Before the full-blown galas fill the calendar (starting next Saturday), kick-off parties are filling the dance cards for early January, including the Houston Symphony ball launch Thursday night in the the historic lobby of JPMorgan Chase.
Ball chairs Tara and David Wuthrich welcomed some 100 supporters to the cocktail party where the chatter was all about the ball entertainment. Electronic violinist Mark Wood, former lead violinist of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, will join symphony musicians to perform and the Marianne Bennett Orchestra of New York will provide the dance music for the March 23 gala.
A Fare Extraordinaire, which catered the party, had waiters dressed in black-tie and 18th century powdered wigs in a nod to the ball theme, "Rock Me Amadeus!" And in a nod to the black-tie dress code, models from Tootsies paraded in gowns by Monique Lhuillier, Naeem Khan and Elie Saab.
While the Fidelis Quartet performed the crowd schmoozing through the grand setting included gala honorees Denise and Philip Bahr, Julie Frankel and Beth Madison; plus Katie Flaherty, Betty Tutor, Marie and Ed Bosarge, Joann and Bill Crassas, Joella and Steve Mach, Viviana and David Denechaud, Lindley and Jason Arnoldy and Isabel and Danny David.
$1 million dollar goal for Asia Society
The buzz was on in the private room at Tony's Thursday night when Asia Society Texas Center honchos spread the word that the April 12 gala will be held at the center's spectacular new home in the Museum District. The gala will kick off four days of grand opening festivities.
With a heavy-hitter roster of chairs on tap, Asia Society executive director Martha Blackwelder announced that the goal for the Tiger Ball is $1 million, that lofty figure on its way to being met by the generosity of presenting sponsor Chevron. Asia Society board chair Charles Foster joined Blackwelder in the program that recognized Nancy Allen, the Asia Society's grand patron, and Wells Fargo Private Bank, underwriter of the kick-off party.
Taking bows as chairs of the black-tie evening were Margaret Williams, Sushila and Durga Agrawal, Judy and Scott Nyquist and Y. Ping Sun and David Leebron. They were joined by a festive group that included Chevron's Joni Baird, Carolyn Farb, Jo and Jim Furr, Lily and Hamid Kooros, Laura Bellows, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett and wife Gwen, Gina and Dr. Devinder Bhatia and Beth Madison with Ralph Burch.
The circus is coming to town
Well, not really a big-top experience, but the Periwinkle Foundation is following a circus theme for its gala set for April 21 at the InterContinental Houston. Supporters celebrated that upcoming evening at the home of Dr. Jayne Finkowski-Rivera and Dr. Carlos Rivera. The Riveras will chair the evening along with Jenifer and Scott Jarriel and Judy and Chris Simon will be honored.
Pappas Catering provided the food and drink including the elephant ice sculpture through which cotton candy-flavored martinis were poured.
Joining the circus-themed evening (some donning the bright red circus clown noses, some not) included Lisa Malosky, ZoAnn Dreyer, Hailey and Mark Stevens, Tanya Gee, Marilyn and Louis Mogus, Periwinkle Foundation board president Joe Birkofer and executive director Doug Suggitt.
Movers and shakers packing La Griglia at Friday lunch where the crowd included Dancie Ware and Sheridan Williams, Fred Zeidman, Terrie and Mike Turner, John Beeson, Roland Garcia, Ben Rose, Cindi Rose, Sue Walden, Bill Wright, Joe Hafner and Tilman Fertitta's parents Joy and Vic Fertitta — keeping manager Brandon Bush on his toes . . .
Former President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush digging into the Tex-Mex fare at the newest addition to the Molina's Cantina family, this one in West University at 3801 Bellaire Blvd. at Wesleyan . . .
The Houston Texans offensive line continuing its luck-filled Thursday night tradition of dining at Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House. Watch out Baltimore Ravens!