We Were Soldiers

Suited up in military inspired styles, amid the ruins of a sunswept urban wasteland, Alley Theatre actors Michael Brusasco and Jay Sullivan report for duty.

Julie Soefer
5794_160801_alley
5794_160801_alley

THIS FALL TWO of the city’s most admired leading men — Michael Brusasco, 39, and Jay Sullivan, 35, both New Yorkers still fairly new to the company — will costar in the Alley Theatre’s highly anticipated and sure-to-be frenetic production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a funny-sexy love letter to its playwright, William Shakespeare himself, on the 400th anniversary of his death.


Rumor has it the Bard’s greatest comedy, running Oct. 7-Nov. 5, is to be retold with revealing costumes and an edgy, steampunk vibe. But the heart of the story is, well, the heart of the story. “When you’re in love, you’re f***ing crazy,” says Brusasco, who plays the romance-challenged Demetirius in the production. “I think that’s one of the beautiful things about Midsummer. You get to watch people fall in love and go a little crazy.”

Jay wears Michael Kors Melton fur-trimmed anorak peacoat, $995; cashmere pullover, $395; and flannel hiking pant, $295, all at the Michael Kors boutique. Ceramic military type watch, $4,500, by Bell & Ross at Zadok Jewelers.Jay wears Michael Kors Melton fur-trimmed anorak peacoat, $995; cashmere pullover, $395; and flannel hiking pant, $295, all at the Michael Kors boutique. Ceramic military type watch, $4,500, by Bell & Ross at Zadok Jewelers.

This fashion shoot — made in and around a vast, artfully decaying former rice mill and automotive graveyard in the Greater Fifth Ward — also channels a steampunk sensibility. And, like Shakespeare’s play, is largely set outdoors. The actors slip in and out of military-inspired looks by Ferragamo, Brunello Cuccinelli, Bottega Veneta and others to deliver winning shots, with few complaints about the late-summer heat. “You know Houston,” laughs Brusasco. “It’s like being in a nice bowl of soup, a nice bowl of pho. New York is hot, but it’s not hot like this.” It’s the first time Sullivan — Midsummer’s mischievous elf Puck — has ever tried his hand at fashion modeling. But he thinks he might already be a pro. “Changing clothes is the easiest part of my job,” he laughs. “I’ve got that down to a science.”

5403_160801_alleyrInsulated ski jacket, $4,995, and insulated ski pants $3,995, at the Ralph Lauren boutique. Vintage handmade Mexican souvenir biker ring, $575, at Manready Mercantile.

5680_160801_alleyCoat, $4,730, sweater vest, $1,260, and pants, $1,400, at the Prada boutique. Balmain boots, $1,300, at The Webster.

Shirt, $370, and trousers, $1,100, at the Salvatore Ferragamo boutique. Woven belt, $185, by Andersonn at M Penner.Shirt, $370, and trousers, $1,100, at the Salvatore Ferragamo boutique. Woven belt, $185, by Andersonn at M Penner.

6229_160801r_alleyDark Sergeant Smoky Loden wool coat, $3,300; matching pants, $950; lace-up boot, $820; and Croc Club Fume duffle, $13,700, all at the Bottega Veneta boutique. Ceramic military 42MM watch, $5,900, by Bell & Ross at Zadok Jewelers.

6241_160801_alleyLuciano Barbera gray wool shirt, $795; Ermenegildo Zegna navy lamb plonge aviator leather jacket, $3,395; and Eledenty brown pants, $295, all at M Penner. Panerai Luminor Submersible timepiece, $11,000, at Zadok Jewelers.

Art+Culture
Kids’ Meals’ Beth Braniff Harp Leans into Bold Goals for 2022: ‘Imagine the Difference We Can Make’

Beth Braniff Harp, CEO, Kids’ Meals, Inc.

WHAT IS THE secret to running a successful business in times such as these? The secret is flexibility and a positive attitude, and as a leader modeling both of those attributes. A business has to accept the challenge at hand, and enlist the support and guidance of their leadership and staff, while creating a strategic plan to pivot to meet immediate needs. For Kids’ Meals, during the pandemic, the need for our services for food-secure children and their families tripled almost overnight. The challenge before us looked like climbing Mount Everest! We made a decision as an organization not to turn anyone away who applied for services. This meant adapting our model to be “Covid safe,” mobilizing more volunteers to assist when there was not enough staff, strengthening relationships with our social service partners, and literally changing all aspects of food delivery for food-insecure families.

Keep ReadingShow less

Carl Hahn, Leisa Holland Nelson Bowman and, Bob Bowman

TWO CAUSES OF utmost importance to Houston were celebrated at a single event: At its annual gala, Virtuosi of Houston, an orchestra comprised of young musicians, honored the city’s healthcare heroes.
Keep ReadingShow less
Art + Entertainment

Lisa Malosky, Kaye Lani Rae Rafko-Wilson and Aida Matic

THE 21ST BUTTERFLY Luncheon, benefiting Houston Hospice and its pediatric Butterfly Program, featured a moving testimony by Kaye Lani Rae Rafko-Wilson, a former Miss America and a hospice nurse.

Keep ReadingShow less
People + Places