Zachary Scott’s Topfer Theatre Opening Gala Showcases Austin’s Newest Gem
By Rob Giardinelli
Photography By Tony Spielberg
Austin’s hip and fab theatre scene has arrived – and it more than lived up to all of the hype with the opening gala of Mort and Bobbi The Topfer Theatre at ZACH showcased to Austin, and the world, that the city’s theatre scene is officially a force with which to be reckoned. Over the course to two glorious evenings, guests descended upon this state-of-the-art gem to experience it for the first time.
The weekend of galas, chaired by Bobbi, Kelly and Wendy Topfer on the first evening and Bobbi Topfer, Christine Messina and Deanna Serra the second evening, featured a series of performances, previews and top Broadway talent. The first night’s theme, Once Upon a Dream, was a black-tie bonanza showcasing the new theatre in its brightest light. The evening began with a pre-dinner cocktail reception inside the theatre, and was followed by a scrumptious dinner inside of the stunning tent that was erected in front of the theatre. Upon the conclusion of dinner, guests were treated to a exclusive concert performed by the Broadway’s Tony-Award winning First Lady, Bernadette Peters, who belted out her shows’ greatest hits including those from the Rogers and Hammerstein songbook. The evening culminated with Peters leading an audience-wide toast to the generous philanthropists who made this evening.
The second evening, less formal, featured a progressive party offering a sampling of tasty morsels from Austin’s top food vendors, local musicians performing tunes on the transformed Kleberg Stage and guests dancing to the tunes of DJ Manny under the tent on the “People’s Plaza.” The evening’s highlight was an appearance by Ragtime star and Tony-Award winner, Brian Stokes Mitchell, who joined the ZACH performers in a special sneak peak of one of this season’s productions, Ragtime, capping off a sublime weekend and offering a tasty nugget of what is to come in what will undoubtedly be ZACH’s best season ever.