The dress code for the Alley Theatre Ball 2017 urged guests to "Get Your Groove On Attire," so after a spring social season of sometimes stuffy black tie galas, it was time for partygoers to let loose.
More than 350 guests dressed in their grooviest '70s threads for the gala, which featured a special appearance by The Temptations amid the settings of a Motown Lounge. Richard Flowers of The Events Company transformed Silver Street Studios into a posh nightclub, with reproductions of the famed singing group's platinum and gold records on the walls.
Amid the snazzy dressers, Alley board president Butch Mach led the way in a psychedelic floral shirt and shades, while Beth Muecke looked glam in a shiny sequined mini dress, Vivian Wise stood out in a slinky beaded jumpsuit, Maria Bassa exuded flower power in a floral tunic and matching headband, and Fady Armanious sported an Afro wig that rose two-feet high, confirming the adage, "the bigger the hair, the closer to God."
Alley managing director Dean Gladden looked prom-ready in a paisley tuxedo with oversized bow tie and ruffled blue shirt, while his wife, Jane, sported a fringe vest with peace necklace and daisy-chain headband. Susana Brener de Stern, in a form-fitting lace jumpsuit, and Dr. Juan Stern, in a metallic gold shirt with matching medallion, looked like glam extras in Saturday Night Fever.
The groovy guests gathered during cocktail hour, where they nibbled on such '70s delicacies as cheese fondue, Swedish meatballs, escargot, and coconut shrimp, and bid on silent auction items, including a photo safari to Africa, and trips to Tuscany, Napa Valley, Costa Rica, The Virgin Islands, and Cabo San Lucas and Punta Mita, Mexico.
For the main course, City Kitchen provided a themed feast of wedge salad, steak Diane, twice-baked potato and asparagus, with a chocolate toffee ice box pie with caramel sauce and an espresso cookie for dessert.
After Alley artistic director Gregory Boyd saluted Randall Jamail, the evening's honoree, for his support of new playwrights and the creation of new theater work, the Temptations hit the stage — all five members dressed in tomato-red tuxedos amid a neon-lit backdrop — and performed a nonstop array of hits, including “Just my Imagination,” “My Girl,” and “Papa Was a Rolling Stone," as guests packed the dance floor.
For late night dancers, Kalkutta took over at the DJ booth as the partying continued.
Event chairs Florence and Tom Langford were thrilled that the evening raised more than $500,000. Also celebrating were Cynthia and Tony Petrello, Margaret Alkek Williams and Jim Daniel, Janet and John Carrig, Hallie Vanderhider, underwriting chairs Mady and Ken Kades, Josephine and Phil John, Trini Mendenhall, Mike Loya and Cory Whitefield, Pat Breen, Connie and Roger Plank, Eve and Bob Harrell, Diane Lokey Farb and John Bernhard, Sarah Morgan and Oscar Brown, Carmen Mach, Randall and Crystal Wright, Frank Billingsley and Kevin Gilliard, and Shannon Carter.