PURPLE PASSION It was with great passion and an overruling sense of accomplishment that the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Center for the Performing Arts celebrated its second anniversary last Saturday. The invitation said to wear a shade of purple, and, well, naturally I had just the right thing – an aubergine pimp suit that's very difficult to wear for most occasions. I also had a vintage rhinestone brooch in amethyst and chartreuse that dictated that I wear a chartreuse shirt. Black gloves, an ivory fedora, and a mother-of-pearl-handled cane completed the ensemble. I marveled at it, thinking that I'd never be able to wear it again, but at least I'd be ready for Easter. Or I could add a slash of red lipstick across my face and go as the Joker in The Dark Knight. But at any rate, I certainly was not the only one in purple that night. Waves of color from lavender to hyacinth to violet to the most royal purples flooded the plaza at the Long Center, across the lobby, and up every stairway. The tickets, a cool $75-1,250 apiece, didn't seem to be a barrier, and the event was sold out. Hundreds, seemingly thousands of people were there. I spent a large part of my evening either with Karen Landa or Patrick Keel and Jason Schubert, though my actual date was Alice Parrish (Graydon Parrish's mother), who won the date with me at the fabulous Octo Tea Dance last fall. I was running ridiculously late, so Alice agreed to meet me there. I arrived in Rich Mann's amazing Mercedes MobileJet (www.mobilejets.com). The phalanx of attendants and photographers lined the walkway as I descended the stairs, making for a truly grand entrance. The cocktail preparty was held in a tent gloriously decorated by David Kurio, with music by Ray Benson & Asleep at the Wheel. I hung out with Jo Anne Christian, Eva Womack, and Joanie Bentzin (in a dazzling Badgley Mischka dress) and visited with Katy Hackerman; Louis Henna and his wife, Marci; and former Mayor Lee Cooke, with whom I indulged in dueling compliments. Cliff Redd made his entrance, looking as proud as any papa with a 2-year-old, and shortly thereafter, Joe and Teresa Long made their entrances. Teresa was in deep-violet couture accessorized with pearls the size of jawbreakers. The purple guests danced to the band and mingled with purple drinks in their hands until we were directed into the Michael & Susan Dell Hall for the event's highlight – a concert by Hall & Oates. For many people, this concert was the big draw of the evening. Not for me. I loathe Hall & Oates. Didn't like them then; don't like them now. So after sitting with Alice for two songs (fortunately they were short), I excused myself to go have a cigarette. And forgot to go back. Even in the lobby, the monitors blared Hall & Oates, so I was so pleased to run into an entire group of Hall & Oates haters. We had a divine time just sitting around hating Hall & Oates and asking one another questions such as, "Is this your least favorite Hall & Oates song?" and telling stories about awful Hall & Oates moments in our lives. It was truly meaningful. We wept and had a group hug as the concert ended. But the audience that was leaving the theatre was leaving it in a state of rapture. To many of them, they had just seen two gods who had played important parts in their lives, but my small group of bitter, jaded haters (I wish I could tell you who!) enjoyed ourselves tremendously in the lobby. Then it was on to the afterparties – a series of smaller parties in different areas of the Long Center, each with its own live music. Though I may make fun of Hall & Oates, it was a clever ploy of the organizers to attract their desired demographic of 40-ish types who danced to Hall & Oates when they were children; Bobbi Topfer and Patty Huffines had chaired this sold-out night with stylish aplomb. Happy second birthday, Long Center!
LUCK OF THE DRAW My mother was so irritated with me running around with a missing front tooth that she sprang for me to get it fixed (thank God). I went to the Buda Dental Professionals (www.budadental.com) and saw Dr. Ashley Strickland. What a smooth, fast, and perfect experience that was. I walked out of there knowing that if I had another emergency, that would be the place I wanted to go. I felt totally confident going to the Long Center festivities that weekend and did indeed smile broadly for all the cameras. When I left the party, I had to take a taxi home and wound up leaving my wallet in the backseat. Bright and early Monday morning, the Buda Dental Professionals office called me to tell me that a cab driver had called them to report that he had my wallet. The dental office was the only information he could find to track me down – and what a cool guy for even trying.
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