Staged for Fun

Five stages, 500 partygoers and an "Empire" vibe rock Ensemble Theatre gala

Five stages, 500 guests and "Empire" vibe rock Ensemble Theatre gala

News, Shelby, Ensemble Theatre gala, Aug. 2015, Dan Domeracki, Eileen Morris, Janette Cosley, Katlynn Simone, seated Irma P. Hall
Dan Domeracki, Eileen J. Morris, Janette Cosley, Katlynn Simone, seated Irma P. Hall. Photo by David Bray
News, Shelby, Ensemble Theatre gala, Aug. 2015, Argentina James, Scott Minnis, Jesse Tyson
Chairs Argentina James, Scott Minnix, Jesse Tyson.  Courtesy of Ensemble Theatre
News, Shelby, Ensemble Theatre gala, Aug. 2015, Scott Minnix, Annise Parker, Kathy Hubbard, Michael J. Helm
Scott Minnix, Mayor Annise Parker, Kathy Hubbard, Michael J. Helm. Photo by David Bray
News, Shelby, Ensemble Theatre gala, Aug. 2015, Jesse Tyson, Sheila Jackson Lee
Jesse Tyson, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.  Photo by David Bray
News, Shelby, Ensemble Theatre gala, Aug. 2015, Micha Miller Danette Miller Denise Domeracki Don Domeracki.
Micha Miller, Danette Miller, Denise Domeracki, Don Domeracki. Abdul Khan
News, Shelby, Ensemble Theatre gala, Aug. 2015, Sherra Aguirre
Sherra Aguirre, Scott Minnix. Photo by Abdul Khan
News, Shelby, Ensemble Theatre gala, Aug. 2015, Cary Yates, Clarease Yates
Cary Yates, Clarease Yates.  Photo by Abdul Khan
News, Shelby, Ensemble Theatre gala, Aug. 2015, Keith Davis, Rachel Davis, Jerry Davis
Keith Davis, Rachel Davis, City Councilman Jerry Davis. Photo by David Bray
News, Shelby, Ensemble Theatre gala, Aug. 2015, Diedra Fontaine, Terrence Fontaine
Diedra Fontaine, Terrence Fontaine, Kathy Flannagan. Photo by David Bray
News, Shelby, Ensemble Theatre gala, Aug. 2015, Deborah Duncan
Emcee Deborah Duncan. Photo by Abdul Khan
News, Shelby, Ensemble Theatre gala, Aug. 2015, Yvonne Washington
Yvonne Washington. Photo by David Bray
News, Shelby, Ensemble Theatre gala, Aug. 2015, Eileen Morris, Katlynn Smone
Ensemble Theatre artistic director Eileen J. Morris, Rising Star Katlynn Simone. Photo by Abdul Khan
News, Shelby, Ensemble Theatre gala, Aug. 2015, Irma P. Hall
Michael Helm, Irma P. Hall. Photo by Abdul Khan
News, Shelby, Ensemble Theatre gala, Aug. 2015, Annise Parer, Scott Minnix
Mayor Annise Parker, Scott Minnix. Photo by Abdul Khan
News, Shelby, Ensemble Theatre gala, Aug. 2015, decor
Hilton Americas-Houston ballroom decorated with orchids, hydrangeas and roses. Photo by David Bray
News, Shelby, Ensemble Theatre gala, Aug. 2015, Dan Domeracki, Eileen Morris, Janette Cosley, Katlynn Simone, seated Irma P. Hall
News, Shelby, Ensemble Theatre gala, Aug. 2015, Argentina James, Scott Minnis, Jesse Tyson
News, Shelby, Ensemble Theatre gala, Aug. 2015, Scott Minnix, Annise Parker, Kathy Hubbard, Michael J. Helm
News, Shelby, Ensemble Theatre gala, Aug. 2015, Jesse Tyson, Sheila Jackson Lee
News, Shelby, Ensemble Theatre gala, Aug. 2015, Micha Miller Danette Miller Denise Domeracki Don Domeracki.
News, Shelby, Ensemble Theatre gala, Aug. 2015, Sherra Aguirre
News, Shelby, Ensemble Theatre gala, Aug. 2015, Cary Yates, Clarease Yates
News, Shelby, Ensemble Theatre gala, Aug. 2015, Keith Davis, Rachel Davis, Jerry Davis
News, Shelby, Ensemble Theatre gala, Aug. 2015, Diedra Fontaine, Terrence Fontaine
News, Shelby, Ensemble Theatre gala, Aug. 2015, Deborah Duncan
News, Shelby, Ensemble Theatre gala, Aug. 2015, Yvonne Washington
News, Shelby, Ensemble Theatre gala, Aug. 2015, Eileen Morris, Katlynn Smone
News, Shelby, Ensemble Theatre gala, Aug. 2015, Irma P. Hall
News, Shelby, Ensemble Theatre gala, Aug. 2015, Annise Parer, Scott Minnix
News, Shelby, Ensemble Theatre gala, Aug. 2015, decor

There was plenty of bang for the buck at the Ensemble Theatre's "Follow the Dream: Celebrating the Empire" gala at the Hilton Americas-Houston on Saturday. Song, dance, awards and snippets from productions kept the night rocking and rolling from start to finish.

Five stages guided guests through a panorama of Ensemble esthetics while performances and award presentations rotated around the ballroom. The black-tie action kicked-off with a rousing performance of "You're So Beautiful" from the hit FOX drama Empire. Rising Star Award recipient Katlynn Simone gifted the audience of more than 500 with her rendition of "Do You Hear What I Hear" from the holiday musical and Ensemble talent presented a soupcon from the theater's upcoming season opener, romantic comedy, "Platanos Y Collard Greens."

(In a nod to that play, the menu included collard greens along with beef short ribs, shrimp scampi, twice baked potato and desserts of amaretto cheesecake and chocolate mousse parfait.)

Taking bows as chairs of the evening that raised more than $350,000 were chairs Argentina James, Scott Minnix and Jesse Tyson. KHOU Channel 11's Deborah Duncan served as emcee for the high-energy evening.

They were part of the program that included awards presentations —Mayor Annise Parker who received the Founders Award; Irma P. Hall, Lifetime Achievement Award; Schlumberger, Corporate Partner of the Year, represented by Dan Domeracki; and Attica Locke, Producer of the Year, represented by her mother Sherra Aguirre. Applauding the honorees were Ensemble execs Eileen J. Morris and Janette Cosley.

The night closed out with the sounds of the popular Yvonne Washington.  Among the many notables in the mix included Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Bill King, Judge Clarease Rankin Yates and Cary Yates, Genor and City Councilman Dwight Boykins, Rachel and City Councilman Jerry Davis, Mary Benton, Sallie Morian and Michael Clark, Diane and Judge John Peavy, Merele Yarborough, Eleanor and Ben Gilbane, Diedra and Terrence Fontaine and Brenda Peters-Chase and John Chase Jr.

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