Night at the Museum

Dallasites party like rock stars to raise $1 million at Perot Museum gala

Dallasites party like rock stars to raise $1M at Perot Museum gala

Thomas Surgent, Yatzil Ruvio
Thomas Surgent, Yatzil Ruvio Photo by WJNPHOTO
Abbie McEnturff, Lacey Rotan
Abbie McEnturff, Lacey Rotan Photo by WJNPHOTO
Sabrina Smid, Tiyunna Johnson, Catherine Devlin
Sabrina Smid, Tiyunna Johnson, Catherine Devlin Photo by WJNPHOTO
Erin Devlin, Taylor Drawbridge
Erin Devlin, Taylor Drawbridge Photo by WJNPHOTO
Georgia Bridgwater Orchestra, Perot Gala 2018
Georgia Bridgwater Band kept the dance floor rocking. Photo by WJNPHOTO
Stephanie Mayen, Elliot Mayen
Stephanie Mayen, Elliot Mayen Photo by WJNPHOTO
Perot Gala 2018
An acrobatic performer greeted patrons at the entrance.
Jared Wilkinson, Abby Aldrich
Abby Aldrich, Jared Wilkinson Photo by WJNPHOTO
Craig Patrick, Caitlin Hurley
Craig Patrick, Caitlin Hurley Photo by WJNPHOTO
Jessie Montgomery, Shari Krueger, Eric Krueger
Jessie Montgomery, Shari Krueger, Eric Krueger Photo by WJNPHOTO
Robert Farquharson, Nicole Farquharson
Robert Farquharson, Nicole Farquharson Photo by WJNPHOTO
Brittany Stewart, Nathan Stewart
Brittany Stewart, Nathan Stewart Photo by WJNPHOTO
Avery Bonora, Anna Gruber, Catherine Roblin
Avery Bonora, Anna Gruber, Catherine Roblin Photo by WJNPHOTO
Amir Ansari, Najdi Ansari
Amir Ansari, Najdi Ansari Photo by WJNPHOTO
Lee Hark, Marianne Hark
Lee Hark, Marianne Hark Photo by WJNPHOTO
Perot Gala 2018
Rock 'n' roll lookalikes were spotted on the red carpet. Photo by WJNPHOTO
Perot Gala 2018
Guests took photos with some permanent residents of the museum. Photo by WJNPHOTO
Perot Gala 2018
The museum was decked out on every floor. Photo by WJNPHOTO
Perot Gala 2018
Guests dined on cuisine from "learning labs." Photo by WJNPHOTO
Perot Gala 2018
Even the food stations followed the theme. Photo by WJNPHOTO
Perot Gala 2018
Guests took photos with rock star impersonators. Photo by WJNPHOTO
Royce Ramey, Amy Williams-Ramey
Royce Ramey, Amy Williams-Ramey Photo by WJNPHOTO
Kyle Larsen, Kaylee Larsen
Kyle Larsen, Kaylee Larsen Photo by WJNPHOTO
Jarrett Woods, Crystal Woods
Jarrett Woods, Crystal Woods Photo by WJNPHOTO
Thomas Surgent, Yatzil Ruvio
Abbie McEnturff, Lacey Rotan
Sabrina Smid, Tiyunna Johnson, Catherine Devlin
Erin Devlin, Taylor Drawbridge
Georgia Bridgwater Orchestra, Perot Gala 2018
Stephanie Mayen, Elliot Mayen
Perot Gala 2018
Jared Wilkinson, Abby Aldrich
Craig Patrick, Caitlin Hurley
Jessie Montgomery, Shari Krueger, Eric Krueger
Robert Farquharson, Nicole Farquharson
Brittany Stewart, Nathan Stewart
Avery Bonora, Anna Gruber, Catherine Roblin
Amir Ansari, Najdi Ansari
Lee Hark, Marianne Hark
Perot Gala 2018
Perot Gala 2018
Perot Gala 2018
Perot Gala 2018
Perot Gala 2018
Perot Gala 2018
Royce Ramey, Amy Williams-Ramey
Kyle Larsen, Kaylee Larsen
Jarrett Woods, Crystal Woods

If Billboard rated Dallas galas like they do songs, the Perot Museum's "Night at the Museum: Rock the Perot" bash would top the charts. More than 1,000 guests filled every floor of the nature and science museum for its annual gala on November 10. And the rock-star party proved to be a million-dollar fundraiser.

Before patrons even walked through the doors, they were greeted with spectacles that would set the stage for the rest of the night. Beneath swirling light projections on the building, a woman performed "Cirque du Soleil"-style acrobatics atop a giant rotating disco ball on the plaza. An electric guitar player serenaded folks as they approached.

Early VIPS — including event chairs Heather and Chris Gilker and Linda and Ken Wimberly, and honorary chairs Fallon and Robie Vaughn  were whisked to a "backstage" pre-party on the lower level. First stop: photos with David Bowie and Prince impersonators against a colorful backdrop of electric guitars.

These exclusive guests noshed on their first delicious bites of the evening, including Alaska king crab canapes served from behind an icy seafood bar. Here they also could test their music mettle at an interactive Rock 'n' Roll Trivia station, or play "Guitar Hero" or "Video Vixen."

After the VIP party, it was up to guests to organize their night. Everyone was handed a tri-fold "Set List" that outlined each floor's experiences, entertainment, drinks, and food — including which items were dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, or vegetarian. (Yes, it was that detailed.) No Set List? No worries, as all of the information was illuminated next to the elevators.

Although many chose to work their way up from the bottom floor to the top, word quickly spread that Level 4 was tray-passing black truffle chicken pot pies. A trip up the elevator was rewarded with piping-hot, flaky, buttery pot pies coming out in such abundance that it was the rare party-goer who ate just one.

Other standout cuisine included charcoal beef short rib with Okinawa potatoes and aromatic top veg (Level 3); house-smoked coho salmon "everything" macaron with fine herbs smear and chive blossoms (Level 4); ahi tuna sushi bowl with sweet soy, wasabi aioli, tobiko, and sushi rice (Level 2); and braised oxtail with whipped semolina, Calabrian chilies, broccolini, and Parmesan foam (Main Lobby).

At one station, foods were presented as "landscapes," where guests could glimpse inside the skin of potatoes and grapefruit via microscope. A Brain Freeze station saw attendants freezing tiny popsicles before patrons' eyes. A station called Food as Art allowed adults to be kids again, swiping their salad fixings through creamy cheeses and colorful dressings on an artful "palette."

Wolfgang Puck catered every last bit.

This being a party at a science and nature museum — home to a stunning collection of gems and minerals — the evening's "rock" theme held double meaning. The signature premium cocktails, for instance, were a gin-based "Red Rock" and a whiskey-based "Amethyst Sour." Yet a Rock Star Wine Bar also poured wines by vineyards owned by famous musicians — Dreaming Tree by Dave Matthews, for example.

Floral arrangements tucked geodes into vases of tulips and roses, and giant crystals looked like they were holding up food stations.

When it came to entertainment, there was an embarrassment of riches. Each and every exhibition was open for patrons to enjoy without bumping into hordes of students on school field trips. But that was just the start. Women and men alike got their faces painted and adorned with sparkly tattoos. There were intuitive crystal readings; experts cracking geodes; an interactive photo booth called "Gettin' Giffy With It;" crash-test car experiments; and a funky experience called "Big Face Boxes," where people put boxes over their heads to magnify their faces to gigantic proportions.

As the night wore on and drinks kept flowing, happy revelers flocked to the "Rock Your Body" experiences on Level 2, where they tested their balance and strength with glee. (Designated drivers looked on with amusement.)

Eventually, most folks made it back to the Main Lobby, where they could swap their party shoes for comfy flat slippers and hit the dance floor. The Georgia Bridgwater Band kept things rocking until midnight. The party came to a rousing conclusion when "Prince" took the stage for an electrifying rendition of "Purple Rain," during which a party cannon popped and confetti rained down over the crowd.

On their way back to their cars, guests could grab a last yummy bite of the night — Frito pie "walking tacos" from a food truck parked in the plaza.

In all, the event raised about $1 million for the Perot Museum's many educational programs and research initiatives.

Guests and supporters spotted having a great time throughout the museum included Thomas Surgent, Yatzil RuvioAbbie McEnturff, Lacey RotanSabrina Smid, Tiyunna Johnson, Catherine DevlinErin Devlin, Taylor DrawbridgeStephanie Mayen, Elliot MayenAbby Aldrich, Jared WilkinsonCraig Patrick, Caitlin HurleyJessie Montgomery, Shari Krueger, Eric KruegerRobert Farquharson, Nicole FarquharsonBrittany Stewart, Nathan StewartAvery Bonora, Anna Gruber, Catherine RoblinAmir Ansari, Najdi AnsariLee Hark, Marianne HarkRoyce Ramey, Amy Williams-RameyKyle Larsen, Kaylee LarsenJarrett Woods, and Crystal Woods.