In the week leading up to Christmas, I found myself popping in at three different parties being held at local art galleries and, for a finale, dancing my way across the stage of the Manship Theatre.
I dubbed the evening of Dec. 19 "Gallery Night." Stop No. 1 was the Moreau-Reyes Gallery, where Gloria and Steve Carter were hosting an intimate get-together of friends. Welcoming guests along with the hostess were gallery owners André Moreau and Ramon Reyes, both of whom were delighting in the opportunity to show off their artwork. I haven't seen Gloria in a while, so it was nice to catch up with her. It was also fun to exchange quick Christmas wishes with Matt Edwards, Nikki Jordan and Sharon Pennington, daughter Paige and mom "Honey."
It was a short drive down Jefferson Highway to Ann Connelly Fine Art for Stop No. 2 — a lovely party fêteing Washington Mardi Gras Queen Anna Reilly and this year's Baton Rouge princesses. They were greeted by gallery owner Ann Connelly and her fellow hostesses — Janet Boles, Ann Guercio, Donna Keller, Kathryn Kissem, Carole Lamar, Sherri McKay, Adrienne Moore, Aunt Winifred Reilly and Mary Rotenberg.
Anna is the daughter of Jennifer and Sean Reilly, and she'll reign over the festivities in the nation's capital with King Todd Graves, who was also at the party with wife Gwen and daughter Sophia. The princesses who'll be in the spotlight include Katherine and Louise Andreeff, daughters of Elizabeth Querbes and Dane Andreeff; Alexandra Brady, daughter of Janie and Todd Brady; Taylor Carmouche, daughter of Trisha and John Carmouche; Hayden Cresson, daughter of Melissa and David Cresson Jr.; Madelyn Graves, daughter of Dr. Kurt and Alysia Graves; Katherine Hudson, daughter of Danelle and Thomas Hudson; Adair McCanless, daughter of Dr. Chris and Anne McCanless; Isabella Nickel, daughter of Susan and Jim Nickel; Sarah Saurage, daughter of Catherine and Matt Saurage; and Sadie Spring, daughter of Jennifer and David Spring.
Gallery No. 3 was the Baton Rouge Gallery, which was hosting a patron's party to thank its many supporters and introduce its new artist members — Leslie Friedman, Thomas Neff, Nonney Oddlokken, Alex Podesta and Kristine Thompson. Presiding over a brief formal program was Executive Director Jason Andreasen, who apologized for being a little fuzzy minded. Seems he's a bit sleep deprived since the arrival of Xavier Erik Andreasen on Dec. 1. No one minded one bit; he even got a rousing round of applause.
A lovely holiday tea for ladies of all ages was hosted by the City Club on Dec. 21. Welcoming guests were co-chairwomen Barbara Anne Eaton and BeBe Facundus along with committee member Pat Felder. Also serving on the hostess committee were Mary Kay Brown, Ellen Engermann, Missy Epperson, Cynthia Graves, Vickie Kellum, Marsha Langlois, Karen Profita, Lois Saye and Boo Thomas.
As I mentioned, the week ended with the Cangelosi Dance Project's Holiday Mix Community Leaders Performance at the Manship Theatre. I was fortunate enough to be asked to participate in the finale performance of "Rejoice" with Rebecca Boudreaux, Liz Firesheets, Jennifer Greeson, Tanji Gremillion, Cheryl Mercedes, Mitzi Miller, Aimée Russo-Mounger, Kathy Victorian, Elizabeth Vowell and professional dancers Courtney David and Hannah Willson-Hinson.
Other numbers included Chad Kenny-Possa, who teamed up with Danielle Honeycutt Porche and Rachel Waggenspack for a zippy performance of "Jingle Bells," while Leonard Augustus and LéBrian Patrick steamed things up with Michael Bublé's "Feeling Good." Rachel put on her tap shoes to join "dance mom" Kellie Schmeeckle for "Linus & Lucy." Wendy Lipsey re-enacted her near-death journey in a heart-tugging piece choreographed by Kris Cangelosi entitled "Rise." Kris also choreographed the moving "Oh, My Soul" performed by Courtney and Hannah; LéBrian left us speechless with his own choreography to "Mary Did You Know."
Joining us for the fun were Jerisse Grantham and her tappers — Fiona Adams, Cindy Dietrich, JoAnn Monjure, Shannon Long, Wanita Pepper, Susan Vaughan and Russo-Mounger; Arianna Virgillio and River Peterson, Vanda Refermat and Sue Obannon and Van Vo.