The Soiree* 2019

August 22

Soiree: An evening party or gathering, typically in a private house,  for conversation or music, “a fancy evening affair.” It comes directly from the French, thus useful as a fundraising term for the arts . . . 

[As you may recall, we had our first Theatre L’Homme Dieu fundraising soiree last year.  We attracted some 90 soiree-ees and raised $125,000, shocking us all!]

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[We need fundraisers for theatre infrastructure and other such things.  Among the first items of need, as to be soon displayed, is a two-lane paved entry road to the back of the threatre.  Here the current dirt road enters the campus to the old lodge . . . ]

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[The two old cottages are hiding in the trees . . . ]

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[The soiree event tent.  Last year we had open sides.  This year the evening had the possibility of being a tad chilly . . . ]

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[The theatre.   Another item on the first things to do list is to extend the patio farther out onto the grounds so we can enjoy outdoor tables and chairs for pre- and post- event activities . . . ]

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[The sign-in area on the east side of the theatre where the festivities began with drinks and mixing – and possibly mixed drinks . . . ]

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[Looked inviting, as was the weather . . . ]

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[And here are the plans . . . ]

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[It really helps to have plans.  As some wag once said, “A picture is worth a thousand words” . . . ]

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[The schematic shows how we will address our first major issue – the dispersal of water away from the theatre . . . ]

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[Handicap parking will be paved and on the east side of the building.  The existing grass parking lot will be expanded with tree removal, which also finally gives clear access to the back stage staging area . . . ]

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[The plans are to accomplish this before the next season . . . ]

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[And here the items that were auctioned off, to the delight of all.  (Yes, I just noticed the “speical” evening – stuff happens.)  A la last year, we first auctioned an evening at Chet’s.]

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[A Venn Hagen specialty food store coming to Alex soon . . . ]

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[So, let’s PAR-TAY . . . ]

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[Fred and Phil, current and past theatre presidents, discussed things presidential . . . ]

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[Board member Jim (glasses on head) and wife Jan greeted arrivees . . . ]

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[The evening’s dress code was resort elegant.  As you see, that works for the Super.  Elegant is generally not a word that applies to me . . . ]

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[Board member Lisa (elegant flower dress) hosted a table . . . ]

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[Dr. Steve has long favored the kilt; Dr. Sandra favored the resort elegant.  I believe they may be mutually inclusive . . . ]

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[Photos of this guy are generally only seen on the back of milk cartons . . . ]

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[I believe the psychological and sociological terminology for the grouping of people at parties is called . . . ]

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[Clumping . . . ]

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[And as people continued to arrive . . . ]

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[The clumps became larger . . . ]

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[Could it be . . . ]

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[Really . . . ]

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[The Fiddler on the Roof!]

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[The outside bar, from whence the assembled masses began heading . . . ]

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[To the back stage staging area . . . ]

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[Where the Fiddler on the Roof  picked up three musical partners . . . ]

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[An area of the theatre where most patrons have never visited . . . ]

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[An interesting place made accessible for this event by the removal of three dumpster loads full of ‘stuff’ . . . ]

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[And the sign said, “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls and tenement halls” – Paul Simon]

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[Then, the surprise opening to the theatre from backstage . . . ]

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[The Super found graffiti from an old friend now building a new home just down the road from us . . . ]

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[For me, it was nice to receive a specific invitation . . . ]

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[And now entering the theatre proper . . . ]

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[The exterior entry door, now barely accessible through the the outside foliage . . . ]

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[TA-DA!!]

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[The Super, Jan, and Jim in the first act of Hamlet . . . ]

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[Exit, stage right . . . ]

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[Thor, the theatre mascot . . . ]

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[And then it was time for the program . . . ]

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[With a glance back at the lodge . . . ]

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[Fine dining with all the accouterments . . . ]

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[Our group discovered our table . . . ]

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[The Fourth Estate was on hand; it’s always nice to have backup.  Thanks to Ross and the Echo Press for coverage . . . ]

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[We had Table No. 7.  Other famous No. 7’s were Mickey Mantle, John Elway, Pete Maravich, Satchel Paige, and, I believe, Sir Lawrence Olivier . . . ]

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[These were our table mates.  It was a situation totally within their control . . . ]

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[Also our table mates whose first question was, “Who are you again?” . . . ]

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[The rest of the house . . . ]

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[Where we were in “the rest of the house” . . . ]

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[Our fearless leader, Nicole, the theatre’s executive director, with John, the progeny of our first recognized table mates . . . ]

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[But seriously folks, as our executive director, Nicole has been hitting it out of the park.]

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[Meanwhile, back with the rest of the house . . . ]

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[Defining the term resort elegant (a 14 on a scale of 10?) . . . ]

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[General milling around . . . ]

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[More milling (or is it clumping?) . . . ]

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[Another board member table discovered . . . ]

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[Good job, Jeanne!]

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[Foreground patrons known to photobomb university presidents . . . ]

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[Greetings everyone, and welcome to the soiree!]

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[Ladies and gentlemen, your hosts for the evening . . . ]

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[Auctioneer Glen Fladeboe and Phil . . . ]

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[And thanks to Mahrie Ohren and the Garden Bar on 6th for again making sure we were all well fed.  Their salmon is always a personal favorite . . . ]

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[While Deb agreed with me, Brad said give me some MEAT . . . ]

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[And it also appears Jeanne and Tom opted for the filet . . . ]

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[Jim is a relatively new member to the board.  As I noted on FB, he changed his birthday plans to be a part of this event.  His rousing introduction was a great lead-in to a terrific evening.  Many thanks again, Jim!]

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[I love theater!]

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[President Fred followed extolling the virtues of our community theatre.  A member of the Bursch family has been involved with TLHD since its inception 59 years ago . . . ]

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[And now, for your dining and dancing pleasure . . . Nicole introduced the entertainment, a secret she even kept from the board.  JigJam, live from Tullamore, Ireland!]

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[They rocked the house till closing . . . ]

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[A YouTube borrow from a venue not unlike ours . . . ]

[And then Phil and Nicole made the big announcement.  We raised $175,000 on the evening!  Wow!]

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[It was time for her to memorialize everything . . . ]

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[Deb’s either saying, “Shame on you” . . . ]

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[Or “We’re No. 1.”  I’m hoping for the latter . . . ]

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[The season is now over, and Nicole has got to be exhausted . . . ]

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[If I were her (using the subjective “were” because we likely wouldn’t have the same dress size – but I digress) I’d sleep until the day before Thanksgiving . . . ]

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[The diehard partiers were still hanging on in the back of the tent . . . ]

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[Who knows what kind of shenanigans was going on back there . . . ]

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[The Super moved up to open front row seating . . . ]

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[And we were all on our feet and clapping and dancing to the very end . . . ]

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[But eventually all good things must end.  Next year this will hopefully be a paved entry to handicap parking and the back stage . . . ]

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[And as we left I realized I hadn’t taken any photos of the staff.  They were manning the concession stand to settle on all the donations . . . ]

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[With apologies for not catching them above, here are Joe, Sarah, Spencer, and Jorge with Nicole at Carlos Creek Winery earlier this summer.  They were indispensable for the preparation and operation of not only the soiree, but the entire season.  So a big thank you and shout out to all of them . . . ]

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[And a shout out to all the volunteers who made the season so special . . . ]

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[And so, until next year . . . ]

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No one has ever become poor by giving.  ~  Anne Frank

Up Next:  I’ve got to finish Norway . . .

 

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