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Shelby's Social Diary

At age 82, Rita Moreno parties like a rock star and thrills Houston Arts Alliance crowd

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Rita Moreno at the Houston Arts Alliance event with Rita Moreno May 2014
Rita Moreno rocks the ballroom at Hotel ZaZa for Houston Arts Alliance. Photo courtesy of © Alexander's Fine Portrait Design
Philamena and Arthur Baird, from left, with Lynda Transier at the Houston Arts Alliance event with Rita Moreno May 2014
Dinner chair Philamena Baird, left, Arthur Baird and Lynda Transier. Photo courtesy of © Alexander's Fine Portrait Design
Margaret Alkek Williams at the Houston Arts Alliance event with Rita Moreno May 2014
Honorary chair Margaret Alkek Williams takes bows for the evening. Photo courtesy of © Alexander's Fine Portrait Design
Michael and Lucia Cordúa, from left, Melanie Lawson and John Guess Jr. at the Houston Arts Alliance event with Rita Moreno May 2014
Michael and Lucia Cordúa, from left, Melanie Lawson and John Guess Jr. Photo courtesy of © Alexander's Fine Portrait Design
Leigh Smith, left, and Kate Ostrow-Yadan at the Houston Arts Alliance event with Rita Moreno May 2014
Leigh Smith, left, and Kate Ostrow-Yadan. Photo courtesy of © Alexander's Fine Portrait Design
Sixto Wagan, from left, Larry Green, Shannon Buggs and Rex Koontz at the Houston Arts Alliance event with Rita Moreno May 2014
Sixto Wagan, from left, Larry Green, Shannon Buggs and Rex Koontz. Photo courtesy of © Alexander's Fine Portrait Design
Rita Moreno in performance at the Houston Arts Alliance event with Rita Moreno May 2014
Rita Moreno still singing with style at age 82. Photo courtesy of © Alexander's Fine Portrait Design
Susie and Joe Dilg at the Houston Arts Alliance event with Rita Moreno May 2014
Susie and Joe Dilg. Photo courtesy of © Alexander's Fine Portrait Design
Nancy Levicki, left, and Trini Mendenhall at the Houston Arts Alliance event with Rita Moreno May 2014
Nancy Levicki, left, and Trini Mendenhall. Photo courtesy of © Alexander's Fine Portrait Design
Karen and Roland Garcia, from left, with Sylvia Garcia at the Houston Arts Alliance event with Rita Moreno May 2014
Karen and Roland Garcia, left, with Sylvia Garcia. Photo courtesy of © Alexander's Fine Portrait Design
Jonathon Glus, from left, Rita Moreno and Alton LaDay at the Houston Arts Alliance event with Rita Moreno May 2014
Jonathon Glus, left, Rita Moreno and Alton LaDay. Photo courtesy of © Alexander's Fine Portrait Design
Beth Madison, left, and Marie Bosarge at the Houston Arts Alliance event with Rita Moreno May 2014
Beth Madison, left, and Marie Bosarge. Photo courtesy of © Alexander's Fine Portrait Design
Lynn Baird, from left, Sara Morgan, David LaDuca and Phyllis Childress at the Houston Arts Alliance event with Rita Moreno May 2014
Lynn Baird, from left, Sara Morgan, David LaDuca and Phyllis Childress. Photo courtesy of © Alexander's Fine Portrait Design
Jim Mills, from left, Brenda Stardig and Greg Ortale at the Houston Arts Alliance event with Rita Moreno May 2014
Jim Mills, left, City Councilwoman Brenda Stardig and Greg Ortale. Photo courtesy of © Alexander's Fine Portrait Design
Karen Hartnett and George Gayle at the Houston Arts Alliance event with Rita Moreno May 2014
Karen Hartnett and George Gayle. Photo courtesy of © Alexander's Fine Portrait Design
Rita Moreno at the Houston Arts Alliance event with Rita Moreno May 2014
Philamena and Arthur Baird, from left, with Lynda Transier at the Houston Arts Alliance event with Rita Moreno May 2014
Margaret Alkek Williams at the Houston Arts Alliance event with Rita Moreno May 2014
Michael and Lucia Cordúa, from left, Melanie Lawson and John Guess Jr. at the Houston Arts Alliance event with Rita Moreno May 2014
Leigh Smith, left, and Kate Ostrow-Yadan at the Houston Arts Alliance event with Rita Moreno May 2014
Sixto Wagan, from left, Larry Green, Shannon Buggs and Rex Koontz at the Houston Arts Alliance event with Rita Moreno May 2014
Rita Moreno in performance at the Houston Arts Alliance event with Rita Moreno May 2014
Susie and Joe Dilg at the Houston Arts Alliance event with Rita Moreno May 2014
Nancy Levicki, left, and Trini Mendenhall at the Houston Arts Alliance event with Rita Moreno May 2014
Karen and Roland Garcia, from left, with Sylvia Garcia at the Houston Arts Alliance event with Rita Moreno May 2014
Jonathon Glus, from left, Rita Moreno and Alton LaDay at the Houston Arts Alliance event with Rita Moreno May 2014
Beth Madison, left, and Marie Bosarge at the Houston Arts Alliance event with Rita Moreno May 2014
Lynn Baird, from left, Sara Morgan, David LaDuca and Phyllis Childress at the Houston Arts Alliance event with Rita Moreno May 2014
Jim Mills, from left, Brenda Stardig and Greg Ortale at the Houston Arts Alliance event with Rita Moreno May 2014
Karen Hartnett and George Gayle at the Houston Arts Alliance event with Rita Moreno May 2014

Rita Moreno proved she could party like a rock star, even at age 82, when she took over the Hotel ZaZa ballroom for the Houston Arts Alliance inaugural dinner fundraiser. The spotlight was on the singer/dancer/actress as she presented A Life in Words and Music, a 45-minute capsule of her life and career.

Moreno was the perfect star to launch the HAA series as her arts advocacy has included serving on the National Endowment for the Arts, as a commissioner for the President’s White House Fellowships and as a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities. 

In his remarks, HAA president and CEO Jonathan Glus paid tribute to Moreno as well as to dinner chair Philamena Baird, honorary chair Margaret Alkek Williams and to Fabené Welch, who was named HAA's first emeritus board member. Welch was recognized for her roles as a founding board member of HAA, as vice chair and as board chair. 

HAA leadership among the 300 guests in the intimate setting were HAA board chair Marc Melcher and a wealth of board members including Michael Cordúa, Leigh Smith, David Wuthrich, Minnette Boesel, Denise DuBard, Shannon Buggs, Lynda Transier and Greg Ortale.

The party throng included an interesting mix such as City Council members Steve Costello and Brenda Stardig, Chevron's Joni Baird, Houston Symphony CEO Mark Hanson, Music Doing Good president Marie Bosarge and executive director David LaDuca, State Sen. Sylvia Garcia, Museum of Fine Arts Houston director Gary Tinterow, philanthropist Trini Mendenhall, Hines' George Lancaster, Society for the Performing Arts executive director June Christensen and publicist Alton LaDay.

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