Shelby's Social Diary

Alley Theatre flies high with a salute to Fayez Sarofim at "Jet Setter's Ball"

Alley Theatre flies high with a salute to Fayez Sarofim at "Jet Setter's Ball"

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Courtney Hopson , Bo Hopson Photo by Anthony Rathbun
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Michael Linn , Carol Linn , Dean Gladden , Cornelia Long , Meredith Long Photo by Anthony Rathbun
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Phillip Sarofim , Fayez Sarofim Photo by Anthony Rathbun
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Gregory Boyd , Lynn Wyatt Photo by Anthony Rathbun
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Frances Marzio , Anthony Freud Photo by Anthony Rathbun
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Dean Gladden , Cindy Thorp , Jim Thorp Photo by Anthony Rathbun
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Edward Sanchez , Mary Rambin Photo by Anthony Rathbun
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Nicholas Phillips poses with the mannequins in one of the museum exhibits. Nicholas Phillips Photo by Jenny Antill
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The party tent, decorated by the Events Co., evoked a shimmery jet setting era. Photo by Anthony Rathbun
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Seasoned jet setters are well familiar with the route to Hobby Airport and the various FBOs that play host to their personal Citations and Gulfstreams. So when the Alley Theatre dubbed its 2010 gala the "Jet Setter's Ball," an obvious locale was the 1940 Air Terminal Museum that served as Hobby's original air terminal, an Art Deco wonder.

How appropriate that the Alley gala honoree was business mogul and philanthropist Fayez Sarofim, a man who knows a thing or two about international travel and whose namesake firm Fayez Sarofim & Co. is one of the best-known investment concerns in the city. Sarofim, who has made his way to this south Houston neighborhood on more than one occasion, hired a driver to escort himself and son Phillip Sarofim to the black-tie fundraiser. Interesting that more than a handful of partygoers opted for chauffered transport for what some perceived as a distant party site. 

Leading the cast that starred in this successful Alley production were chairs Courtney and Bo Hopson, senior principal at the Sarofim firm. And a production it was from the cocktail reception in the museum, where guests could tour the exhibits, to the mammoth party tent where the Events Co. created a retro airport scene complete with shimmering silver curtain walls  and centerpieces of rotating four-engine model planes.

Making it something of a family affair Scott McCool's In Bloom did the lavish white floral arrangements surrounding the planes and the bountiful arrangements throughout the museum and party tent. Scott is married to Courtney's sister, Kirby McCool. Also in the mix were the third sister, Lindsay Holstead and husband Rand, and, of course, proud pappa of the three girls, Morton Cohn.

Among the heady contingent gathered in the museum lobby were Alley Theatre artistic director Gregory Boyd and managing director Dean Gladden, Alley chairman emeritus Meredith Long and wife Cornelia, Alley chairman Dan Tutcher and wife Kim plus Houston Grand Opera general director and CEO Anthony Freud and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston director Peter Marzio and wife Frances.

Guests then moved on to the party tent where City Kitchen served a bountiful dinner (enough crab and prime rib to serve four rather than one!) and where the Marianne Bennett Orchestra entertained. In the mix were Courtney and Christopher Sarofim, Lynn Wyatt, Brad Wyatt, Clayton and Shel Erikson, Kathryn and Jim Ketelsen, Patty Hubbard, Elyse and Bob Lanier, Joyce and Hugh Echols, Sarah and David Pesikoff, Melissa and Michael Mithoff, Debbie and Rudy Festari, Beth and Bryan Muecke, Kristi and John Schiller and Molly and Ford Hubbard III.