Wow, what a week this past one was! Several of my favorite events took place, beginning with the Baton Rouge Symphony League’s Mad Hatters luncheon and wrapping up with Baton Rouge Ballet’s “Dancing in the Street.”
Chairwoman Jenny Gray and her committee transformed the Crowne Plaza into an elegant English garden for this year’s Mad Hatters March 18, one of the best in quite a while. The festivities began with libations and a tempting silent auction as guests mingled and made their way over to where the hat judging was taking place. Joy Smith took home the prize for Best Ensemble for her head-to-toe look. Gracella Simmons swiped the floral arrangement from her bedroom to create the day’s Most Beautiful hat. “Social butterflies” Brenda Watson and Kim Singletery won Most Whimsical; Singletery also won the ladies Ebel watch from Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry.
This year’s group prize went to the “Spring Fling” ladies from Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry, who went so far as to bring along concertmaster Borislava Iltcheva to play “Spring” from Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” for me and my fellow judges — conductor Timothy Muffitt; Dee Keller, Dee Keller Designs; Michele Percy, nk Boutique and Eve’s Apple; Linda Ohmstede, past winner; Kelly Hurtado, InRegister; Janelle O’Halloran, City Social; and Dr. Hypolite Landry, The Mad Hatter.
Local Big Band crooner Ned Fasullo deftly handled emcee duties, entertaining us with songs between the style show segments presented by nk Boutique. He and Dee Keller teamed up to raise an additional $3,000 in an auction of custom designs she donated to the Symphony League.
Committee members include co-chairwoman Stacy Rotolo, Cheryl Callerame, Susan Love, Louann Bombet, President Alexis Thompson, Ann Michele Logan, Tanie Bush, Sheri McKay and Hurtado.
Check out more hat looks as —well as photos from the rest of the week’s party hopping online at http://theadvocate.com/columnists/pambordelon/.
It was a busy couple of weeks for the Symphony League. A few days prior to Mad Hatters, members elected new officers at its spring luncheon meeting March 12 hosted by Donna McNeill. They include President Louann Bombet, President-elect Cheryl Callerame, First Vice President Jenny Gray, Second Vice President Susan Love, Secretary Jan Wells, Treasurer Shelley Whittington and Les Jeunes Amies program adviser Penny Cotter.
On March 21, the league hosted the closing night gala at Stroube’s Restaurant prior to the Symphony’s final Masterworks concert of the season. Special guests at the dinner were this season’s Music Teachers of the Year — Mary Johnson and Nicole Mlynczak. The Teacher of the Year program is sponsored by the Miley Foundation.
Closing night gala was one of three stops on this Thursday night. Fortunately, two of them were at the Shaw Center. The LSU Museum of Art was hosting a Share the Space Soirée to showcase what it has to offer those wishing to host an event. To show everything off to its best potential, museum staff invited caterers, musicians, photographers and other vendors to come be a part of the showcase. Talk about one-stop shopping!
From downtown, I headed out Nicholson to L’Auberge Casino Hotel for Alzheimer’s Services’ 30th Anniversary Gala. Members of its Rosemary Society gathered for a pre-event cocktail reception where they got to rub shoulders with the inimitable James Carville and wife Mary Matalin. James’ sister, Pat Hoffman, chaired the gala and gave a moving testimony during the evening’s program. Executive Director Barbara Auten talked about the future of Alzheimer’s Services.
Master of ceremonies for the gala was Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne. Assisting Hoffman with the event were committee members Anne Carville, Charlene Favre, Donna Garon, Missy Hopkins and Jeanne James.
The day started on a musical note at the Music Club of Baton Rouge’s annual scholarship luncheon at Boudreaux’s. This is always a treat because Terry Patrick Harris’ LSU musical theater class entertains luncheon goers, and I do mean they entertain. The students performed songs from “Smokey Joe’s Café,” “Annie Get Your Gun,” “Guys & Dolls,” “Oklahoma,” “Mama Mia,” “All Shook Up” and “Les Miserables.”
Performing were Lydia Abadie, Rachel Abbate, Alix Achee, Maile Binion, Lance Bordelon, Michael Braud, Rebecca Carleton, Glenn Corman, Adam Gilbert, Therese Guidry, Alexandra Gulino, Carolyn Higdon, Joshua Johnson, Cadie Jordan, Maggie Joyner, Jessica Kennedy and Chelsea Landry.
Also, Brady Lewis, Jacqueline McCarthy, Chelsea Miller, Kyle Moffett, John Michael Moore, Andrea Morgenlander, Prentiss Mouton, Benjamin Papac, Jane Ashley Raborn, Alaina Richard, Kaitlin Richard, Ben Ross, Lindsey Roy, Amelia Sharp, Christian Simon, Cory Vincent, Nathan Walker and Gentry Williams.
A well-heeled crowd gathered at the home of Anne and Dr. Chris McCanless March 22 for the annual cocktail party honoring the city’s best dressed. The party is traditionally hosted by the previous year’s honorees, of which the host was one. Fellow hosts included Cheri Ausberry, Joe Alleva, Scott Berg, Mary Beth Chevalier, Brad Dutruch, Stephanie Foust, Hunter Greene, Tim Houk, Debbie Kleinpeter, Melissa Bongiovanni Landers, Sherry Melara, Alison Musgrove, Guy Oliver, Brandon Rogillio Julie Guelfo Sherrill, Kristen Morgan Spring, Leo Verde and Gretchen Young.
This year’s guests of honor included Marsha Baker, Jonathan Bruser, Nikki Caldwell, Kitty Calabrese, Patrick Campbell, Amy David, Roy Davis, Daryl Ellis, Casey Gill Gautreau, Jack Harris, Lauren Barksdale Hill, Dr. Khanh Ho, Jack Hunt, Susan Love, Elizabeth McCollister, Justin McDonald, Lew Parks, Henry Watson, Dr. Rani Whitfield and Dr. Ann Zedlitz. They will be fêted at the Best Dressed Ball April 13 benefiting the American Cancer Society. The evening is sponsored by the Ladies of Victory and Price LeBlanc Lexus.
The Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre took over the main street of Perkins Rowe March 23 for its annual “Dancing in the Street” fundraiser. Phat Hat had everyone on their feet and dancing the night away. BRBT dancers kicked things up a notch with a flash mob to, what else, but Martha & the Vandellas “Dancing in the Street” about an hour into the evening.
Artistic directors Molly Buchmann and Sharon Mathews also took the opportunity to announce the recipient of the Volunteer of the Year award, which went to Ann Farris. Leo Honeycutt served as emcee for the night.
Food and beverages were donated by Bin 77 Bistro & Wine Bar, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, California Pizza Kitchen, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. United, Frankie Marcello’s Restaurant, Heineken USA, Kleinpeter Farms Dairy, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Paul Bologna Fine Wines, Raising Cane’s, Roy’s Ice, Teas de Brazil, Kolache Kitchen and VooDoo BBQ & Grill.
Serving on the event committee were Meredith Broussard, Brad Blanchard, Cindy Thompson, Lisa Broussard, Casey Faucon and Annie Holben.
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