Tony Petrello Welcomes Tommy Tune Home To Houston
Broadway celebrity Tommy Tune returned to his hometown of Houston recently and received a big, Texas style welcome from Houston oil executive Tony Petrello and his wife Cynthia. To welcome the Broadway star home, the couple invited 50 friends as well as the Miller Outdoor Theatre advisory board members to their Shadyside estate for a party.
Tommy graduated from Lamar High, and he turned to acclaimed Houston dance teacher Patsy Swayze to learn his fancy footwork before heading off to New York City to begin his successful Broadway career. Tune was in Houston to perform "Tommy Tune Tonight" at the Miller Outdoor Theatre, an event that brought out 5,000 of his biggest hometown fans.
At 6 feet 6 inches tall, Tommy towered over guests at the Petrello's cocktail party. During the reception, Tune enjoyed the city's pleasant fall weather by taking a walk around Shadyside's well-tended grounds while catching sight of a few of the Petrello's outdoor bunnies. In addition to the entertainment provided by the couple's breathtaking home, the event also included appetizers and cocktails from City Kitchen as well as music by Divisi Strings Amp'd and piano player Scott Graham.
Tommy Tune is the winner of several Tony Awards for his work on Broadway. He's won awards for appearing in "Grand Hotel," "The Will Rogers Follies," "A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine," "My One and Only," "Nine" and "Seesaw." During 2002, the Theatre Under The Stars in Houston started the annual Tommy Tune Awards. This event honors and rewards those who perform and teach musical theater in Houston high schools.
Tony and Cynthia Petrello are famous for their charitable endeavors. Even before Petrello became the CEO of Nabors Industries, he was known as a caring person. Over time, his philanthropic contributions have grown. After the birth of their premature baby, the couple became interested in supporting the scientific community. The Petrellos have donated $5 million, and they pledged another $2 million to aid new medical research.
The Petrello's daughter, Carena, was born at just 24 weeks, and she weighed only 20 ounces. After she was born, Carena's doctors diagnosed her with periventricular leukomalacia. This is a common neurological disease that premature infants contract due to a lack of blood flow or oxygen to the brain. Because of this, Carena developed cerebral palsy as well as other developmental problems. Tony and Cynthia are searching for answers to their daughter's medical issues and a cure.
Cynthia said, "It's very confusing for parents, not knowing what the signs are and never expecting to have a child with a neurological disorder. Tony and I are used to being able to fix things. You set a goal and you achieve it. We were really brought to our knees."
The couple hopes that with their philanthropic efforts, they can mitigate the emotional devastation for other new parents whose infants are suffering from the same neurological disorder as Carena.
When Petrello was growing up, his parents struggled with money, inspiring Tony to work hard in school to guarantee a financially secure future for himself and his family. While attending public school, Tony studied math and logic religiously. His plan was for a prestigious university to recognize his intellect. Tony's plan was successful since Yale awarded him a full scholarship.
At Yale, Tony impressed his teachers. In fact, Serge Lang, the famous mathematical theorist, recognized Tony's mental acumen. This resulted in Tony helping Lang with his work on number theory. Later, during his university career, Petrello decided to change paths. Tony completed his college education at Harvard Law School. His career interests also shifted from math to human sciences.
After graduating from college, Tony married Cynthia and worked at various jobs until Nabors Industries hired him. He moved up through the company, finally becoming the CEO. When Tony married Cynthia, he gained a partner who was as interested in giving back to the community as he was. Cynthia said, "A world changer is focused and committed about their service to others."
In 2001, the couple founded the Petrello Family Foundation, which works to improve education, medical resources and the performing arts in the Houston area. Tony and Cynthia are also responsible for establishing the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute. It is the first one focused on helping neurological conditions in children.
Tony's achievements show that tough situations can be defeated with a strong work ethic and intellect. While there are many instances of Petrello using his personal talents to achieve success, he claims that good fortune is responsible for it along with the early sacrifices made by his family. Regardless of why he has enjoyed success, Petrello is an individual who has shown his willingness to share his good fortune with others.