The star performer at this year's Dallas Symphony Orchestra gala is an Oklahoma girl, but the enraptured audience didn't hold it against her. Tony Award winner Kristin Chenoweth wowed the crowd at the Meyerson Symphony Center, singing a medley of Broadway tunes and classic standards, many of which were signature songs of her idol, Judy Garland.
But before the singing could start, gala chairs Lisa and Bob Segert and DSO president and CEO Kim Noltemy introduced this year's honorary gala chairs, Niki and Ryan Anthony. The Anthonys head up The Ryan Anthony Foundation, which raises funds and awareness in support of cancer research and treatment through Cancer Blows. Ryan Anthony is the principal trumpet for the DSO, and was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2012.
Stage and screen star Chenoweth endeared herself further by professing her love for Buc-ee's and Whataburger (sipping from the iconic orange and white cup between songs) and throwing a few barbs at The Real Housewives of Dallas.
Conductor Mary-Mitchell Campbell, who flew in from music directing Mean Girls on Broadway, accompanied Chenoweth on piano during several of the songs, including a finale that she had composed and where Chenoweth was backed up by students from Texas State University.
Following the concert, guests, dressed in their designer best — including Clay and Lisa Cooley in Mary Katrantzou, Paul and Tiffany Divis in Michael Faircloth, Kara Goss in Rosie Assoulin, Kim Hext in Calvin Klein, Ross Perot, Margot Birmingham, Jennifer Clark in Cucinelli, Amara Durham in Diane von Furstenberg Couture, Jeana and Dan Mosher, Katherine Coker in Badgley Mischka, and Tracy Lange in Michael Faircloth — headed for the after-party chaired by Courtney and Andrew Nall.
Everyone was delighted to see the return of massage specialists from the Ritz-Carlton Spa, who soothed aching feet with a quick rub-down and provided Swarovski-studded flip-flops for anyone who was ready to give their heels the boot. Now comfortably shod, many headed to the dance floor to groove to tunes from DJ Souljah.
Fearing's provided a quick pick-me-up with margarita shooters and guacamole-topped chips, while The Original Cupcakery offered a sweet ending to the night with delicate desserts and a coffee bar.
The gala is the DSO's most significant fundraiser of the year, and proceeds provide support to the orchestra's education and community programs. Those vital outreach efforts impact more than 230,000 North Texas residents annually, including 30,000 children.