Although a scheduling conflict prevented his attendance, venerable actor/dancer Ben Vereen charmed the Ensemble Theatre gathering via video at the Hilton Americas-Houston Saturday night as he accepted the theater's Lifetime Achievement Award.
Vereen was honored at the theater's annual black-tie gala along with actor/director Glynn Turman, who received the Legacy Award as more than 500 guests applauded.
The evening earned more than $300,000 for the theater's programming that annually includes six main stage productions and educational initiatives for youth.
Also spotlighted were fashion designer Melissa Greggs, who received the Rising Star Award, and Panhandle Eastern, recognized as Corporate Partner of the Year. A special presentation was made to Ensemble lifetime board member Brenda Peters-Chase for her success in heading an individual-giving campaign that raised $175,000 for the theater.
The evening earned more than $300,000 for the theater's programming that annually includes six main stage productions and educational initiatives for youth. Offering a sampling of the talent, the Ensemble Theatre's Young performers entertained with an excerpt from Annie Goes to Oz, singer Teacake performed a song from the upcoming Cinderella and Anthony Boggess-Glover had the crowd whistling along with his rendition of Otis Redding's "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay."
The evening's power players included honorary chairs Shauna and Morris Clark, dinner chairs Sharon E. Murphy and D'Artagnan Bebel and Mayor Annise Parker, who welcomed guests to the Mayor's reception.
Among those swaying to the tunes of Yvonne Washington & the Mix were Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee and Elwyn Lee, Rep. Al Green, City Council members Ellen Cohen, Jack Christie and Jerry Davis plus Angela Bebel, Argentina James, Cora and Judson Robinson Jr., John Chase Jr., Patricia Hawkins Brown, Cindy Clifford, Sandie and Ken Cowan, Anita and Crawford Bunkley, Merele Yarborough and Ensemble executive director Janette Cosley.