For Stages, an Emotional and Chic Fuchsia-Hued Function Raises $1.2 Million

For Stages, an Emotional and Chic Fuchsia-Hued Function Raises $1.2 Million

Becca Cason Thrash and Kenn McLaughlin

THE STAGE'S THEATER company’s annual Gala at the Gordy was more elaborate than ever, and memorable in many ways — not the least of which was the emotional sendoff to Artistic Director Kenn McLaughlin, who’s retiring this summer and moving to Ireland.


“The unforgettable night of celebration and wonder included a cocktail reception, a three-course seated dinner provided by Jackson & Company and a dance party under disco balls and DJ Mohawk spinning beats,” said a rep for Stages, adding that the ball raises nearly $1.2 million.

There was also a performance on the Gordy’s Sterling stage, featuring musical numbers from some of McLaughlin’s favorite productions over the years. Past actors performed songs from “Godspell,” “Grey Gardens,” “The Fantasticks,” and many others.

After the show, a surf-and-turf dinner was served on a sleekly decorated, tented plaza in front of the theater. The tent walls and the table florals of white dogwood branches glowed pink, a nod to McLaughlin’s favorite color — fuchsia — which guests were encouraged to wear.

One such pretty-in-pink partygoer was Becca Cason Thrash, joining hubby John, as well as Sally and Philip Edmundson and Glenda and Russell Gordy as honorary chairs. Becca, once Houston’s top party hostess and a fixture on the scene at events such as the Stages gala, lives in Paris now, so her presence was lovely surprise to many guests. She jumped on stage at the dinner to help push an auction item — a first-class trip to Paris, of course — that she helped orchestrate.

McLaughlin himself also made remarks at dinner, moving many to tears with his eloquent swan song, reminding the crowd of the power of Stages’ motto: “We sit together in the dark to know how to love each other in the light.”

George C. Lancaster, Stages board president, served as co-chair of the gala, along with Kay Bruce, Judy and Jim Nicklos, and Cabrina and Steven Owsley.


Daryl Bristow and Janet Gurwitch Bristow

Jo Furr, Russell and Glenda Gordy

Honorary Co-Chairs Sally and Philip Edmundson

Steven and Cabrina Owsley, Interim Managing Director David Schmitz, Judy and Jim Nicklos

Brandon Wilburn and Briana Conner

Kenn McLaughlin, George C. Lancaster

Dana Wolf Pauly, Erika Mandel, Stacy Soefer Gomar, Julie Atlas Taylor, Nicole Sofer Loewenstern

Dance party to end the night

Decor in tent at night

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