Candlelight Concert Benefiting Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Sutton Foster, Huey Lewis Star at Candlelight Concert for the Segerstrom Center for the Arts


Partygoers in fine jewels and elegant formal attire streamed into the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa Dec. 7 for the 2012 Candlelight Concert, “Live the Arts.”

No mere dinner dance, this year’s annual gala featured an entire cabaret performance by Broadway supernova Sutton Foster. As if that weren’t enough, the shindig closed with a rock set by multi-Platinum recording stars Huey Lewis & The News. (Check the gallery below for photos.) 

Having just opened its first California boutique at nearby South Coast Plaza, the distinguished watchmaker Vacheron Constantin took the opportunity to become the gala’s presenting sponsor. (The company will soon open another boutique in Los Angeles.)

During the reception, North America president Hugues de Pins said he appreciated SCFTA’s commitment to youth education and noted that the Vacheron Constantin, founded in 1755, has a historical tradition of supporting the arts. He named recent company-sponsored projects at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, Paris Opera Ballet and London Royal Ballet.

Inside the holiday-bedecked Segerstrom Hall, set with tables instead of theater seats, SCFTA chairman Larry Higby welcomed guests to dinner. And in case anyone wondered how the auditorium had become a ballroom, he showed a clever 2-minute video, which depicted the transformation in fast-forward time.  

Terry Dwyer, SCFTA’s president, introduced Foster, 2011 Tony winner for “Anything Goes;” 2002 Tony winner for “Thoroughly Modern Millie;” a Tony nominee for three more shows; and currently, the star of TV’s “Bunheads,” which Foster explained as referring not to librarians, but to ballerinas.  

“They spend a large part of their lives rocking a bun,” she said, adding that because of the show, she now lives in Los Angeles.

“I bought a car and downloaded the earthquake app, so now I’m all set,” she said, amid her repertoire of standards and new songs. Considering Foster was wearing stilettos, we figured she wouldn’t be dancing, as she did so masterfully in “Anything Goes” on Broadway. Her show didn’t disappoint, however, as she sang such delights as “All You Need’s an Air Conditioner,” “The Lies of Handsome Men,” and “Georgia” with banjo accompaniment.

Huey Lewis & The News ended the evening with their classics: “The Power of Love,” “Heart of Rock & Roll” and others. And as guests overflowed the dance floor, he saluted them for supporting the arts.

“We used to be a beer and hot dog band, but now we’re hanging with the wine and cheese set,” Lewis said, adding – “And we like it.”

And judging from the crowd’s enthusiasm, guests liked Huey Lewis & The News, too.

Combining sponsorships, underwriting and tickets at $3,000 and up, the gala netted nearly $1 million for artistic and educational programs.

On the executive committee were Bette Aitken, Julia Argyros, Marta Bhathal, Deborah Bridges, Missy Pace Collero, Leslie Cancellieri, Sally Crockett, Cynthia Fry, Jackie Glass, Terry Goldfarb-Lee, Dee Higby, Betty Huang, Tracy Kirwan, Shanaz Langson, Twyla Reed Martin, Liz Merage, Carol Perry, Patricia Poss, Dorian Parkinson Reily, Eve Ruffatto, Elizabeth Segerstrom, Ellen Sorensen, Sutton Stracke, Susan Strader, Lisa Vogel and Carol Wilken.

Underwriters included Jane and Jim Driscoll, Elizabeth and Henry Segerstrom, Nancy and Rick Muth, Willa Dean and General William Lyon, Tracy and Roger Kirwan, Marta and Raj Bhathal, and many others. 


Top photo: Broadway supernova Sutton Foster performed an entire cabaret act at the Candlelight Concert benefiting Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Center photo: Multi-Platinum recording artist Huey Lewis & The News rocked the Candlelight Concert benefiting Segerstrom Center for the Arts 

Bottom photo: Model Rachel Moore showing off timepieces by presenting sponsor Vacheron Constantin as guests arrive for the Candlelight Concert benefiting Segerstrom Center for the Arts (photo: courtesy of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts)



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Candlelight Concert Benefiting Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Published Dec. 9, 2012 – Ellen Olivier, Society News LA