Shelby About Town
George H.W. Bush, Michael Dell, chef Junnajet Hurapan & a Horsepower Gang getmerry
Those Marvelous Wonderettes continue to knock it out of the ballpark at Stages Repertory Theatre where they perform their senior high prom antics to packed houses night and matinee. So popular is the musical that performances have been extended — again — this time, through mid-March.
So popular is the musical that on the eve of Christmas Eve, former President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush dropped in for the performance and made a special visit backstage before taking their front row seats.
You can imagine the thrill for the four young talents and the understudy, who've been singing their jukebox hearts out since July. Add Stages producing artistic director Kenn McLaughlin to the backstage mix as he visited with the Bushes on the unprecedented success of Roger Bean's '50 and '60s tune fest. The Bushes obliged with a photo opp with the girls — Rachel Logue, Christina Stroup, Holland Vavra Peters, Chelsea McCurdy and understudy for all roles Sofia Mendez.
Also in the backstage excitement were Terrence O'Neill, the city's director of international affairs, and Nixon Wheat. During the show, O'Neill was dragged to the stage to play the part of "Mr. Lee." He reported later that Barbara Bush gave him high marks for his "fabulous" performance.
Fun news for those who simply can't sit quietly in their seats while the teeny boppers are crooning the familiar tunes, Fridays have been declared sing-along performances. What fun!
Christmas Day power brunch
Christmas is historically one of the busiest days of the year for Gigi's Asian Bistro & Dumpling Bar, the tradition set at the family's Hunan Post Oak eatery more than 30 years ago and Saturday was no exception. A power force of notables moved through including former President George H.W. Bush and wife Barbara and his long-time staffers Jean Becker and Laura Pears.
That foursome had just finished their early brunch (including Heavenly Beef and Return of the Phoenix) and departed when Dell magnate Michael Dell and friends arrived for the all-you-can-eat Christmas Day dim sum and Gigi's modern Asian cuisine.
Keeping the staff busy was a coterie of notables including trial lawyer Steve Susman and television journalist Ellen Susman, Karen and Harry Susman, Dr. Bernard Treitsman, Cindy and Jim Thorpe, Tami and Frank Erwin, Margaret Reckling, Brad Marks, Daniel Marks, Miya Shay, Cleverley Stoneand publicist Mark Sullivan escorting his parents, Jean and Peter Sullivan, and Houston Chronicle food editor Greg Morago.
Chef Junnajet Hurapan was clearly on his toes on Saturday.
Young jewelry designer Katie Decker (and her parents Liz and Dr. Bill Decker) are over the moon thanks to the current issue of Vogue Gioiello which features the Texas A&M grad's designs on three different pages along with designs from leading artists around the world.
In one presentation, a Katie Decker diamond ring is displayed along with designs from Boucheron, Cartier and Bulgari, not bad company for a young woman who graduated only last spring with a degree in finance. Vogue Gioiello, published in Milan, is considered the international authority on jewelry and watch design.
Chowing down in style
Born of a lunch at Tony's, shared by a few motorsport-loving high school friends, the 500 Horsepower Gang, as this well-past high school crew is known, has grown to include new faces from all walks of life with one common trait — a passion for food, generously afforded by gang co-founder Jeff Vallone.
Members of the "gang" who gathered to feast at Caffe Bello on Monday were Vallone, Clay Robinson, Sheppard Gee, Dimitri Demopulos, Eric Jarvis, Rick Redick, Tucker Bunch, Ted Moon, Adam Gould, Matt Moon, James Foster and Stephen Newman.