Ragin’ Stagin’

Missives from the Jet Set.

Stage Night

(Top Left: Darryl Settles, A.J. Ajudua, Cameron Kirkpatrick and Kirk Sykes at Studio Sessions; Top Right: The audience at Studio Sessions; Bottom Left: Kadahj Bennet, Eva Hughes, Stephanie Recio, and Alex Lonati at Studio Sessions; Bottom Right: Bridgette Hayes and Shawna M. James perform at Studio Sessions)

One of the city’s most experimental theater companies, Company One, hosted Studio Sessions, which was—as it was billed—part cocktail party, part open rehearsal and a full night out.

The evening started with drinks and light bites at the sleek Theater District lounge Abby Lane before everyone headed over to Emerson’s Paramount Center to watch a rehearsal of An Octoroon. There doing their thing were such boldfaced names as restaurateur Darryl Settles, advertising guru Daren Bascome, fashion historian Kathleen McDermott, New Boston Fund head Kirk Sykes, actors Kadahj Bennett, Eva Hughes, Stephanie Recio and Alex Lonati, and one woman who spent the better portion of the evening enumerating the many reasons she didn’t like The Book of Mormon (surprisingly, being a Mormon wasn’t one of them).

It was difficult to pry everyone away from the cozy fireplace (not to mention the bar) and lure them over to the theater, but it was well worth it to get a backstage glimpse of the actors at work.

The evening’s best exchange? “Would you like to taste the wine?”

“No, thanks. We’re well-acquainted.”


What’s in a ZIP Code?

(Top: Performers from Sinha Capoeira at Dance for World Community’s benefit; Bottom Left: Ashlee Demers, Richard Shea and Julie Yen at Dance for World Community’s benefit; Bottom Middle: José Mateo at Dance for World Community’s benefit; Bottom Right: Lance and Susan Bourque, Jaclyn Sanford and Lauren Ganther at Dance for World Community’s benefit)

It was like an around-the-world trip sans passport when Dance for World Community hosted its second annual cocktail benefit at the Sanctuary Theatre in Cambridge.

On hand were such dance aficionados as founder José Mateo, arts booster Bill Nigreen, music scion Michael Zildjian, pharmaceuticals kingpin Richard Shea, ballet mistress Susan Bourque and her handsome hubby, Lance, attorney at large Alicia Downey, development babe Ashlee Demers, the swanlike Julie Yen, dancing doc Lauren Elson, committee member Henry Tyssen Neading, ballroom queen Elaine Shannon, the stunning Janelle Gilchrist and one person who was asked, “Are you a dancer?” to which he responded, “Oh, no. I can barely tie my shoes.”

Cocktail tables and a lounge area filled one end of the converted church space, and the multicultural performances included the classical Indian dance Kathak and a Brazilian capoeira demonstration, along with hip-hop and swing. Meanwhile, the raffle included prizes like a date night in Harvard Square (which prompted one guest to say, “Isn’t that a contradiction in terms?”), and a dessert table laden with goodies beckoned fiendishly from the corner.

“I earned this cookie,” one guest said. “I walked all of three blocks to get here.”

However, the evening’s choicest exchange came when someone said, “This is soooo 02138,” to which someone else responded, “Spoken like a true 02116-er.”

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