Greeted by undulating belly dancers and the exotic sounds of Moodafaruka as they entered The Corinthian, guests at the Society for the Performing Arts gala Friday night were instantly seduced by the "Shimmering Sands, A Night at the Oasis" theme.
A good number of femmes in the gathering of 400 pulled out their bejeweled caftans for the evening, none lovelier than that of Eileen Lawal, Elizabeth Vail, Kathryn Smith and Judy McCartney. Their gowns coming from as far away as Saudi Arabia and Dubai and as close as the shop of a local dressmaker.
Throughout the dinner hour, the dancers entertained with costume changes and a variety of dance presentations, weaving through the diners as they supped on Middle Eastern-inspired cuisine from Jackson and Company. Setting the exotic scene for the evening was a wealth of Middle Eastern-inspired decor by Rebekah Johnson.
Katherine and Paul Murphy and Sharon and Tim Taylor chaired the gala while Linda and Willie Chiang served as honorary chairs. Helping keep the evening afloat and applauding the $600,000 in proceeds were SPA board chair Melanie Gray and SPA CEO and president June Christensen.
Kicking the action up a notch after the lengthy live auction and the appeal was Skyrocket, which infused a note of energy into the night.
The party crowd included Margaret Alkek Williams and Jim Daniel, Ginni and Richard Mithoff, Mignon and Stephen Gill, Chree Boydstun, Jeff Smith, Lacey and Matt Goossen, Kathy and Marty Goossen, Joella and Steve Mach, Bob Devlin, Laura Max and Ben Rose, and Tom and Liz Glanville, whose DeVille Fine Jewelry & Diamonds donated the to-die-for blue topaz and diamond earrings to the live auction.