Emmy- and Oscar-winning actor Lou Gossett Jr. wowed the gathering of more than 2,000 as he narrated "Concert Against Hate," the Anti-Defamation League's evening of theatrical and musical vignettes that focused on the stories of Houston's civil rights heroes.
The evening that brought together nine performance groups earned almost $900,000 for ADL's programs and honored a cross-section of Houstonians who contribute to the betterment of the community.
Mayor Annise Parker presented awards to the honorees — attorney Benny Agosto Jr., philanthropist Allen Becker, groundbreaking healthcare provider Dr. Edith Irby Jones, University of Houston System chancellor Renu Khator, Legacy Community Health Services and Cristo Rey Jesuit College Preparatory School of Houston and its founder the Rev. T. J. Martinez.
Groups joining in the moving presentation were the Alley Theatre, Asia Society Texas Center, Celebration Theatre, Main Street Theater, Stages Repertory Theatre, Talento Bilingüe de Houston, the Ensemble Theatre, Theatre Under the Stars and the University of Houston School of Theatre and Dance.
Remarking on the powerful impact of theater, ADL Southwest Regional director Martin Cominsky noted, "Having nine theaters together on one stage is an event in itself, but to have all nine of them perform civil rights vignettes in honor of the Civil Rights Act and our local heroes, and to have it all tied together by Louis Gossett, Jr. was an unforgettable, moving experience. I doubt Houston will ever see the like of it again."
Among those viewing this remarkable presentation were the Rev. Curtis Guillory, Regina Rogers, John Ross, Sherry Levy, Bee Dickson and Trey Martinez.