How to remain in your dinner chair when Brazil's samba sensation and Latin Grammy Award winner Diogo Nogueira is churning out his seductive sounds on stage? Just ask the 400 or so black-tie guests at the Society for the Performing Arts' "Red Hot Rio" gala at Wortham Theater Center.
Sitting still was out of the question as lithe dancers, barely draped in feathers and bejeweled pieces of satin, kept the samba beat as Diogo (as he is known) provided the colorful entertainment.
With creative duo Rosemary Schatzman and Vanessa Sendukas as chairs and with the talented Rebekah Johnson creating an amazing red-hued decor, the night soared. This was indeed a gala seeing red — in many of the gowns selected by the ladies and in the decor for which Johnson employed 6,000 yards of streaming ribbons suspended from hoops overhead. Even without the samba king, this party would have rocked on the decor alone.
Helping raise $600,000 for SPA were honorary chairs Liz and Tom Glanville and honorees Leticia and Steve Trauber. Adding to the filling coffers were auction chair Kathryn Smith and husband Jeff Smith. It was a night that brought smiles to the faces of SPA CEO June Christensen, on the arm of hubby Steve Christensen, and SPA board chair Jim Postl, accompanied by his wife, Beverly.
Grooving to the sounds of Memphis Train were guests including Perry Sendukas, Matt Schatzman, Ginni and Richard Mithoff, Chree Boydstun, Kari Gonzalez, Stephanie and Kirby Shanks, Margaret Alek Williams and Jim Daniel, Denise Bush Bahr and Philip Bahr, Elizabeth and Tim Vail, Melissa and Michael Mithoff, Rosemarie and Matt Johnson and NetJet's Curt Krippner, who donated a trip to the 2014 Masters golf tournament).