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Shelby's Social Diary

A luxury school bus ride, a lavish dinner and champagne fun: This road trip Alley opener is anything but ordinary

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News, Shelby, Alley Theatre opening night dinner, August 2014, Jeffrey Bean, Connie and Roger Plank with Ryan and Blake Arnoult
Jeffrey Bean, from left, with Connie and Roger Plank and Ryan and Blake Arnoult. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
News, Shelby, Alley Theatre opening night dinner, August 2014, Ken and Mady Kades with Director Michael Wilson
Ken and Mady Kades with director Michael Wilson, right. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
News, Shelby, Alley Theatre opening night dinner, August 2014, Lynn Wyatt, Gregory Boyd, Margaret Alkek Williams
Lynn Wyatt, left, Gregory Boyd and Margaret Alkek Williams. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
News, Shelby, Alley Theatre opening night dinner, August 2014, Trent and Andrea Tellepsen, Carmen and Butch Mach
Trent and Andrea Tellepsen, left, with Carmen and Butch Mach. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
News, Shelby, Alley Theatre opening night dinner, August 2014, Hallie Foote, Cornelia Long
Hallie Foote, left, with Cornelia Long. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
News, Shelby, Alley Theatre opening night dinner, August 2014, Rachel Volz, Jason Volz
Rachel and Jason Volz. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
News, Shelby, Alley Theatre opening night dinner, August 2014, Josie de Guzman and Beth Madison
Josie de Guzman, left, and Beth Madison.  Photo by Priscilla Dickson
News, Shelby, Alley Theatre opening night dinner, August 2014, Leti Morales and Mike Loya
Leti Morales and Mike Loya.  Photo by Priscilla Dickson
News, Shelby, Alley Theatre opening night dinner, August 2014, Jeff Cowie, Brandon Weinbrenner
Jeff Cowie, left, and Brandon Weinbrenner.  Photo by Priscilla Dickson
News, Shelby, Alley Theatre opening night dinner, August 2014,  Gregory Boyd, Lynn Wyatt
Gregory Boyd and Lynn Wyatt hop the UH bus for transport to the university's Wortham Theatre. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
News, Shelby, Alley Theatre opening night dinner, August 2014, Jeffrey Bean, Connie and Roger Plank with Ryan and Blake Arnoult
News, Shelby, Alley Theatre opening night dinner, August 2014, Ken and Mady Kades with Director Michael Wilson
News, Shelby, Alley Theatre opening night dinner, August 2014, Lynn Wyatt, Gregory Boyd, Margaret Alkek Williams
News, Shelby, Alley Theatre opening night dinner, August 2014, Trent and Andrea Tellepsen, Carmen and Butch Mach
News, Shelby, Alley Theatre opening night dinner, August 2014, Hallie Foote, Cornelia Long
News, Shelby, Alley Theatre opening night dinner, August 2014, Rachel Volz, Jason Volz
News, Shelby, Alley Theatre opening night dinner, August 2014, Josie de Guzman and Beth Madison
News, Shelby, Alley Theatre opening night dinner, August 2014, Leti Morales and Mike Loya
News, Shelby, Alley Theatre opening night dinner, August 2014, Jeff Cowie, Brandon Weinbrenner
News, Shelby, Alley Theatre opening night dinner, August 2014,  Gregory Boyd, Lynn Wyatt
Lyndall Finley Wortham Theatre - University of Houston
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It's not often that well-heeled patrons of the arts climb aboard a school bus, albeit a fancy air-conditioned bus, for an evening out but that's exactly what a number of Alley Theatre supporters did last week for opening night of Horton Foote's play The Old Friends.

The unusual circumstances were the result of the Alley taking up temporary residence on the University of Houston campus. The 2014-15 season began with a lively celebration that included a lavish seated dinner, that school bus ride, a play and a post-performance champagne reception with the cast.

With director Michael Wilson in the spotlight, more than 150 Alley patrons and sponsors started the evening at the University of Houston Alumni Center where A Fare Extraordinaire provided a multi-course dinner. A bit of excitement ran through the dinner crowd when Alley managing director Dean Gladden announced that the evening marked Gregory Boyd's 25th anniversary as the theater's creative director. For this milestone, Boyd received a heartfelt standing ovation.

Following the dinner, guests were invited to take the UH campus bus from the alumni center to the Lyndall Finley Wortham Theatre, where the Alley will perform until renovations on the original Alley building downtown are completed next August. A champagne reception followed in the Wortham Theatre Scene Shop with actors that included Hallie Foote and Jeffrey Bean and designer Jeff Cowie with resident assistant director Brandon Weinbrenner.

In the opening-night audience were Margaret Alkek Williams, Lynn Wyatt, Carmen and Butch Mach, Rachel and Jason Volz, Leti Morales and Mike Loya, Beth Madison, Cornelia Long and Andrea and Trent Tellepsen.

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HTX Good Eats 2014