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Fans herald American Ballet Theatre’s return

The Auditorium Theatre’s Brett Batters(left) with American Ballet Theatre dancers DevTeuscher Alexandre Hammoudi artistic director KevMcKenzie executive director Rachel Moore

The Auditorium Theatre’s Brett Batterson (left) with American Ballet Theatre dancers Devon Teuscher and Alexandre Hammoudi, artistic director Kevin McKenzie, executive director Rachel Moore and dancer Xiomara Reyes.

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Updated: May 4, 2012 8:09AM



For the first time in 17 years, the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University welcomed the American Ballet Theatre back to Chicago with an exclusive reception on the eve of the opening night of “Giselle.”

About 100 guests, many among the city’s most notable art patrons and philanthropists, gathered in the Ivy Room’s outdoor garden, 12 E. Ohio, on an unseasonably warm March evening to toast the renewed partnership between the theater and the ballet company.

Anne Kaplan, Bruce and Deborah Crown, Ed and Dia Weil, and Aleksandra Efimova joined ABT artistic director Kevin McKenzie and executive director Rachel Moore at the celebration. McKenzie recounted his days as a dancer, performing at the Auditorium Theatre, and expressed his excitement about returning to “one of the best theaters in the country.”

Tickets to the intimate event began at $500 per person. The evening kicked off a six-year partnership between the Auditorium Theatre and the American Ballet Theatre.

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The folks at About Face Theatre, which strives to create innovative productions to advance the dialogue on gender and sexual identity, presented a whimsical, prom-themed soiree to raise money for their general fund and youth theater programs last Friday night at the annual Wonka Ball.

Partygoers decked out in their finest prom fashions descended hand-in-hand on the Chicago Illuminating Company, 19 E. 21st St., to celebrate, sip spiked punch and dance to throwback tunes. Photos were snapped in traditional prom poses under a flower arch as attendees arrived, giving them the perfect souvenir by which to remember their enchanted evening.

Shannon Sullivan was awarded the Leppen Leadership Award for her unwavering service to the LGBTQ community, while Sakuri Stone, from the Youth Theatre Ensemble, was honored with the Youth Leadership Award for all-around service. About Face’s leadership was also in attendance, as Bonnie Metzgar and Jason Held made their rounds and chatted with partygoers.

Tickets to the shindig began at $150, but VIPs could shell out $250 for an upgraded package. In total, about $70,000 was raised for the theater and its programming.



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