Tag Archives: #MST

Miss Bennet Reprise

As many of you know, I directed Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon’s Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley last year at Main Street Theater.  It was an unequivocal success, despite tepid enthusiasm from the new Houston Chronicle reviewer. We sold out the run and the extension. Such was the response, and the disappointment from some people who were turned away, that we are remounting it for the holiday season again this year. It opens on Friday after Thanksgiving.

I’m delighted to announce that all but one of our original cast is returning, including Chaney Moore, Brock Hatton, Laura Kaldis, Heidi Hinkel, Blake Weir, Skyler Sinclair, and Lyndsay Ehrhardt. Alas, Spencer Plachy, who played Darcy last year has been cast as Scar in the national tour of Lion King. But we are very fortunate to have Alan Brincks taking his place. The cast is rounded out by two new interns from Sam Houston State University, Lyndsay Craven and Tyler Mahler.

We have the same fabulous design team and the look and feel of the show will be as lovely as it was last year.

To learn more, and hopefully secure your tickets in advance, go to the Main Street Theater’s web link:

Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley
Look forward to seeing you all there.
Claire Hart-Palumbo

MST-The Big Do

Main Street Theater’s fundraiser, termed The Big Do! was held last Friday (2/2/2018) at the MATCH in mid-town Houston. The theater made use of one large gallery area, the midway, and one of the proscenium theater spaces, which kept people moving about, eating, drinking, and mingling with other participants. Overall, I’d say it was a huge success.

Ellen Sanborn (with me in the picture above) was the staff coordinator on this effort and really pulled a groundhog out of the proverbial hat on this one. Generally, everyone came in cocktail attire, but the range of fabulous and quirky hats made the event even more fun.

The event featured a silent auction with a host of wonderful items ranging from a child’s peddle-powered vehicle, to a long-weekend stay in a log-cabin condo in Tennessee, to custom boots.  There was also a fabulous basket of items for lovers of Jane Austen, which included an action figure. Alas, I did not win that auction item, but I did prevail on one of the designer handbags.

There was a wine lottery, where you could pay $20 and then draw for which of many bottles of intriguing wines you would take home.

The finger food and hors d’oeuvres were delicious and imaginative, including a desert table of donut holes and various toppings. The bar was open–need I say more.

Later in the evening, several fabulous vacations were auctioned off at what seemed actually reasonable rates.  Then the auctioneer got creative with some large and small ways to support the theater’s youth activities. When he opened the support auction (with no actual object to take home other than the knowledge that you’d done something significant for kids) the suggested opening bid of $15,000 was taken up by one incredibly generous woman. The bids went down incrementally from there and eventually everyone reached a level of giving with which they were comfortable. The fact that the first stalwart bidder met the entire fundraising goal for the event was not lost on anyone.

Local celebrity volunteers and members of the Theater for Youth company performed an original sketch that kept us laughing.

The event honored local Houston hero Jim ‘Mattress Mack’ McIngvale for his ongoing philanthropy in Houston, which was so vividly demonstrated during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Completely in keeping with his persona, Mack showed up to the gala event in khakis, polo shirt and red bomber jacket. The highlight of the evening may have been his brief and articulate speech about Hurricane Harvey and the joy he and his employees found in opening the doors of their superstores to flood refugees. Also, totally in keeping with his personality, he was the highest bidder on one of the luxury bedding items.

All in all, it was a delightful evening that paid suitable homage to a truly admirable Houstonian, gave us an excuse to celebrate ourselves and our theater, and made money to support the ongoing educational efforts of Main Street Theater. Not a bad way to spend a Friday night.