TUTS “LA CAGE” GALA RAISES MONEY FOR MUSICAL THEATRE EDUCATION PROGRAMS
Gala Provides Fun Night, Festive Show And Fierce Costumes
Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS), along with chairs Philamena Baird, Leisa Holland-Nelson, and Roxann Neumann, welcomed more than 400 guests on April 20 to its "La Cage" Gala. The three chairs chose to use this event to honor Margaret Alkek Williams for her unending support of the arts.
TUTS’ supporters and theatre fans packed Hobby Center for the Performing Arts to enjoy a night of festivities and to pay tribute to the nonprofit by raising funds for its arts education programs. In total, the event raised more than $600,000.
*ALL PHOTOS ARE SUPPLIED BY KIM COFFMAN
Upon arrival, guests were treated like true celebrities. They entered Hobby Center’s lower lobby, which was decked in pink flowers and rugs. Paparazzi captured the guests photos before they made their way to the Grand Lobby. Once they entered the Grand Lobby, they took in cocktails as they witnessed La Cage-themed showgirls preening and posing along the auction items.
More surprises were in store for the guests once the dinner started. Guests dined on the stage of Sarofim Hall as they were treated to a star-studded performance. Guest performers included George Dvorsky, who entered the room dressed in drag to compliment the theme of the evening. He met Logan Keslar, a graduate of TUTS’ Humphrey’s School of Musical Theatre and current star in La Cage Aux Folles, on stage for a short duet from La Cage. The scintillating Julia Krohn wowed the crowd with a contemporary performance of “Strawberry Wine”. Star of the original Broadway showing of La Cage, Lee Roy Reams also graced the crowd with another solo from La Cage. A highlight of the evening came when Logan Keslar re-entered the room to perform “Margaret On My Arm,” a twist of the La Cage tune “With Anne On My Arm”. Not one to let a chance go by without a powerful ballad, George Dvorsky performed “Song On The Sand” during the second act to a swooning audience. Another highlight was a command performance by TUTS’ Humphreys School of Musical Theatre student Mallory Bechtel as she performed a medley from Les Miserables upon a swing above the diners.
The night wrapped up as guests finished their dinners and made their way to the dance floor to enjoy the tunes of Richard Brown Orchestra. Among the notables in the crowd TUTS President and CEO John Breckenridge, celebrated actress Michelle DeJean, Diane Lokey Farb, Jim Daniel, Randa Duncan Williams and Charlie Williams, Paul and Janet Hobby, David Leebron, Y. Ping Sun, Ellen and Paige Cokinos, Amy and Rob Pierce, Melissa Edwards, Cyndy Garza-Roberts, Shelby Hodge, Dee Dee Dochen and Sofia Adrogué.
TUTS Education programs provide instruction and stage experience for more than 21,000 students annually, allowing them to flourish in a year-round schedule of classes. The Humphreys School of Musical Theatre (HSMT) offers technique-driven classes for all ability levels and ages, ranging from four to adult. Through a merger with The River Performing and Visual Arts Center (The River), TUTS provides an accessible and inclusive arts education for children of all abilities that will enhance their development into confident, balanced individuals. TUTS Education provides extended on-site programming as well as off-site programming for children in schools, hospitals and other community-based sites. TUTS also annually presents the Tommy Tune Awards, honoring the best and brightest in Houston's high school musical theatre programs.
Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS) is Houston’s acclaimed nonprofit musical theatre company whose mission is to enrich life through the experience of quality musical theatre and to positively impact lives beyond the stage through innovative education & community outreach programs. TUTS was the first theatrical organization in Houston to perform free to the public when it was founded in 1968 at Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park and is the only Houston arts organization that has performed there free to the public every year since the theatre opened. Founded by Frank M. Young and currently under the direction of President and CEO John C. Breckenridge, TUTS has produced more than 300 musicals including many local, national and world premieres such as Kopit and Yeston’s Phantom, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Jekyll & Hyde, and Irving Berlin’s White Christmas as well as critically acclaimed re-inventions of classics Cabaret and Les Miserables. Through its membership in the Independent Presenters Network, TUTS has helped bring Bombay Dreams, 9 to 5, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Spamalot, Legally Blonde, Ragtime, Curtains and The Color Purple to Broadway and ultimately back to Houston audiences.