2017 Alley Theatre Ball: In the Groove

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Photo Credit by Dave Rossman and Jacob Power

This year’s Alley Theatre Ball: In the Groove was held at Silver Street Studios on the evening of May 06, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. The upbeat evening featured legendary musical group The Temptations and honored producer and record business entrepreneur Randall H. Jamail. The evening’s chairmen were Tom and Florence Langford. Mady and Ken Kades were the underwriting chairmen and Cynthia Petrello was the host committee chairman. The Gold Sponsors were Margaret Alkek Williams; Florence and Tom Langford/UBS Investment Bank; Cornelia and Meredith Long; John P. McGovern Foundation; Petrello Family Foundation; Susan and Fayez Sarofim; and Alley Theatre’s official airline, United Airlines.

Described in the past as “the party of the year,” this year’s Alley Theatre Ball was no exception. The over 350 guests donned their grooviest clothes and allowed themselves to be transported back to Motown’s heyday. The women got into the swing of things wearing sparkling disco dresses, jumpsuits, and mini dresses accessorized with boots, while many of the men sported platform shoes and ruffled shirts. Vintage Nik Nik shirts were also seen in great proliferation. Transformed by Richard Flowers of The Events Company, Silver Street Studios became a Motown lounge and dining room filled with glittering reproductions of The Temptations’ many platinum and gold records.

While enjoying cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres of cheese fondue, Swedish meatballs, escargot, and coconut shrimp expertly prepared by City Kitchen, guests previewed the silent auction items. Some of the exciting selections included a South Africa photo safari for two at an ultra-luxurious safari camp, a couples’ trip to a Tuscan winery for a 3-night stay in a sumptuous guest villa, and a 7-day sojourn for eight at a private villa in Costa Rica.

City Kitchen’s 70s-inspired dinner menu featured a modern take on wedge salad, Steak Diane, a twice-baked Yukon Gold potato, jumbo asparagus, and cheese puffs. The crowning glory of the fabulous meal was a chocolate, coffee, and toffee icebox pie with Kahlua caramel, which was served for dessert.

Following the main course, VIP guests were ushered into a private meet and greet and photo opportunity with The Temptations. Immediately afterward, the legendary group hit the stage, and guests flooded the dance floor where they got their groove on to hits like “Just my Imagination,” “My Girl,” and “Papa Was a Rolling Stone.” At 9:00 p.m., Kalkutta took over the DJ booth for the late-night party and had guests kicking up their heels into the wee hours.

The lively occasion raised over $500,000 to support the Alley Theatre education and community engagement programs. The Alley serves over 80,000 students annually with award-winning education and community outreach programs such as Staging STEM, in-school arts integration residencies, school tours, student matinees, and summer camps.

Guests: Cynthia and Tony Petrello, Margaret Alkek Williams, Janet Clark, Janet and John Carrig, Vivian Wise, Hallie Vanderhider, Mady and Ken Kades, Josephine and Phil John, Trini Mendenhall, Mike Loya and Cory Whitefield, Dr. Juan Stern and Susana Brener de Stern, Pat Breen, Connie and Roger Plank, Eve and Bob Harrell, Diane Lokey Farb, Ralph Burch, Sarah Morgan and Oscar Brown, and Carmen and Butch Mach.

About Alley Theatre

One of the country’s leading nonprofit theatres, the Alley Theatre is a nationally recognized performing arts company. Lead by Artistic Director Gregory Boyd and Managing Director Dean R. Gladden, the Alley is home to a resident company of actors. Its diverse repertoire features innovative productions of the classics, neglected modern plays, and premieres. Alley All New, the initiative to commission and develop new work year round, features the Alley All New Festival, which presents  workshops and readings of new plays and musicals in process every season. A recipient of the Regional Theatre Tony Award, the Alley has taken productions to Broadway; various American cities; and international cities, including Berlin, Paris, and St. Petersburg, throughout its 70-year history.


During the 2015-16 season, with 500 performances, the Alley staged more productions than all the other performing arts organizations in the Houston Theatre District combined. 

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Anthony and Cynthia Petrello, Richard Flowers