2018 Alley Theatre Ball:
Picasso and the Avant-Garde
Photo by Priscilla Dickson, Daniel Ortiz and Dave Rossman
On Saturday, April 28, 2018, The Post Oak Hotel at Uptown Houston played host to this year’s Alley Theatre Ball: Picasso and the Avant-Garde. Oscar Brown and Sarah Morgan of Occidental Petroleum co-chaired the memorable evening, which benefitted the Alley Theatre Education and Community Engagement Programs/Flood Recovery. The ball was a record-breaking success raising nearly $1.2 million.
The newly opened venue served as the perfect canvas for the event. Thanks to the genius of Richard Flowers of The Events Company, the Grand Ballroom was transformed into the world of Picasso. An oversized Picasso-inspired backdrop, murals, dramatic florals, and custom paintings showcasing a mix of Alley productions painted in Picasso’s unique style immersed the 500 guests in the avant-garde. There were even models on pedestals wearing the latest in modern fashion, while artists painted live portraits. Participants also got into the spirit of the evening by stepping out in their best avant-garde finery.
The evening’s honoree, Lynn Wyatt, was named the inaugural recipient of the Nina Vance Visionary in Arts Award for her tremendous and ongoing support of the Alley Theatre and was presented with a re-creation of Nina Vance’s 1947 penny postcard set in crystal. In her moving acceptance speech, Lynn thanked everyone in attendance for the passion they all share for the theatre.
While enjoying cocktails, guests had fun pouring over the silent auction area. Some of the amazing packages available were trips to Napa, Costa Rica, and Argentina; specialty Broadway scenarios; and fine wine and bourbon offerings.
Chef Jean-Luc Royere’s inspired dinner menu featured a beet salad with avocado cream and Minus 8 dressing and glazed short ribs with potato mousseline and mushroom, tomato, and asparagus ragout. The pièce de résistance was a lemon olive oil cake with lemon mousse for dessert.
Following dinner, guests enjoyed the fabulous live auction. The big winners were Glenn Vangolen who won the Paris/Prague experience, Chip Babcock who won the Broadway Frozen experience, C. C. and Duke Ensell who won the Ultimate Houston Astros package, and Mady and Ken Kades who won the night with Elton John at the Toyota Center.
The band for the evening was The Big Beyond, who entertained guests with their signature covers of popular music’s biggest hits. Kydro deejayed the late-night party and had party-goers dancing into the wee hours.
Guests: Lynn and Oscar Wyatt, Carmen and Butch Mach, Jane and Dean Gladden, Margaret Alkek Williams, Cynthia and Tony Petrello, Vivian Wise, Janet Langford Carrig and John Carrig, Trini Mendenhall, Helen and Jim Shaffer, Connie and Roger Plank, Florence and Tom Langford, Michelle and D. Verna, Diane Lokey Farb, Pat Breen, Trey and Mervin Wyatt, and Carol Nichols and Steve Wyatt.
About Alley Theatre
One of the country’s leading nonprofit theatres, the Alley Theatre is a nationally recognized performing arts company. Led 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.