The was transformed Saturday night for the La Jolla Playhouse Honors gala honoring alumni artists and friends of the playhouse.
The gala evening started with cocktails and conversation at the playhouse’s Sheila and Hughes Potiker Lobby and the S. Mark Taper Foundation Plaza. Amid a plenitude of heaters, guests mingled, talked theater and enjoyed bite-sized appetizers by Wolfgang Puck Catering. Puck catered the dinner too.
The big buzz was about the honorees of the evening. Among the list was UC San Diego’s Arthur Wagner, Ph.D., professor emeritus and founding chair of UCSD’s Department of Theatre and Dance; and past board chairs of the playhouse, including Ralph T. Bryan, Ted Cranston, Robert C. Doban, Ph.D., Ewart W. Goodwin Jr., Joel O. Holliday, Charmaine Kaplan, Quinn Martin, Mason Phelps, Geri Ann Warnke, Gary L. Wollberg, Steven M. Strauss and William P. VanderLaan, M.D.
Artist honorees this year included Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Doug Wright, author of I Am My Own Wife, which originated at the playhouse as the first Page To Stage production; BD Wong, Tony Award-winning actor (M. Butterfly) and star of the playhouse’s acclaimed 2009 production of Herringbone; and Robert Brill (The Wiz), acclaimed set designer and UCSD M.F.A. graduate.
Among the guests there to applaud these individuals were Martha and Ed Dennis, Ellen Sarver and David Dolgen (he’s the outgoing president of the board), David Copley and Gala Underwriting Chairs Lise Wilson and Gail Bryan. Lise’s and Gail’s respective husbands Steve Strauss and Ralph Bryan are among the past board chair honorees.
Also there were Linnea and Frank Arrington, Marsha and Bill Chandler, Melissa and Michael Bartell, Jeanie and Jeff Carlstead, Hanna Hensersky and Jon Motley, Judith Harris and Dr. Robert Singer, Bobbie and Roy Josepho, and Gail and George Knox.
The dress code was semi-formal and it was followed to a fashionable “T.”
Female fashion highlights included Valerie Cooper in an edgy metal-shoulder-detailed Alexander McQueen, Miriam Smotrich in a Yigal Azrouel dress detailed with leather, Sheryl White in a beaded and white dress from Naeem Khan, Deni Jacobs in a spectacular dress by Baracci-Beverly Hills, and event chair Debby Jacobs in a very colorful and beautifully draped Naeem Khan.
Guests continued the evening in the Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre, which was set as a supper club. With dinner came the tributes to the honorees, and a superb performance and emceeing job by Jesse Tyler Ferguson of the hit show Modern Family.
Dancing at the After Hours Speakeasy finished off the night.
This fundraising evening supported the La Jolla Playhouse’s development and educational outreach programs.