The Krewe of Proteus, celebrating its 136th year, staged its bal masque at the Marriott Hotel on Monday before Shrove Tuesday. The ball followed the parade, the oldest nighttime procession in New Orleans.
Proteus, the ancient god with the remarkable ability to change his shape at will and shepherd to Poseidon’s sea cattle, left his den earlier in the evening followed by his merry revelers and proceeded down the traditional Uptown route. The parade’s theme, “Der Ring des Nibelungen,” often referred to in English as the “Ring Cycle,” is a four-part epic series of operas, the crowning achievement of the great composer Richard Wagner. It is a tale about a world out of balance, skewed by the theft of the Rhine’s magic gold. This 19th century opus was a magnificent subject for a Carnival parade with each float celebrating the highlights of this music drama.
Reigning over the evening's festivities as queen was Miss Mary Dalton Acomb, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Ryan Acomb.
The maids to her majesty were Misses Emily Smith Adams, daughter and stepdaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jessie Roland Adams III and stepdaughter and daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Joshua Edward Lowentritt; Catherine Lapeyre Barry, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Owen Barry; Mary Nolan Brown, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael James Brown; Charlotte Villars Delery, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Stanislaus Delery Jr.; Emily Dickson Ellis, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Conner Ellis III; Caroline Walmsley Favrot, daughter and stepdaughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Parkhurst Favrot and the late Ms. Kelsey Bradley Favrot; Margaret Sullivan Hildebrand, granddaughter of Mr. J. Barbee Winston and daughter of Ms. Ruth Moore Winston; and Margaret Elisabeth Hoefer, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Karl Ernst Hoefer.
Also serving in the court of Proteus were Misses Ellen Lane Horn, daughter of Mr. Darrell Lane Horn and Ms. Ann Walker Horn; Anna Eugenie Huger, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Middleton Huger; Ailleen Cassegrain Livaudais, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Andre Dugue Livaudais; Caroline Emily Lane, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Merritt Lane III; Cynthia Callaghan Nelson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Cabell Nelson; Avery Scott Rowan, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Forney Rowan Jr.; and Rachel Elizabeth Schulingkamp, daughter of Mr. David Paul Schulingkamp and Mrs. Miriam Schulingkamp.
Pages to the monarchs were Masters Elliott Simms Cooper Hardin, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Simms Hardin; and St. Denis Julien Villere IV, son of Mr. and Mrs. Villere III.
After this year's queen and her court were presented to the guests, Proteus could be seen in his misty, undersea world. Assuming his mortal form, he stood in front of a giant pink seashell surrounded by fishnet, treasure chests, giant sea horses, fish of every description and a hippocampus flanking him on either side. These half-horse and half-fish creatures have become the royal scribes of Proteus. As the orchestra played "Over the Waves," Proteus greeted his subjects as the waves splashed, the vortex of a giant whirlpool loomed increasingly larger, and all the creatures of the sea swam happily about. Following the undersea tableau, the curtain parted to reveal his majesty, the captain, lieutenants, pages and many of the characters from the tableau pageant.
The captain then stepped from the foot of the throne to escort the queen around the ballroom floor and then presented her to a most-pleased Proteus. After she took her place next to Proteus on the throne, the maids were presented. The captain next presented Mrs. Kingsley Fitz-Hugh Jack, who reigned as the queen 50 years ago. Proteus and her majesty then led a grand march with the entire court around the ballroom floor to the cheers of the enthralled audience.
The general chairman of the ball was Mr. James J. Reiss Jr. Assisting as vice chairmen were Messrs. Alfred W. Brown III; George P. Eastman III; John M. Eastman; William C. Ellis Jr.; Michael K. Fitzpatrick; Vaughan O. Fitzpatrick; Louis M. Freeman; Richard W. Freeman Jr.; H. Merritt Lane Jr.; William H. Langenstein III; James C. McCarthy; Michael J. Rapier; Blair F. Scanlon Jr.; Lynes R. Sloss; Patrick A. Talley Jr.; Robert J. Whann IV and Philip M. Woollam.