Shelby About Town
Putting on the ritz at Little Napoli
Motorists cruising down Westheimer on Saturday night might have wondered what all the action was at the typically quiet Little Napoli. Red carpet, red velvet ropes, roving spotlights and eight glamazons in high fashion at the door — clearly something was up.
The Ambassadors Club, with Riyad Abu-Taha at the helm, hosted a Hollywood opening-night-themed evening saluting Channel 8's Ernie Manouse and the three Emmys that he took home in 2009.
The turnout reached capacity at 200 with Manouse fans lining up to praise the talk-show host and producer both informally and in a playful toast roast. Among the toasters — Joanne King Herring. Among the roasters — Channel 2 chief meteorologist Frank Billingsley.
The night included wining and dining, a fashion show by Danny Nguyen and Italian dishes by Little Napoli chef/owner Mike Zayed.
In the mix was a cross section of social names, arts figures and media personalities including Cindi and Dr. Franklin Rose, Dominic Walsh, Lauren Anderson, Roseann Rogers, Cleverley Stone, Evin Thayer, Erica Rose, Gina Hamilton and Vicki and Dr. Ban Vu. Add Manouse's partner, Jackson Hearn, and his mom, Adele Manouse, to the party.
Steve Tyrell on a roll
The hometown boy simply cannot return to Houston without friends and family going bonkers for the popular music man. Witness the weekend love fests surrounding his performance at Stafford Centre. After his Friday night stint on stage, Tyrell was honored at a late-night cocktail reception hosted by Louis Pearce Jr. Piling in to get cozy with the singer were Ashley and Louis Pearce IV, Gary Pearce, Dee and Earl Gilbert, Carolyn Faulk, Rita K. and Glen Roney, Judy Mandola, Vidal Martinez and plenty more.
And, of course, the eats were catered by Tyrell's cousins Frankie B. Mandola and Bubba Butera of Damian's Cucina Italiana.
That popular eatery was the setting on Saturday for a private six-course feast, featuring Tyrell and former Astro Bob Aspromonte as celebrity guests. The luncheon gathering was an auction item at last fall's Fur Ball benefiting the Houston Humane Society and high bidders were Cindy and Don Poarch and Janie and Jack Schubert. They invited friends including Hulda and Fred Schubert, Janet and Bud Hughes, Mary Grace Grey, Debbie Aspromonte Simon and Dr. Terry Simon, Karen Aspromonote and Frankie B.
Every penny counts
NBA great Dikembe Mutombo signed basketballs and thanked supporters at Hotel ZaZa last week during an unusually intimate fundraiser benefiting his namesake foundation. Alicia Smith, Kimberly DeLape and Roy Marsh hosted the dinner and the personal generosity flowed. Margaret Matherne and her daughter, Amanda Matherne, committed $20,000. Nancy Beck Dean and John Dean contributed $10,000.
Joining the party were Christine and Louis Messina, Stephanie and Dan Williams, Frank DeLape, Aimee Marsh, Judy Nichols and Mary Jane Zummo. By night's end, the crowd had raised $38,000 for Mutombo's hospital in Kinshasa, Congo. Not bad for a little dinner party.
Hostess Smith was MIA — having been called to L.A . for her walk-on part in Dinner for Schmucks, scheduled for release in July and starring Steve Carell, Paul Rudd and Zach Galifianakis. Now that is scary.
Andrea White on the campaign trail for gubernatorial candidate Bill White, who just happens to be her husband, at the Palacios Public Library, where she was joined by Sis Johnson, Inprint Inc. board chair, and June Deadrick, a native of Palacios who now calls Houston home. Deadrick rounded up members of area book clubs and educators to the library event, "Book Talk: Conversation With Andrea White." You will remember that Andrea has written three adventure books aimed at a middle-school audience. Her second stop was at the Palacios Mexican Restaurant for a rousing "Bill White for Governor" rally. There she talked about her personal book, P.S. Journal of a Passionate Supporter and Political Spouse . . .
Andy Delery, Dr. Del Delery and Bill Crassas celebrating their birthdays on Sunday night at Alex Brennan-Martin's Bistro Alex in City Centre where David McKeithan hosted the triple celebration. Helping blow out the candles were Mary Ann McKeithan and Joann Crassas. Real estate agent Cathy Cagle , dining with her parents at a neighboring table, surprised the birthday celebrants with champagne . . .
Mary Donna Monceri, Sandra Porter, Theresa Quartaro Smith and Candy Winter having a yummy Italian supper at Grotto 610 before heading out to the Stafford Centre to see Steve Tyrell.