“Paradiso” was the theme of this year’s sold-out “Pasta & Puccini" gala. Inspired by where the Persians, Greeks and Romans worshipped their deities, décor in the Marriott Hotel Grand Ballroom included fluted columns with grape-laden vines. Gala Co-Chairs were Paulette and Frank Stewart Jr.

Prior to dinner, guests enjoyed appetizers and cocktails of chocolate martinis, Cosmopolitans and fuzzy navels. When patrons were seated, a three-course dinner accompanied by wines was served. Maestro Dennis Assaf and the JPAS Symphony Orchestra along with Director of Youth Programming Lynne Bordelon led the national award-winning Theater Kids! competition team in a rousing patriotic song and dance routine honoring our armed forces. A bevy of songs from My Fair Lady, Funny Girl, West Side Story and others entertained, with special appearances by Ronnie Lamarque and a duet by Ed Marshall and his wife Carmella.

Live auction items included a James Michalopoulas giclée, a tourmaline and diamond ring from Quarter Smith Jewelry, a Mustang experience for four and more.

A tribute was paid to presenting sponsor Jeri Nims for continued support by the Myrtis and Robert Nims Foundation.


What: 21st annual “Pasta & Puccini,” benefiting Jefferson Performing Arts Society
When: Saturday, October 29
Where: Marriott New Orleans