Event Date: January 28, 2023
Location: The Post Oak at Uptown
Beneficiary: Houston Symphony
No. of Attendees: 400+
Money Raised: $1,100,000
Chairpersons: Brigitte Kalai, Farida Abjani, Cheryl Boblitt and Honorable Bill King
Honorees: Mary Lynn Marks, Revati Puranik and Hallie Vanderhider
Presenting Sponsors: The Amerapex Corporation and Bashar & Brigitte Kalai
Event Décor: The Events Company
Photography: Johnny Than
Houston Symphony Ball Lovers Walked the Red Carpet and Found Their Stars at “The Golden Age of Hollywood”
Socialites bedecked in well-fitting tuxes, sparkling jewels, and sequined gowns arrived at The Post Oak Hotel in their luxury coaches and chauffeured limousines to walk the red carpet for the 2023 Houston Symphony Ball. The Grand Ballroom became Grauman’s Chinese Theatre as table sponsors navigated the star-studded Walk of Fame to find their names within the stellar sidewalk-an idea created by chair Brigitte Kalai.
Chairpersons Brigitte Kalai, Farida Abjani, Cheryl Boblitt, and Honorable Bill King, Honorees Mary Lynn Marks, Revati Puranik and Hallie Vanderhider and Presenting Sponsors The Amerapex Corporation and Bashar & Brigitte Kalai welcomed more than 400 guests to “The Golden Age of Hollywood.”
“Audrey Hepburn,” “Marilyn Monroe,” and “Paparazzi”-snapping characters greeted attendees while they sipped on robust wine pairings from Lindy & John Rydman and Lisa Rydman Lindsey of Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods. Guests entered the ballroom, which was transformed from Richard Flowers’ vision of “Old Hollywood” and brought to life by The Events Company.
Highlights from The Post Oak Hotel’s Executive Chef Jean-Luc Royere’s cuisine were Herb-Roasted Tenderloin and Gulf Shrimp accented with Black Truffle Potato Purée and a show-stopping White Chocolate Cheesecake garnished with Macerated Berries and a shimmering sparkler-an idea created by chair Farida Abjani. John Rydman continued his wine pairings during dinner and chose champagne from Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson!
Thanks to Houston entertainment agent Susie Criner, Las Vegas show band Justin and the SwingBeats flew in and performed music encompassing jazz, ’30-’40s hits, swing, and current popular music. A behind-the-scenes tidbit is that backup singers for this band were previously performing with Celine Dion and Michael Buble! They kept things lively until the wee hours!
The always-popular Silent Auction included trips to Fiji and Tuscany, several extraordinary dining experiences and, with the help of art collector Jackie Mazow, several extraordinary pieces of art! Speaking of art—local artist Patti Lennon created a live painting, which was included among the auction items. At the conclusion, an astounding $1.1 million was donated to continue the great works of our Houston Symphony! Bravo!
Socially present (not previously mentioned): Margaret Alkek Williams, Houston Symphony CEO John Mangum and Regina Mangum, Steve Marks, Phoebe and Bobby Tudor, Presenting Sponsor Bashar Kalai, Alex Kalai, Remy Kalai, Anne and Albert Chao, Barbara Burger, Bobbie Nau, Jesse and Betty Tutor, Janet Clark, Lilly and Thurmon Andress, Vicki West, Ralph Burch, Cynthia and Bucky Allshouse, Ann and John Bookout, Gretchen and Jay Watkins, Eric Lindsey, Ann and Jonathan Ayre, Tracy and Valerie Dieterich, CC and Duke Ensell, Elizabeth and Alan Stein, Rini and Edward Ziegler, Yoon Smith, Matt Brams and Alice Mao Brams, Jerre Williams, Heidi Rockecharlie, Denman and Marijo Moody, Bill Stubbs and Kurt Grether, Leslie Siller, Cynthia Wolff, Miya Shay, Roslyn Bazelle Mitchell, Ian Mayton, Korrine and James Whipkey, Tammie and Andy Johnson, Jacquie Baly Craig and James Craig, Laurie and Tracy Krohn, Drs. Vivek and Ishwaria Subbiah, Hans and Nancy Strohmer, Nini and Annie Nguyen Tan, Mike Taylor and Jo Ann Petersen, Sverre and Carrie Brandsberg-Dahl, Heather and Chris Powers and Raquel and Glenn Lewis