OPERA THEATRE of St. Louis' spring gala, "Overture to Candide,"
filled the Pavilion at Hunter Farms on May 14.
Close to 350 people paid upward of $250 apiece, mputting the
$310,000 net way past the goal of $250,000 for the matching grant
for Opera Theatre.
Co-chairwomen Patty Bush and Bettie Johnson pulled off a
perfect party, despite torrents of rain during cocktail time.
The tent tacked onto the pavilion protected a gravel driveway,
so gguests' feet stayed dry, too. The pavilion is raised and has
awning panels that were lowered to protect the guests and teak
floor from the downpour on the windward side. The panels worked.
Leeward was open to the night, and as the clouds cleared, Opera
Theatre impresario Charles MacKay pointed to one bright star
sparkling in the western sky, a star for wishing. It was MMacKay's
At evening's close, Martha Scharff spoke of the group's
gratitude to Jane Hunter MacMillan and Bryan MacMillan and her son
and daughter-in-law, Stephen and Kimmy Brauer, for their
civic-mindness in building the pleasure dome.
Scharff said: "We all are grateful that at Hunter Farm there is
such a place as the pavilion, where a synergism occurs that brings
out the best in the community.
"Where else can people gather in such beautiful surroundings
and interact so well?"
Desi and Mary Ann Lee underwrote fireworks that followed a
fabulous concert of young Opera Theatre stars: Katherine Terrell,
Pamela Dillard, Mary Dunleavy, DMark Oswald, Tony Stevenson, all
accompanied by Kirt Pavitt.
The principal underwriters were Samuel R. Goldstein and the Mr.
and Mrs. Lyndon C. Whitaker Charitable Foundation in honor of the
late Charles "Bud" Wilkinson.
According to Patty Bush, dinner was designed around the travels
of Candide, the hero of the operetta that opened Saturday, May 21.
Canapes were from Candide's native Westphalia; the celeriac soup
represented Paris; and the main course of grilled lamb and sweet
potato cake with sauteed red, yellow and green peppers came from
the mythical South American land of El Dorado, where the lamb's
wool coats were of spun gold.
The happy ending for the characters of the musical show, and
for the guests at dinner, was Venice. Gondolas? No. Mocha cream
puffs shaped like swans floating in a pool of chocolate and orange
sauce. Brava to Catering St. Louis Inc.
Laclede Gas Co. underwrote the music, which included dancing to
swinging Jack Engler's Combo and Hi Fi.
Greeting guests on arrival was Bucky Bush, closely followed by
Jimmy Johnson. Among the guests were: Patty and Harv Hecker with
singer Elaine Bonazzi, who will appear in "Falstaff"; Nardi Hobler
and Bill McCarthy; Nora and Jim Burst; Joan and Bill Kiburz; Anita
and Gary Vincel and their daughter, Lucian; Joseph Dreher; Fabienne
and Ed Hemmann; Sally Levy and Richard Wolfheim; Marielle Huber and
Dick Hancey; Martha and Tom Hogan; Ulrike Karst and Tom Schlafly;
Rosemary and Dr. Jerry Flance; Mary and Jim Siverts; Glenn and Dr.
Bill Sheffield; Joanne and Alan Kohn; Barbara Bull and Hal Spener;
Tineke and Peter Vermeeren, formerly of Holland, now of
Chesterfield; Bob and Mary White Lucy; Bob Koetting and Mayor of
Frontenac Peggy Symes; Luann and Ron Yates; Mary Ann and Dr. Pat
Hogan; Marge and Bob Rosenthal; Anne Marie and Arthur Heise; Sylvia
and Urban Bergbauer; Joanne Foreman; Diane and Tom Jacobsen; Roma
and Ray Witcoff; Jackie and Gene Frerichs, who were celebrating
their seventh wedding anniversary; Jane and Whitney Harris; Helen
and Julian Seeherman; Sally and Jack Parriott; Jan Greenberg; Dr. …