At Tented Fete, Houston Ballet Toasts World Premiere Inspired by Tennessee Williams Play

Daniel Ortiz and Wilson Parish
At Tented Fete, Houston Ballet Toasts World Premiere Inspired by Tennessee Williams Play

Jim Nelson, Hallie Vanderhider and Allison and Troy Thacker

HOUSTONIANS ARE FAMILIAR with living on the bayou — but not like this! The 2023 Houston Ballet Ball, chaired by Allison and Troy Thacker, homaged the Mississippi marshlands as depicted in Tennessee Williams' Summer and Smoke, a play that inspired the next world-premiere production by the Houston Ballet.


Spanish moss trees and a painted bayou landscape welcomed partygoers to a tent at the Margaret Alkek Williams Center for Dance, where a pianist tickled the ivories and silent auction items — luxury handbags, a Tulum getaway — tempted viewers.

Dinner was a proper southern feast, starring prime filet, corn succotash, asparagus and buttermilk biscuits. For dessert, a satisfying combo of chocolate fondant, pistachio creme, sweet toffee, vanilla ice cream and shortbread hit the spot. And wait! There's more! Party favors included truffles from Winfield's Chocolate Bar in flavors like champagne and cheesecake.

But before departing, partygoers joined Houston Ballet company members — who had not been permitted to attend events for the past several years due to Covid concerns — on the dance floor, where the sounds of Big Blast & The Party Masters kept everyone moving and grooving!

The evening, chaired by Allison and Troy Thacker, honored Hallie Vanderhider, who underwrote the Ballet's Summer and Smoke production, which debuts March 9.

Stanton Welch, Beth and Nick Zdeblick

Beth Muecke

Camille Charvet, Bill Baldwin, Fady Armanious

Sunday Shepherd and Amy LeBlanc

Roslyn Bazzelle Mitchell and Derrick Mitchell

Richard Flowers and Lynn Wyatt

Kristy Bradshaw, Leigh Smith, Kelley Lubanko and Ileana Treviño

Chandler Dalton and Neal Burks

Margaret Alkek Williams

Edward and Deborah Koehler, Jay Jones

Marc and Duyen Nguyen

Jonathan and Margaret Cox, Cabrina and Steven Owsley

Jessica Collado and Stephanie Tsuru

Art + Entertainment
Cool for ‘Schools’! CIS Wants to Transport You to a Whimsical ‘Wonderland’ at Milestone Gala

CIS 2024 Gala Honorary Co-Chair Judy Tate, Co-Chair Lauren Brollier, Co-Chair Cassie Milam, Honorary Co-Chair Kirby McCool

WHETHER YOU PREFER Alice, the Mad Hatter or the Queen of Hearts, Communities In Schools of Houston’s A Night in Wonderland 45th Anniversary GalaA Night in Wonderland 45th Anniversary Galais not to be missed! Join in the celebration for a whimsical good time on Thursday, April 4th, at the luxurious Post Oak Hotel.

Keep ReadingShow less

David Ansell, Bennie Flores Ansell, Thuy Tran and James Tiebout

THE ROTHKO CHAPEL held its Inspirit fundraiser — a celebration of the power of art and activism — at the industrial-chic Astorian. The evening featured cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and an onstage conversation with actor Cheech Marin, one of the world’s foremost collectors of Chicano art; 2023 Art League of Houston Texas Artist of the Year Vincent Valdez; and legendary civil rights advocate Dolores Huerta, who co-founded the United Farm Workers of America with César Chávez. (She’s 93, by the way!)

Keep ReadingShow less
Art + Entertainment
A FEW SHORT years ago, the Covid pandemic had the whole world questioning if the travel and hospitality industries would ever recover. In a report released this week by Houston First Corporation, the region's marketing organization, it seems that those sectors in Houston not only bounced back, but are continuing on a strong upward trajectory.
Keep ReadingShow less
People + Places