Fan Fare: Bal Polonaise

By Horne, Jean | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, October 3, 2006 | Go to article overview

Fan Fare: Bal Polonaise

Horne, Jean, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

The old world was reunited with the new during Saturday's elegant gala as 15 debs of Polish descent made their bows in the Hilton ballroom.

From the freedom-loving country that brought us Chopin, Copernicus, scores of Nobel Prize laureates and, of course, Pope John Paul II, also came the grand polonaise, the royal dance of Poland ... and the stunning highlight of the 14th annual Bal Polonaise. Preceded by the fiery Karuzela Folk Ensemble, the intricate reels and promenades were gracefully performed by the debs and their escorts. Although exquisitely choreographed by Bal chair Evanne Addams and Czeslaw Wawrzonek, the presentation ceremony with its "Cinderelka" court of royals, songs and proclamations lasted well over an hour.

Not just lovelies in tiaras, mind you, but high-achieving scholars, athletes, volunteers, musicians and a cancer researcher: Sandra Bertoty, Julia Biwojno, Rebecca Chamberlin, Dr. Malgorzata Czystowska, Alexandra Froats, Jennifer Geisler, sisters Anne and Elizabeth Jonczak, Marilyn Kertis, Joanna Kochaniak, Kala Morris, Beata Pasek, Aleksandra Pomiecko, Tiffany Senkow and Ashley Temsick.

Musicians entertained during the lively cocktail hour and then played tableside through the wining and dining on tables centered with Z Florists' beautiful white pumpkins filled with snowy bouquets. Then the Bal waltzed on to the John Gora orchestra till the witching hour. To benefit the Polish Cultural Council.

From the Polish Embassy in D.C. came the head of Culture and Public Affairs, Mariusz Brymora, to greet 250 white-ties and black, including PCC board chair Rick Pierchalski with Maripia Zioncheck, prez Col. (ret.) Merle Addams with Irene, the Bal's divine force; Helen and honorary chair Dr. Donald Mushalko; PCC director Eva Tumeil-Kozak and Wlodzimierz; emcee Kelly Frey of WTAE-TV; Wanda Walat; Charlotte Murray; beautiful couple Kasia and Cas Bruniany; Tom and Marie Zielmanski-Fallon; Lisa and Judge Kevin Sasinoski; Lillian and Marshall Grindle; Billie and Dr. John Feist; Jeannine Addams; the Rev. Miro Stelmaszczyk; and Christine Spencer.

As well as Lorene and Denis Vinski; Mary Lou Ellena-Wygonik; Anne Marie Grzybek; Drs. Ann and Chester Chorazy; Cathy and George Matta; Laurie and Edward Saxon; Sophie and Theodore Michalik; Melvina and Richard Zielmanski; Margaret and Jerzy Krysicki; Robin and Lloyd Geisler; Gosia and Jerry Krysicki; Drs. Martha and Thaddeus Grey; Krystyna and Rudy Maska; Mimi and Eric Huminsky; and the Cinderella Ball's King and Queen, Matthew and Amy Baker.

Fright Night II

Of course, ghouls just wanna have fun. Which is why nearly 500 spirits in the night haunted Shadyside's Hunt Amory during Saturday's Madcap Masquerade -- the bewitching bash that scared up $200,000 for the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy.

"Who is behind that mask?" was an oft-asked question as many guests creatively concealed their identities during this night of the living dead sequel. Onstage, A Hard Day's Night channeled the Beatles sound, while the Squonk Opera mystified and the "Couture Noire" runway romp featured fashions from 20 local designers.

Among the trick-or-treaters were honorary chair Diane Holder with Jerry; PPC prez Meg Cheever with George; Jean Anne and Dr. Brack Hattler; Toni and Trevor Macpherson; Mary Caroline and Tod Hunt; Robbee and Tom Kosak; Ranny and Jay Ferguson; Brigette Pavlik and Bill Kolano; Catherine Loevner; Annie and Gus Engel; Drs. Ellen and Loren Roth; Mary and DA Steven Zappala; and Nancy Byrnes, who orchestrated this monster mash.

-- John Altdorfer

Home at Last

Mary Cassatt, Edward Hopper, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Philip Pearlstein and Andy Warhol were members of the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh. As the second oldest arts organization in the country, AAP has been contributing to the vitality of our town since 1910.

At last, after hanging around in other venues, AAP's 96th annual exhibit is back (thanks to Richard Armstrong) where it belongs: the mighty Carnegie Museum of Art. …

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Fan Fare: Bal Polonaise


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