YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


Role Reversal

September 30, 1997|KATHRYN BOLD

The event: StageStruck, the 19th annual South Coast Repertory Gala Ball that cast party-goers in the role of stars. The gala, which kicked off both SCR's theatrical season and the social season of Orange County, took place Saturday at the Westin South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa.

Curtain rises: All 430 party-goers were greeted by a bleacher filled with screaming "fans" as they made their way down a red carpet toward a champagne reception at Town Center Park.

Actors dressed in costumes from SCR productions mingled with the crowd before a stage manager made the call for "places"--guests' cue to depart for dinner. As they proceeded into the ballroom, party-goers enjoyed a backstage scene in which SCR actors played petulant stars bickering in their dressing rooms before curtain time. Guests became part of the act as wardrobe people wandered among them, assuring them they looked fabulous before the big "show."

They did. Women wore dramatic gowns, and men looked dashing in tuxedos.

Show time: Inside the ballroom, tables were decorated with props intended for guests' use. "I've been digging through SCR's prop department and going to Pic 'N' Save looking for cool things for us to play with," said Olivia Johnson, event chairwoman.

One man donned a white wed-

ding veil; other party-goers tried on feather boas, crowns and tiaras.

They enjoyed a four-course feast as SCR actors "auditioned" for their show by regaling each table with musical numbers and Shakespearean speeches. Dessert was presented by dancing chefs, who turned serving trays into musical instruments. "SCR looks on this gala as another play," said Dee Higby, SCR board president.

Players: David Emmes and Martin Benson, SCR's artistic directors; John David Keller, director of the evening's performance; John and Elizabeth Stahr; John and Teri Kennady; Catherine McLarand; Andrew Johnson; DeLane and Catherine Thyen; George and Judie Argyros; Mark and Barbara Johnson; Tom and Joyce Tucker; Dennis Morin; Katie Wheeler; Larry Higby; Frank and Marilyn Lynch; Ernesto and Socorro Vasquez; John and Susan Kensey; Craig and Susan Combs; Don and Dorothy Kennedy; Billur Wallerich; Fernando and Olga Niebla; Mike Boone; Michael Agulnek; Roger and Gail Kirwan; Ron and Sandi Simon; and Martin and Elaine Weinberg.

Bottom line: The $500-per-person gala, staged by the theater's board of trustees, netted more than $175,000 for SCR's Annual Fund.

What's ahead: South Coast Repertory will present "Freedomland," by Amy Freed, at its Mainstage from Oct. 10-Nov. 16. Information: (714) 957-2602.

Los Angeles Times Articles