After spending an exacting day at the construction site for Asia House, internationally-acclaimed architect Yoshio Taniguchi was a different man Wednesday night at the Tanglewood home of Nancy Allen. He was relaxed and smiling and who wouldn't be in the home of the woman who contributed $10 million to make the new Asia Society Texas Center, his project, a reality?
Taniguchi is a regular visitor to Houston as he keeps a watchful eye over the construction of his design of the 38,000 square-foot center in the Museum District. So it was a comfortable evening among familiar faces such as Louisa Sarofim, Marilyn Oshman, Lily and Charles Foster and Asia Society Texas Center executive director Martha Blackwelder.
In the spirit of the Asian motif, Allen arranged for sushi chefs, compliments of society board member Glen Gondo, who owns Zushi. She wore a colorful Korean bridal gown, a gift from her daughter-in-law Chinhui Allen, that looked nothing like what Americans consider "bridal." She admitted to the gathering of some 60 Asia House supporters that if she had worn the costume in Korea, she would have been the subject of great mirth.
Mingling through the party scene were Eddie Allen (husband of Chinhui), Marie and Vijay Goradia, Diana Strassman, Y. Ping Sun, Lily and Hamid Kooros and Jackie and Jeff Moseley.
A sobering good time
Up-close-and-personal John Larroquette seems so normal — tall, nice looking with a heavy mane of white hair and surprisingly accommodating for a guy who has won five Emmys. He was something of a charmer at Brennan's Wednesday night at a dinner in his honor, prior to his headlining the Waggoners Foundation Speaker Series fall luncheon on Thursday. That event benefited The Council on Alcohol and Drugs, an appropriate platform for Larroquette, who has been sober since 1982.
In fact, Larroquette said at Brennan's that he is currently writing a novel about his life. "It's a novel but it's really about me and my childhood in New Orleans."
Larroquette grew up in the Ninth Ward, destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. He's also working on a movie script. The storyline follows a man who has been in prison for 30 years, accused of murdering his wife. He is exonerated and then begins the search for the real murderer as well as the inner journey of adjusting to society after three decades behind bars.
In mid-January, writing will have to take a backseat to his acting career. Larroquette begins rehearsals for a revival of How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, set to open in March. Daniel Radcliffe, aka Harry Potter, will play his young protegé.
Among those gathering for the Brennan's dinner were luncheon chairs Debra and Mark Grierson, June and Virgil Waggoner, Gary Petersen, Shayna and Marc Melcher and Council board chair Ellen Rutherford.
It was a double-header at the studio/home of artist Hanh Tran, who earlier this week welcomed a lively crew for her "Hanh-Aka" and holiday card party cum kickoff for next week's Wines of Israel event at the Tasting Room in Uptown Park. Whew, quite a combo.
Tasting Room chef Michael Kramer was there providing healthy holiday cuisine to go with the Israeli wines provided by Jim Veal, who is organizing the Tasting Room event on Monday night. Songbird Kristine Mills entertained with songs from her upcoming fourth album. Sampling the fun were Neil Hamil, Sharron Melton, Jessica Michan, Jared Lang, Cara Morales, Morris Malakoff, Jason Fuller, Miya Shay and more.
It was a sellout crowd that packed the ballroom of Houston Country Club for the first annual "Razzle Dazzle 'em Pink!" luncheon benefiting the Bobetta Lindig Breast Center at Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center. With four breast cancer survivors as chairs — Ann Cazalot, Suzie Johnson, Karen Stall and Donna Vallone — and with Bobetta Lindig as honoree and author Kelly Corrigan as entertaining guest speaker, it was a win win for everyone.
Among those helping make the event a success were Memorial Hermann Foundation CEO Ileana Trevino, State Rep. Ellen Cohen, Sherry Smith, Michelle Hevrdejs, Susan Krohn, Carol Sawyer, Sheridan Williams, Carol Howenstine, and about 330 more.
Hermes director Sissy Davis dining with Robert Chavez, CEO of Hermes USA, at Masraff's where they chewed over plans for an Hermes flagship store for BLVD Place, set to open in 2013. Until then they'll stay in the current space next door . .
Franelle Rogers celebrating her 60th birthday in the San Remo Room at Tony's where her sister, Joelle Rogers hosted a coterie of 70 women including Rose Cullen, Lynda Transier, Donna Vallone, Ellie Francisco and Patti Dale Tye. Add Rudy Avelar, chair of the 2011 Houston Grand Opera ball, to the mix . . .
Former President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush lunching at Trevisio in the Medical Center.