What: An Intimate Evening with Audra McDonald.
Where: Hotel ZaZa.
The scoop: Six-time Tony Award-winning actress and singer Audra McDonald captivated the Houston audience with a mini-concert in the Museum-area hotel ballroom to benefit the Houston Arts Alliance. McDonald, who co-stars in the live-action remake of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, sang well-known standards like "Summertime" from Porgy and Bess, "Climb Every Mountain" from The Sound of Music, "I Could Have Danced All Night" from My Fair Lady as well as some of her personal favorites, including Jason Robert Brown’s haunting “Stars and the Moon” from Songs for a New World.
Between songs, McDonald kept the audience amused with stories about her 5-month-old daughter Sally James, and 16-year-old daughter, Zoe, who texted her right after her performance on live TV in The Sound of Music asking where the dryer sheets were. Backstage after the show, McDonald thrilled Fresh Arts executive director Marci Regan Dallas by appearing in a video for Dallas' daughter, who is a huge fan.
The evening also honored Minnette Boesel, former assistant for Cultural Affairs to Mayors Annise Parker and Bill White, and the late arts patron Stephanie Smither, the brainchild behind Smither Park in Houston's East End.
Who: Enjoying the evening were Houston Arts Alliance chairman of the board Philamena Baird, event co-chairs Regina Garcia and George Lancaster, honorary chairs Phoebe and Bobby Tudor, Mayor Sylvester Turner, Kathryn McNiel, Cherri Carbonara, Winnel and Doug Herron, Lauren Anderson, Reginald Adams, Melanie Lawson, Jo and Jim Furr, Debbie McNulty, Delicia Harvey and John Carrithers, Trini Mendenhall, Marc Melcher, Luz Garcini, and Harriet and Truett Latimer.