Shelby's Social Diary

Mayor Annise Parker does the Harlem Shuffle and Ensemble gala crowd follows suit

Mayor Annise Parker does the Harlem Shuffle and Ensemble gala crowd follows suit

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Margaret Avery , Mayor Annise Parker , Sheryl Lee Ralph , Sheryl Lee Ralph Photo by Gary Fountain
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Paul-David Van Atta , Jackie Phillips Photo by Gary Fountain
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Eileen Morris , Janette Cosley Photo by Gary Fountain
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Janiece Longoria , Steve Lasher Photo by Gary Fountain
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Margaret Avery , Linnet Deily , Jackie Phillips Photo by Gary Fountain
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Sandie Cowan , Ken Cowan Photo by Gary Fountain
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Sharon Michael Owens , Lloyd Gite Photo by Gary Fountain
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Sheryl Lee Ralph , Paul-David Van Atta , Margaret Avery Photo by Gary Fountain
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Diedra Fontaine , Terence Fontaine Photo by Gary Fountain
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Bryce Kennard , Gayla Gardner , Donald Gardner Photo by Gary Fountain
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Argentina James , T. C. Carson , Jackie Phillips Photo by Gary Fountain
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Shanna Lewis , Tre' Garrett Photo by Gary Fountain
News_Ensemble Theatre_Shelby_August 10
News_Ensemble Theatre_Shelby_August 10
News_Ensemble Theatre_Shelby_August 10
News_Ensemble Theatre_Shelby_August 10
News_Ensemble Theatre_Shelby_August 10
News_Ensemble Theatre_Shelby_August 10
News_Ensemble Theatre_Shelby_August 10
News_Ensemble Theatre_Shelby_August 10
News_Ensemble Theatre_Shelby_August 10
News_Ensemble Theatre_Shelby_August 10
News_Ensemble Theatre_Shelby_August 10
News_Ensemble Theatre_Shelby_August 10

It's not often that a Houston mayor — in any administration — spends more than a few passing moments at a charity gala. So it was a double surprise Saturday night when Mayor Annise Parker remained not only through the entire dinner and awards presentation at the Enemble Theatre gala, but also took to the dance floor as soon as Yvonne Washington & the Mix cranked up "the Harlem Shuffle."

The dance floor in the Hilton Americas-Houston ballroom quickly filled with politicos at the "Harlem" launch of the dancing hour with the mayor joined by her partner Kathy Hubbard, City Council members Wanda Adams and Jolanda Jones, Port Commissioner Janiece Longoria, Port of Houston honcho Argentina James, the mayor's director of boards and commissions Jenn Char,  marketing consultant Cindy Clifford, Continental Airlines' Diedra Fontaine and more.

It was just that kind of energized evening with spirits soaring, with more than $300,000 in the bank and with close to 500 partygoers bent on making the most of a hot August night. Kudos to gala chairs Jackie Phillips, Ensemble board chair, and Paul-David Van Atta, Ensemble board member and popular director of catering for the HIlton Americas, and to honorary chair Linnet Deily.

Contributing to the richness of the celebration was the line-up of stars on hand to receive Ensemble Theatre honors. Taking bows were The Color Purple star Margaret Avery for Lifetime Achievement, Broadway's Dreamgirls star Sheryl Lee Ralph for Actress of the Year and Fox's Living Single star TC Carson for Actor of the Year. The Rising Star Award went to Houstonian Tré Garrett, who is a show director for Walt Disney Entertainment and a fellowship director at the Kennedy Center.

Among those lighting up the Ensemble night were Rep. Sheila Jackson LeeMerele Yarbrough, Brian Teichman, Sandie and Ken Cowan, Gilbert Herrera, Katy Caldwell, Judge Clarease Rankin Yates and Cary Yates, Alton LaDay and Jonathon Glus, Phyllis Williams, Yvette Chargois and Bill King.