Who’d have imagined the cream of OC’s philanthropic crop boogying on the dance floor to Lady Gaga singing “Bad Romance”? Sure, it was an impressive impersonator backed by John Tu’s band entertaining the crowd at South Coast Repertory’s Black & White Ball, and not the lady herself, but it was still a sight to see.
The 33rd annual gala took place in a divinely decorated Ritz-Carlton ballroom after cocktails on the resort’s grounds, where magicians in black tie wowed the crowd with card tricks and other feats of close magic. SCR’s founding artistic directors Martin Benson and David Emmes were honored at the soirée that was chaired by the mother-daughter duo of Elaine Weinberg and Nancy Dahan and which netted $500,000 for the theater.
During the festivities, SCR board chairman Tom Phelps announced the new Emmes/Benson Endowment Fund to honor the founders, with a $2 million goal to support “unexpected artistic inspirations” – like budget-busting Pulitzer Prize-worthy premieres, we hope! Such theater fare was de rigueur during the Benson and Emmes era, and support for the endowment should assure that the same will be true under new artistic director Marc Masterson.
Photos by Debora Robinson