Attendees help serenade honorees at Pittsburgh CLO Guild Ball
By Kate Benz
Published: Sunday, June 16, 2013, 7:33 p.m.
It isn't often that the audience manages to upstage a collection of seasoned performers, but when ReedSmith's Dan Booker appeared tableside of CLOE Awardees Helen and Stephen Casey during the Pittsburgh CLO Guild Ball on June 15 and started crooning the first few chords of “Gotta Sing! Gotta Dance!,” all bets were officially off.
As if that weren't enough, on cue, Linda and Tony Bucci, Christina O'Toole, Maryann Boehm and Suzanne Karlovich (she chaired the evening along with her husband, Ed) were out of their seats for a routine that involved the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera performers, ending with the aforementioned honorees being escorted center stage and put, literally, on a pedestal.
“I decided to keep my day job,” said board chair Patti Matty, who also had joined in. “I still don't have my breath. ... I don't know how these kids do it.”
Rock, Roll & Remember, the 58th annual ball hosted by the CLO Guild, won't soon be forgotten for a variety of reasons. Ambiance-wise, there was an 180-degree spiral from the chic, cocktail lounge settings of years past. Plastic table coverings, floral centerpieces meant to resemble giant ice cream cones, and Dixie Cups filled with party mix were used in the hopes of mimicking a juke joint. From an entertainment standpoint, however, the CLO students and seasoned pros showed an outstanding capacity to inject a jolt of energy into the ballroom of the Westin with a zippy rock 'n' roll-on-Broadway montage that oozed with vintage charm.
Earlier in the evening, CLO executive producer Van Kaplan (with Mary Jane Brennan) had hinted of “something sensational planned,” with regard to the performance, a promise that delivered for the likes of Pink Box co-chairs Anne Liparulo and Kristin Brennan, Kim and Curt Fleming, Bill and Sandy Lambert, Rich and Laurie Mushinsky, Janice and Ernie Meade, Wynne Fedele, Helen Wylie, Carol and Mike Bleier, and Tom and Chris Kobus.
On a bittersweet note, gone-but-not-forgotten friends of the Guild were remembered in touching fashion, the most recent being former prexy Norma Sobel, who passed away in April.
“Rather than mourn the loss, let's toast her,” Matty said to the crowd of 300. “She was never one to miss a party.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Archbishop of Washington returns to Pittsburgh for 50th Medallion Ball
- Kelly-Strayhorn party lays groundwork for centennial celebrations