A Night of Stars

Theater-loving Dallasites smash fundraising goal at jazzy musical gala

Theater-loving Dallasites smash fundraising goal at jazzy musical gala

Julita McRorie, Chris McRorie
Julita McRorie, Chris McRorie Photo by Keenan Cobb
Paul von Wupperfeld, Andy Smith
Paul von Wupperfeld, Andy Smith Photo by Stevan Koye
Brian Stokes Mitchell
Brian Stokes Mitchell Photo by Stevan Koye
Katharine McPhee
Katharine McPhee and pianist Doug Petty Photo by Stevan Koye
Justin Garrett, Jennifer Garrett
Justin Garrett, Jennifer Garrett Photo by Stevan Koye
Ken Novice, Kuoy Novice
Ken Novice, Kuoy Kolar-Novice Photo by Keenan Cobb
Evan Pounce, Natalie Pounce
Evan Pounce, Natalie Pounce Photo by Stevan Koye
Honey Prestidge, Kara Vanduzee
Honey Prestidge, Kara Vanduzee Photo by Keenan Cobb
Avin Black, Suzanne Palmland
Avin Black, Suzanne Palmland Photo by Stevan Koye
Barbara McDaniel, Jennifer Swift
Barbara McDaniel, Jennifer Swift Photo by Stevan Koye
Brian Stokes Mitchell
Brian Stokes Mitchell Photo by Stevan Koye
Katharine McPhee
Katharine McPhee and her dog, Larry. Photo by Stevan Koye
Scott Collier, Cindy Collier
Scott Collier, Cindy Collier Photo by Keenan Cobb
Jack Williamson, Roberta Williamson, Jamie Jordan, Don Jordan
Jack Williamson, Roberta Williamson, Jamie Jordan, Don Jordan Photo by Keenan Cobb
Julita McRorie, Chris McRorie
Paul von Wupperfeld, Andy Smith
Brian Stokes Mitchell
Katharine McPhee
Justin Garrett, Jennifer Garrett
Ken Novice, Kuoy Novice
Evan Pounce, Natalie Pounce
Honey Prestidge, Kara Vanduzee
Avin Black, Suzanne Palmland
Barbara McDaniel, Jennifer Swift
Brian Stokes Mitchell
Katharine McPhee
Scott Collier, Cindy Collier
Jack Williamson, Roberta Williamson, Jamie Jordan, Don Jordan

The star power of Dallas Summer Musicals' last-minute concert replacements paid off, as the nonprofit Broadway presenter broke a previous fundraising record at its 2017 gala, themed "An Evening with the Best of Broadway."

Two-time Tony Award winner Brian Stokes Mitchell and singer/actress Katharine McPhee gave the crowd twice the music during a set of performances at the Music Hall at Fair Park, capping off an evening filled with food, music, and entertainment.

Philanthropists and corporate leaders gathered to celebrate DSM's new era, which includes freshly appointed president Kenneth Novice and upcoming seasons that are studded with such hits as Hamilton, Waitress, The Color Purple, School of RockLes Miserables, and Disney's Aladdin. Gala chairs Andy Smith and Paul von Wupperfeld welcomed supporters with a red-carpet entrance, encouraging them to sip on champagne or cocktails, nibble gourmet passed hors d’oeuvres, listen to the string quartet (and later jazz trio), and sit for a fun portrait by one of the caricaturists stationed around the Music Hall lobby.

The black tie-clad attendees — which included Kouy Kolar-Novice, Evan and Natalie PounceHoney Prestidge, Kara VanduzeeAvin Black, Suzanne PalmlandJulita and Chris McRorie, Jack and Roberta Williamson, Jamie and Don JordanBarbara McDaniel, and Jennifer Swift — also had table after table of silent auction items to browse.

Patrons enjoyed a break from the traditional seated dinner, traveling between stations to experience multiple entree vignettes prepared by Culinaire International instead. Once guests moved into the theater, honorary chairs Angela and Brad Cheves and Nancy and Ron Natinsky were recognized, with Brad Cheves sharing a special message of support from Ruth Altshuler​, who could not be in attendance. A special video depicting the widespread effect of DSM's community efforts was played.

American Idol finalist McPhee, who currently appears on the CBS drama Scorpion, sang a set of musical theater classics accompanied by Doug Petty that included her signature tune "Over the Rainbow" from The Wizard of Oz. Her chihuahua, Larry, even made an appearance for one number, and McPhee broadcast another song live on her Instagram feed.

Mitchell, accompanied by renowned pianist Mark Humell, captivated guests with personal Broadway remembrances and tunes from his Tony-winning roles. He also talked about the importance of programs like those of DSM, which elevate the arts while educating and giving back to the community. He ended the night with a heartfelt rendition of "What a Wonderful World," which culminated with a standing ovation from the crowd.

All told, generous Dallasites contributed $500,000 to help fund DSM's education and community programs, including the DSM High School Musical Theatre Awards, Seats for Vets, Seats for Kids, Kid’s Club, Hear Us Now!, and the DSM Community Performance.