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

Jacob Power and Priscilla Dickson
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

Ancient French Wellness Cures Reimagined at Houston’s Escape Spa: The Power of Vichy

Serial entrepreneur and spa visionary LeBrina Jackson

NESTLED IN THE heart of France, the town of Vichy holds a rich history in the world of wellness and hydrotherapy. Acquiring fame for their alkaline springs in the 17th century, the Romans were among the first to recognize the therapeutic benefits of the springs. They established a French spa known as “Vichy,” which still exists today and continues to attract spa-goers from around the world to experience the transformative effects of hydrotherapy.

Keep ReadingShow less

Dierks Bentley performs Saturday, May 11 (photo via Instagram)

ADVERTISED AS THREE days of "bands, brisket and beers," the Big As Texas music and food festival debuts at Montgomery County Fairgrounds in less than two weeks. Set for Mother's Day Weekend, the event is co-produced by the country-music experts at Dosey Doe, and funds will benefit organizations with a mission of suicide prevention.

Keep ReadingShow less
Food

ONE OF THE many amazing things about William Shakespeare is how well his comedies and tragedies communicate when reimagined in contemporary settings. Shakespeare’s language may be highfalutin, but the Bard always had his ear to the street — and always gave audiences a healthy dose of grand guignol (i.e. blood and more blood) along with the poetry.

Keep ReadingShow less
Art + Entertainment