If all the world’s a stage, as Shakespeare tells us, then a new, world class stage deserves the most dramatic of celebrations. Such was the Alley Theatre Grand Reopening Celebration, a party fit for a player king and queen. The sold-out crowd of Alley benefactors, patrons and devotees received the first look at the $46.5 million building renovation that was more than a decade in the making.
The reopening gala itself raised over half a million dollars for the Alley’s artistic and educational endeavors.
Cocktail and hors d’oeuvres stations, spread throughout the newly remodeled levels, gave revelers a sight taste of the dramatic redesigns done to the Albert and Ethel Herzstein Sculptural Level, the Meredith and Cornelia Long Lobby, the Nina and Michael Zilkha Skyline Lobby and the brand new Connie and Roger Plank Family Greenroom.
Before dinner, these special theater lovers and donors had a chance to also nab the first peek behind-the-scenes, with intimate tours of the actor dressing rooms, production suite and a seldom-seen look under the stage in the trap room.
Gala Chairs Molly and Ford Hubbard welcomed guests to a multi-course dinner, created by Jackson and Company, on the Margaret Alkek Williams Terrace Level where they could gaze upon the remarkable new views of the Houston skyline.
Both Roger Plank, Capital Campaign co-chairman and Alley artistic director, Gregory Boyd thanked the many supporters who made the renovation possible, with Boyd describing how the state of the art Hubbard Stage would help bring a new level of innovative story-telling to the Alley.
After dinner guests were ushered into the Patricia Peckinpaugh Hubbard Theatre to get an up close look and feel of the what Alley managing director Dean R. Gladden titled the greatest stage in the world. With music from the Good Question Band, partygoers were able to take their places upon that stage to dance the night away amid scenery for the Alley’s first production of the season, the West End and Broadway smash, One Man, Two Guvnors.
Waiting in the wings for any revelers ready to exit stage right or left were two dessert bars serving ambrosia to order and, in keeping with the '60s theme, Coke and orange creme ice cream floats.
The Celebration's cast of beautiful and intriguing characters included Cornelia and Meredith Long, Margaret Alkek Williams, Lynn Wyatt, Beth Madison, Cynthia and Tony Petrello, Butch and Carmen Mach, Jerry and Nanette Finger, Cathy and Jesse Marion, Connie and Roger Plank, T.R. and Isla Reckling, Andrew and Trent Tellepsen, Kevin Black and Tony Bradfield, Mickey Rosmarin and Laura Bellows and Jack Pendergrast.