Red, white and blue bunting, balloon towers, flags and fireworks set the stage for “Achilles Salutes America” as the Mystic Krewe of Achilles celebrated all-American icons at its 60th annual Carnival Ball Jan. 16 at the River Center Arena.
The evening’s festivities commenced with the entrance march of the Men of Achilles, followed by the return of the 2015 royalty and tableau.
Trumpet fanfare preceded the presentation of King Achilles LX Rodolfo J. “Rudy” Aguilar Jr. and Queen Achilles LX Suzie Toups Adler.
Pages to the king were Lily Marie Drefahl, daughter of Jodi and Gerald Drefahl, of Baton Rouge; and Katherine Elizabeth and Laura Nicole Klein, daughters of Molly and Steven Klein, of Atlanta.
Pages to the queen were Sarah Jane Adler, daughter of Dan Adler, of Baton Rouge; Emma Katherine Bastable, daughter of Lauren Bastable of Jackson, Tennessee; and Evelyn Kate Gattle, daughter of Amy and Gabe Gattle, of Vicksburg, Mississippi.
They were followed by Theatre Baton Rouge dancers who, dressed in red white and blue garb, got the show started along with ball Captain Paxton Hester, dressed as an American Bald Eagle.
Following a costume change to Captain America, Hester joined master of ceremonies Hugo “Uncle Sam” Andricain on stage.
Entertaining royalty, krewe and guests as George Washington and Betsy Ross were Dave Kemmerly and Debbie Jacobs. Dr. Bill Hadlock portrayed Bruce Springsteen while Caroline Ross portrayed Dolly Parton. Scott McKnight made his entrance as Babe Ruth, joined by Melissa Ferachi as Lola from “Damn Yankees.”
The show was seemingly interrupted when Ryn Jones appeared as Bruce Jenner to accept an Olympic gold medal. That presentation was suddenly interrupted by Bartley Bourgeois as Caitlyn Jenner.
Next appeared Brian Bateman as Neil Armstrong, Leslie Lincecum Mann as Wonder Woman, Parker Kilgore as John Wayne, Kelley Heroman Buzzell as Barbie, David Faulk as Abraham Lincoln and Megan Coogan Foco as Lady Liberty.
Mystic Krewe of Achilles officers for 2015-2016 are Edmund J. Giering IV, president; Otey L. White III, president-elect; Kirk A. Patrick III, vice president; James R. Purgerson Jr., treasurer; Ryan E. Whittington, secretary; John B. Davis, tableau director; C. Conrad “Rad” Trascher IV, assistant tableau director; and Paxton Hester, past president.
“Achilles Salutes America” was directed by Jason Breaux, with choreography by Teresa Whitaker and Lauren Regner. Dee Keller Designs created the attire for the king and queen. Makeup for the tableau was provided by Sarah Bess Brown, and hair styling was by Russell White, of Forum Salon.