Shelby About Town
Huey Lewis entertains; Mark Kelly and Tilman Fertitta dine at La Griglia
Party bus! That was the transportation for a rollicking crowd that headed for L'Auberge du Lac in Lake Charles over the weekend to celebrate the b'days of Mauney Mafrige and Marcy de Luna. Even the flat tire on the way to the lakefront casino couldn't dampen the H-town spirits and we assume that there were plenty of spirits involved.
The merry band of partygoers tried their luck at the gaming tables, took in the Huey Lewis and The News concert, gambled some more and then hit the dance floor in the hotel bar where an '80s theme prevailed. Grooving the night away were Rob Rutherford, Joel Kalmin, Debbie Festari, Daniel Ortiz, Rosie Meyers, Sarah Bray, Christopher Mendel, Paul Reade, Natacha La Francesca, Christopher Williams, Laura Mafrige and Bubba McNeely.
Sunday morning, L'Auberge hosted a birthday brunch for the Houston set complete with a huge birthday cake. And what would a birthday be without a serenade? McNeely picked up a microphone and crooned "Happy Birthday" to the girls in front of the entire resort restaurant. Sweet.
A trial run
It might have been a "mock" dinner at Philippe Restaurant + Lounge on Monday night but the place was hopping as if it had already become the hot spot du jour. Channel 11 news anchor Lucy Noland, morning radio host Sam Malone, Houston Magazine's Lou DeLone, food writer John DeMers, attorney Jennifer LeGrand, Houston Social Book's Scott Evans and Jeff Henry, Houston Texans' Greg Grissom and marketing and event planner Ellie Francisco and her son Gregg Ring sampled from the menu.
Gallerists Carolyn Farb and Deborah Colton, dining at a front and center table, had special reason for anticipating the restaurant's opening next week. Their gallery, Colton & Farb, is providing a collection of sophisticated artwork for Philippe Schmit's new place including works by Lowell Boyers and George Tobolowsky, whose mentor was James Surls. Art for the restaurant were selected by Rania Jamal, one of Colton & Farb's artists, and Schmit.
Perhaps the most interesting guests of all were Schmit's long-time friends and unofficial restaurant consultants Bill Floyd and Bryan Caswell of Reef and Stella Sola fame. That duo has its own excitement brewing with their new arrangement with the Astros at Minute Maid Park and with the soon-to-open El Real Tex-Mex spot in Montrose.
Partying in Palm Beach
That would be a well-heeled flock of Houstonians attending the glamorous benefit gala for the Palm Beach Zoo as guests of Netscape billionaire Jim Clark, a native of Plainview, and his bride Australian modelKristy Hinze Clark. Winging east for the festivities that raised $1 million for the zoo's Malaysian Tiger program were John and Becca Cason Thrash, Neal Hamil, Sara Dodd Spickelmier and Keith Spickelmier.
Also joining their party was former Houstonian Keeley White Ast, whose husband Steve Ast is a top exec with the Blackstone Group.
Peter Marzio remembrance
The Houston Museum of African American Culture saluted the memory of the late Museum of Fine Arts director Peter Marzio with a special gathering at the HMAAC. Leading the remembrance were MFAH 5A president Ramon Manning, artist Bert Long, MFAH trustee Sarah Trotty and veteran MFAH curator Alvia Wardlaw.
Poignant moments in the program came when Wardlaw recalled Marzio's ardent support of the quilt artists of Gee's Bend and his resolve to insure that the John Biggers, Thornton Dial and Kermit Oliver exhibitions attracted large audiences.
The gathering included HMAAC president John Guess Jr., HMAAC board president Melanie Lawson, Irene Johnson, Ellena Stone Huckaby, Dr. Robert Galloway, Danielle Burns, Michelle Barns, Pat Gregory and Forde McWilliams.
Astronaut Mark Kelly and Tilman Fertitta dining at La Griglia . . .
Two great American playwrights serendipitously meeting up at The Menil Collection on Saturday: Terrence McNally in town for Houston Grand Opera's production of Dead Man Walking (he wrote the libretto) and Edward Albee crossed paths outside of the Cy Twombly Gallery . . .
Actress and Houston native Lois Chiles back in town for a few days from her perch in New York City enjoying dinner at Hugo's with Vance Muse, Carl Palazzolo,Susie and Sanford Criner as well as Chiles' traveling companion andNYC pal Vicki Sorrell . . .