The annual Candlelight Concert and Dinner is the most important gala gathering of the season in Orange County – if not the year. Newport’s arts and culture elite were well represented among the 450 members of the county’s philanthropic set gathered for a glamorous night at Segerstrom Center for the Arts.
Highlights of the evening celebrating the Center’s 25th anniversary while raising some $1.3 million for artistic and educational programs included a dinner concert by Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth. The Tony and Emmy Award winner sang songs from “Wicked” (she was the original Gilda, the Good Witch of the North, on Broadway) along with country Christmas selections and a few from her CDs.
But it was the next act that got everyone out on the dance floor in Segerstrom Hall, which was stunningly transformed into a stylish ballroom for the evening, as Frankie Valli sang all of his classic hits as a solo artist and as a Four Seasons frontman. The O.C. one-percenters boogying to “My Eyes Adored You” and “Oh What a Night” had a great evening, and all for an inspiring cause.
During the past 25 years, more than 15 million people have attended performances at the Center, while community partnerships and education programs enrich the lives of nearly 400,000 kids each year. The gala was chaired by Dee Higby, co-chaired by Betty Huang and Elizabeth Segerstrom, Cartier was the presenting sponsor and the gala’s executive committee included local luminaries Elizabeth An, Julia Argyros, Marta Bhathal, Deborah Bridges, Missy Pace Callero, Sally Crockett, Terry Goldfarb-Lee, Caroline Jones, Eve Kornyei, Shanaz Langson, Liz Merage, Pat Poss, Twyla Reed Martin, Harriet Sandhu, Sutton Stracke, Susan M. Strader and Carol Wilken.