Illustration by Randall Nelson
Illustration of Todd Walker
He writes the songs that make the whole world sing—but some people are better off just listening. Barry Manilow performed at Xcel Energy Center in April, and fanilows packed in to sing and sway to favorites like “Copacabana,” “Could It Be Magic,” and, of course, “Mandy.” A small group was invited to an exclusive suite to sing along to the songs that made Manilow a cultural icon. Fashion designer and Project Runway alumni Christopher Straub seemed oh-so-appropriate flashing his signature smile while singing, “Can’t Smile Without You.” Lori Barghini and Julia Cobbs of myTalk’s Lori & Julia Show filled the room with their ever-present and unmatched contagious excitement and enthusiasm. Cobbs is always the life of the party, and talking is definitely her thing. But singing? Let’s just say you may want to escape to the bathroom if you see her name show up on a karaoke screen.
It was time for the big kids to play at this year’s Ordway Center for Performing Arts Spring Fête, themed “Why Should the Kids Have All the Fun.” The annual event brought in more than $350,000 to support the Ordway’s Arts Education programs, which includes a complimentary bus ride to schools that send classrooms to the theater. Ordway board member and event chair Nancy Nicholson broke all the rules planning this event with the Circle of Stars, deciding it was time to shake up the traditional black-tie gala—and it totally worked! The fun evening was filled with the unexpected, and perhaps the vodka snow cones helped a bit. There were balloons, gumball centerpieces, and childhood-inspired food that included a mashed potato martini bar, grilled cheese and tomato bisque, and mini root beer floats. Diane Nixa, vice president of advancement at the Ordway, said it best: “It felt like a children’s festival, grownup style!”
See you on the scene!
Entertainment reporter Todd Walker covers the gala and social circuit for Mpls.St.Paul Magazine. Look for him at events and weekly on FOX 9 News.