Strange Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras turned upside down: Crazy wildness trumped by diplomacy in an unusual party fit for a knight
GALVESTON — The hijinks were more delightful than unholy at the Knights of Momus Coronation Ball Saturday night when 700 members of the Krewe of Momus and friends packed the Grand 1894 Opera House for presentation of its Mardi Gras king, the queen and 21 duchesses.
The evening was billed as a salute to the "Knights of Shanghai" with a glittering presentation that featured cultural performances by the Houston Shaolin Academy and J&H Dance School. In the black-tie audience were special guests from Houston’s Chinese Consulate — Consul General Li Qiangmin, Deputy Consul General Zhao Yumin, Consul for Cultural Affairs Yang Song and Lily Zhang.
Diplomacy was everything on this night that can sometimes go wildly irreverent.
Bill Ansell, a partner in DRDA, PLLC, was crowned King Frivolous C, introducing Rice University junior Alex Brown as Momus queen. Accompanying the king was his every-playful retinue comprised of Larry Charpentier, Frank Dominguez, Dr. Jim Grant, Craig Janek, Johnny Listowski, James McLean, Doug McLeod, Mike Piel and Bradford Thomas.
Following the coronation and presentation of the duchesses, applauded for their skillful managing of the deep Texas bow, the merry throng moved to the Hotel Galvez where Sally and Robert Kline chaired the Coronation Ball. The Shanghai theme was replayed there in decor (think magical dragons and Chinese lanterns), entertainment (martial arts specialists, Chinese flute performances) and in the duchess gowns which reflected a rich Chinese culture. But it was Austin's Rotel and the Hot Tomatoes that got the party rocking with non-stop dance tunes.
The Houston/Galveston mix of guests included Lisette and Tony Brown, Libby Ansell, Jenny and Tom LaRue, Sally and Dr. Charles Scruggs, Ed Eubanks, Dancie and Jim Ware, Marta and Scott Lavinec, Nancy and Tom Daly and KTRK Channel 13 news anchor Tom Koch, who served as master of ceremonies for the evening.