ZACH Theatre's Red Hot and Soul Gala Raises $573,000

ZACH Theatre's Red Hot and Soul Gala Raises $573,000

With ZACH Theatre's uniquely-Austin creative flair, the celebrated annual Red Hot and Soul Gala raised $573,000 at The Great ZACHsby themed soirée hosted by Co-chairs Bobbi Topfer and Armando Zambrano on Saturday, May 3, 2014. More than 400 guests were entertained at the elegant Topfer Theater, by flamboyantly costumed dancers, locally and nationally acclaimed actors and students of ZACH Theatre's Pre-Professional Company. All funds raised will support ZACH Theatre's mainstage and educational programs. The evening honored James C. Armstrong for his outstanding contributions to the Austin arts community.

Producing Artistic Director Dave Steakley said "We're humbled and honored by the outpouring of support we receive from this city, and look forward to collaborating with this beautiful community for many years to come!"

The evening kicked off with feathered headdress-clad flappers, cocktails, and appetizers by The Four Seasons Hotel, and entertainment by ZACH and Broadway vocalist, Kenny Williams. Guests dined under the Bobbi Pavilion and participated in a lively auction. The Co-chairs were carried in on Egyptian litters in GREAT ZACHSBY style. Following dinner, 40 students of ZACH's Pre-Professional Company performed a medley of 80's rock classics on stage and throughout the audience, inspiring a standing ovation. Guest proceeded into the theatre for a spectacular selection of songs from recent critical success The Gospel At Colonus with full gospel choir, a moving video tribute to James C. Armstrong, and a sneak peak at ZACH's upcoming production, The King And I, which will star Jill Blackwood. The students of ZACH Theatre's Pre-Professional company gave an inspired performance, which was followed by a raucous preview of the forthcoming The Who's Tommy transforming the entire theatre into a full audience participation pinball machine. The presentation ended with the party anthem of the year, HAPPY, sung by ZACH's The Gospel At Colonus cast bringing the crowd to their feet in a spontaneous dance party. No winding down after the performance; True to the spirit of endless entertainment, Austin Samba School made a surprise appearance and lead guests out to the dance floor in a flurry of heavy drum beat and feathers.

Guests included James Armstrong and Larry Connelly, Bobbi and Mort Topfer, Bill Dickson, Bettye Nowlin, Mindy Ellmer, and Council Member Mike Martinez. Also in attendance were Texas State Representatives including The Honorable Charlie Geren, The Honorable Donna Howard, and The Honorable Drew Darby.

Red Hot and Soul's THE Great ZACHsby was underwritten by Schlotzsky's Deli, HEB, Osborne Advisors, Humana, and The Bluebirds, with the after-party underwritten by Dennis Karbach and Robert Brown.

Red Sponsors included James C. Armstrong and Larry Connelly, Mercedes-Benz of Austin, and Bobbi and Mort Topfer.

Hot Sponsors included Bill Dickson, Deborah Green and Clayton Aynesworth, Meghan and Chris Slover, UBS The Tally Group, and Alton C. White, Jr.

Soul Sponsors included Moreland Properties, Norton Rose Fulbright, PlainsCapital Bank, Service Group, TxOGA, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Chris Cheever/ Broadway National Bank, Marcy and John Melanson, Mindy Ellmer and The Honorable Charlie Geren, Maria and Eric Groten, Kathy Hutto and Allen Beinke/Jackson Walker, LLP, Maxx Judd and Donn Gauger, Andrea and Dean McWilliams, Bettye and Bill Nowlin, Carolyn and Marc Seriff, Stefanie and Robert Skinner, Nelda A. Trevino, and Sheri and Travis West.

In kind sponsors included Castleview Productions, Creative Consultants, Coomi, Four Seasons Hotel Austin, Intelligent Lighting Design, J Squared Services, KXAN, Mandarin Design Lab and Marquee Event Group.

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