On the Ball!
Dating back to 1939, the Bachelors’ Club of New Orleans enjoys debutante status each year with its formal presentation on the eve of Thanksgiving. In order to get acquainted with the debs, the young men’s organization has held a cocktail-buffet in the summer for quite a while. Their distaff guests donned dresses and the members, coats and ties.
A change occurred this summer when Rock 'N' Bowl housed the hobnobbing. Not only did the apparel change (casual was de rigueur) but so did the format. In between conversation and chomps, many of the members and their guests tried their hand at bowling. And had lots of fun. “Strike” was what they wanted to see and hear.
As for appetite enticement, they all enjoyed the bowling alley noshes, such as salad, pizza, mozzarella sticks and Buffalo wings.
To launch the togetherness, Bachelors’ Club President Jake Weinstock introduced the club’s officers and then welcomed the debs and their families. Additional mastheaders are Vice President for entertainment Christopher Mark Riess, Treasurer Patrick James Kiernan and Secretary Adam Michael Laurie. Also, Todd Bennett Johnson for membership; Joseph Ryan Acomb for publicity; and, respectively as historian and sergeant at arms, Michael Joseph McKay and William Ralph Sadler.
Past club presidents included Howard Thompson, who will, once again, be the master of ceremonies for the Thanksgiving formality, and Patrick Caliva. They mixed with the debutantes, their parents and co-members, who exchanged conversational snippets about summer activities and the Thanksgiving presentation. Just about all of the debutantes who will participate made rounds at Rock 'N' Bowl. Those who could not attend — Katherine Bickham, Sophie Diliberto, Riley Kirkpatrick, Elizabeth Mentz and Martha Jane Williams — were, no doubt, given a full report of their pals and the party.
Floral Festivity with a French Accent
The grass-green lettering at the top of the invitation stated “Please join Mrs. Eleanor Morehead Baugnies de St. Marceaux and Mr. and Mrs. Philip Eugene Morehead for a cocktail buffet honoring Isabelle Baugnies de Paul de St. Marceaux.” A debutante of the season, and one who will be presented at the Bachelors’ Club at Thanksgiving, Isabelle attends the International Fashion Academy in Paris.
Il Mercato on Magazine Street was the site for the summer night — and a beautiful sight, at that. As guests entered the Mediterranean-inspired courtyard, they immediately noticed tall vases of sunflowers and hydrangeas that lined the outdoors fireplace, as well as floral globe topiaries. Within, there were arrangements of dahlias, garden roses, lush white hydrangeas, petite clusters of soft pink spray roses, cymbidium orchids and Isabelle’s favorite flower, peonies. A massive arrangement of various shades of pink and white adorned the central table, which was laden with a selection of cheeses and charcuterie. Additional white-linen-covered tables held smaller arrangements, some repeating the yellow pop of the outside sunflowers.
Joel catered, starting with passed hors d’oeuvres of smoked salmon panini, blue crab beignets, and bone marrow truffle toast, as well as all-time favorites, little grilled cheese sandwiches. An antipasto selection and chilled soups offered more palate pleasures, as did crawfish Monica ravioli, gravlax and grilled pork loin. As a nod to Isabelle’s Parisian connections, there was a station for crepes. To conclude, small versions of crème brulee and pecan pie made sweets the treat.
Isabelle, her mother and grandmother, co-hostess Wyndy Morehead, were dashingly attired in black and white, a sartorial selection saluted by many of the attendees. Isabelle sported a dress; her mom, a pants ensemble; and grandmother Wyndy, a V-neck top and a skirt.
Planned as a gathering of close friends and family to meet Isabelle, Nancy and Tom Snedeker, Sheela and David Plater, Karen and Jimmy Baldwin, Patti and Tommy Jahncke, and Bebe and Steve Stevenson were among those noted.
Concerning the real notes, the band Tysson led the way with its lively sounds that tapped works by current musical legends. Selections from the '80s to present pop and R&B gave groove a lively gamut.
'Waltzing the Muse'
Not far from Il Mercato, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art’s Ogden After Hours amassed about 600 people to festively close the exhibition, “Waltzing the Muse: The Paintings of James Michalopoulos,” which had Henry and Pat Shane as presenting sponsors. Based in the Crescent City, the artist has created a singular body of work with a strong sense of place. For the past 10 years, he has maintained a second studio in the rural Maconnais region of France. Additionally, he is the founder and proprietor of Celebration Distillation, makers of Old New Orleans Rum and Gingeroo, “which is America’s oldest continually operating rum distillery.”
Guess what the featured drink was?
Guests delighted in rum tastings from Old New Orleans Rum and the purveyance of Miss Linda’s Ya-Ka Mein, as they applauded the entertainers of Opera on Tap. Associated with the New Orleans Opera Association, the singers in the casual concert were among the finest young, local and regional ones.
Within the “Muse” lot were opera singers Phyllis Treigle and Kathleen Halm, both sopranos, and tenor Travis Richter; NOOA Executive Director and pianist Timothy Todd Simmons (also Kathleen’s husband); Ogden Museum Executive Director William Andrews; Ogden curator of the collection Bradley Sumrall; and Louisiana Contemporary featured artist Aron Belka. Also, Doug and Margaret Plymale, Kaitlin W. Kelly, J. Bart Kelly, Lorraine Dauw, Claire and Peter Thriffiley, and Grace Wilson. For starters.
As a bonus, there were the bucks raised. More than $73,000 will go to Ogden’s coffers to spread the message of art and education. That, too, is a sense of place.