Take a Bow
Spectacular gala whisks theater patrons off to France for fanciful night of music
WaterTower Theatre lifted a red — and purple — curtain on its 2023 gala recently with a French-themed evening of song, dance, dinner, drinks, dancing, and even a drag queen.
Called Le Fete Rouge et Violette, or the Red and Purple Ball, the celebration raised funds for the nonprofit theater's general operations as well as its education fund — WaterTower partnered with Garland ISD to create a magnet program for music theater students there.
“The pandemic taught us a lot about who we are at our core and what part we can play in ensuring that the next generation of theater professionals have access to the tools they need, especially here in our local community,” says WaterTower's associate producer Elizabeth Kensek.
Students from Rowlett High School joined professional performers Morgan Mabry and Max J. Swarner on the runway-like stage for several numbers from Moulin Rouge! The Musical, while WaterTower favorite John-Michael Marrs emceed the evening.
A spirited live auction drew generous bids for getaways to Napa and Chicago.
But prior to the big show, supporters of the Addison theater browsed silent auction items while enjoying cocktails from sponsor Angel's Envy. The Josh Parker Trio played while a gourmet meal from chef Blythe Beck was served.
“The gala is an opportunity to celebrate the return to arts and live theater in our community,” says Shane Peterman, producing artistic director of WaterTower. “The pandemic really took a toll on the arts industry, but now we’re seeing full houses and sold-out shows. It’s really something special. We’re ready to celebrate that with the whole community.”
Peterman also took time to honor longtime WaterTower Theatre friend, contributor, and employee Delynda Moravec by naming the lobby after her.
Heels came off and hair was let down during the after-party, which was hosted by beloved drag performer Ginger Layne. Several guests and WaterTower staff members strutted their stuff on the runway with beats from DJ Chris Brown in the background.
WaterTower Theatre's upcoming production of The Manic Monologues, directed by Ashley Puckett Gonzales, runs April 19-30 on the Terry Martin Mainstage. View the entire 2023 season here.