrom.  Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Paul and Katherine Murphy
Paul and Katherine Murphy.  Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Melanie Gray and June Christensen
Melanie Gray and June Christensen. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
John and Ellen Rutherford
John and Ellen Rutherford.  Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Stephany Olsen LeGrand, Curt Karges
Bob Devlin and Kendra Rohrer
Kase and Eilen Lawal
Janet and Bill Swanstrom
Paul and Katherine Murphy
Melanie Gray and June Christensen
John and Ellen Rutherford

What: Society for the Performing Arts gala, "In the Garden of Good and Evil"

Where: The Ballroom at Bayou Place

The scoop: Society for the Performing Arts recently held their annual gala, "In the Garden of Good and Evil," raising over $450,000. Bergner & Johnson transformed the ballroom into a magical New Orleans Garden District — complete with lush hedge of boxwood that surrounded the stage, cascading greenery and crystal chandeliers suspending from the ceiling, and lanterns surrounding the perimeter of the ballroom. Linens were in green and gold with huge urns of mixed pastel flowers, and a beautiful fountain placed in the center of the entrance to the ballroom.

Jackson and Co. created the most exquisite dinner menu with a hint of voodoo inspiration: butter bibb salad with grapefruit and avocado, Coffee and Chicory-crusted beef tenderloin and his famous bananas foster with gingersnap cookies. More than 300 guests were ushered into the ballroom by the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, who kep the tunes going, until the Off the Rekord Band took over for the rest of the evening. 

Guests competed in a live auction which featured a Hotel Barrel Hunt in Uruguay, and a week-long stay in a 13th-century home in southwest France.

The SPA Gala is a major part of Society for the Performing Arts’ annual fundraising campaign, and allows the organization to continue bringing Houston outstanding talent such as violinist Itzhak Perlman, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Blue Man Group, MOMIX, Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, STOMP, and David Sedaris, among many others. 

Who: Eileen and Kase Lawal, Patty and Mike Tilton, Beverly and Jim Postl, Stephany Olsen LeGrand and Curt Karges, Janet and Bill Swanstrom, Stephanie and Kirby Shanks, Doreen and Victor Bhatt, Norah Adams, June and Steve Christensen, Jackson Hicks and Milton Townsend