ZACH Theatre’s Annual Red, Hot and Soul Event Was A New York State Of Mind

By Rob Giardinelli  Photography by Charles Quinn Photography 

THE SCENE:  Over 420 sociables, an array of dazzling production numbers and the feeling of being transported to the city that never sleeps – what more could a gala guest hope for? The Zachary Scott Theatre’s annual Red, Hot and Soul Gala with its New York, New York theme delivered an evening full of heart, passion and philanthropy as ZACH paid tribute to one of Austin’s most beloved philanthropic icons.

THE VIBE: The “New-York Chic” attire, with ladies in red and men in black tie, created the perfect complement to the New York state of mind of its revelers, felt from the moment posing on the red carpet, complete with Statue of Liberty backdrop as well as the Big Apple art installation. The seven-foot-tall apple perched outside the Bobbi and Mort Topfer Theatre served as the focal point for candid shots of guests on their way into the lobby for cocktails. Guests mingled with the crowd while posing for photos with various actors dressed as Lady Liberty, skyscrapers and other landmarks synonymous with New York.

The action then turned to the Bobbi Pavilion for the gala’s “Dinner and a Show” theme, complete with a stage featuring electronic billboards transporting guests to the iconic Times Square. An exquisite dinner catered by The Four Seasons was served during several musical and performance numbers, including ZACH’s Pre-Professional Company ensemble, as well as a live auction that featured a trip to Bali complete with a John Hardy Artisan Jewelry experience and a live-recorded voicemail by Holland Taylor, who recently wrapped a tour-de-force performance in ANN, as the former Governor of Texas, Ann Richards.

The festivities then moved to the Topfer Theatre where the “show” went on, featuring numbers from many of the performances coming up in the 2016-2017 theater season. Included in the performances was a special tribute to Mort Topfer, who was honored for his generosity and passion for the ZACH Theatre and the lasting impact of his leadership that has provided a world-class theatre that Austinites will enjoy for generations to come. After the performances and tribute, the party went on well into the night to the as everyone moved back into the Topfer Theatre lobby to cut a rug at the Studio 54 after-party.

THE CAUSE: The event, chaired by Bobbi Topfer and co-chaired by Will Coombes, Eric Copper, Richard Hartgrove and Gary Cooper, Dan Jackson and Jeremy Guiberteau, David Kurio, Lance Avery Morgan and Rob Giardinelli & Armando Zambrano and Bryan Gardner, raised over $630,000 for ZACH Theatre, which provides a year-round season of 600 performances reaching over 55,000 children and 128,000 Central Texans annually.

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