Stagebackers hosted an opening night gala for “Lend Me a Tenor,” Lauren-Reilly Elliot Company’s much-anticipated new comedy. “I’m so excited about this play,” said gala guest Winnie Darphin-Bacque. “It’s funny and a little racy.” The period comedy about the mishaps of an Italian tenor and the Cleveland Opera ran through the end of August. “This play will speak for itself — the talent, dedication and hard work,” said director Cooper Helm. Talented in the extreme was gala a capella trio Joseph Mills, Josiah Price and Austin Boudreaux, whose Barbara Ann rivaled that of the Beach Boys. And doing a little personal staging themselves were Melissa Gilbert and Kendra Weeks, of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Performing Arts Department costume shop. “If we can’t dress ourselves, it’s hard to explain,” they said. Stagebackers is a non-profit organization established to support local community theater.

Art opening

Robert “KingRob” Harris opened his latest exhibition in the company of fans and friends at King and His Court Design Studio downtown. Presented by the law firm of Oats & Marino and entitled “An Introspective Retrospect,” Harris has the gallery all to himself through the end of November. “I’ve had my personal collection at my house and studio,” said the Cajun folk artist. “My longtime buddies asked if I wanted to come liven up the space. I love the city, I love painting and Kate Durio.” We see his point. Among the gallery-goers enjoying the art and Poupart’s catering were Steve Oats, E.J. Savoie, downtown’s own Nathan Norris, Cecile Mouton and Anya Burgess.

Putting on the Dog

According to one guest, people couldn’t wait to throw money at this. Lafayette Animal Aid put on the dog at L’Eglise to benefit its adoptable charges. “This was one time when $150 was a bargain,” said animal lover Jennifer LeBlanc. “The food was unbelievable — all chefs — and I did all my Christmas shopping in one bid alone.” The auction fundraiser focused attention on the strict spay/neuter laws in other states that produce a shortage of adoptable animals, and the challenge of getting our surplus to these states. In the mix was a shy Vickie Milam and Sarah Citron, and our thanks to critic-at-large LeBlanc for her input.

Patricia Gannon covers society for The Acadiana Advocate. She can be reached at