Lensic supporters dress up, show up and pay up

SANTA FE, NM – It was fantasy night at the Lensic Theater for the 15th Anniversary Party: A Passage to India.

You could indulge your wildest dreams, with no wardrobe boundaries or restrictions as to sect or century … so exotic personal adornment was de rigeur and many people played along. (For some of us, playing “dress-up” is daily entertainment, while some others won’t partake of this fun exercise even when asked to! Regular clothes! Oh, ho hum!)

But some turbaned men played maharajah and many saris flowed along during the cocktail hour, as wonderful Indian jewel colors circled around each other like a human kaleidoscope, with gold-bordered gorgeous silks gliding by, as well as bindis, brocade and embroidery.

A guru on a sitar and a big pillow played strange and exotic atonal sounds from his perch above the dinner tables and, with that music and that ambiance, we could really play pretend. Whirling girls twisted and spun in a fuschia light, performing gymnastics on lengths of fabric cascading from the rafters. Quite theatrical and beautiful, though always a tad scary. I hold my breath until the end and they’re safe. Whew! Didn’t fall off!

Seated on picnic chairs, we each had an Indian brocade pillow at the small of our backs, which we were given at the end as party favors … . Useful! Chef John Sedlar shared his interpretation of Indian dishes for the group of 210 supporters, with creative presentations of Vadouvan curries for lamb, salmon or tofu devotees and coconut/saffron custard for dessert, all paired with matching wine unless you went for the signature cocktail.

The signature drink for the evening was the “Marigold Gimlet,” a really tasty beverage designed especially for this event to make one feel jolly, boy. oh boy! Whee! Well, you want a jolly crowd for this auction! The luxury, dream-come-true items sold for $8,000-$18,000 each and the paddle call began at the top at $30,000. I counted six paddles, God bless them!

This was a resounding endorsement of the institution, and acknowledgement of the growth and success of the Lensic over the past 15 years. In support of the promise of the future, the benefit evening raised over $300,000. Big applause! Deep bows.

The Lensic receives from the community and then the Lensic gives back to the community. Those funds will pay for Lensic Theater programming that is not already privately or corporately underwritten, the intern program and the Children’s Outreach Field Trip program.

The difference the field trip program can make in the lives of children must be incredible! How many of them have been exposed only to pop, rap and junk, and never heard Rachmaninoff’s 2nd, Beethoven’s 5th, a Chopin nocturne, or even a little Mozart ditty on their travels?

How many have never seen a live play performed until a field trip to the Lensic? And no matter what the Lensic is playing or showing them, a field trip to the theater is always SO special! Remember? A life can be changed with a field trip. A field trip can be followed up with a return visit … . Positive activity for a child!

And “playing dress-up” is a positive activity for adults.

Ashley Margetson has a BA in English from UCLA, is a senior real estate broker with Sotheby’s International Realty and has a finger on the pulse of philanthropic activities in Santa Fe. To tell us about an upcoming event, email apm@ashleymargetson.com.


The Lensic party included sitar music by acclaimed musician Ustad Roshan Jamal Bhartiya.


Wise Fool New Mexico’s acrobats perform aerial acrobatics at the Lensic’s 15th anniversary party.


Sarah Nolan.


Maharajah Michael Gamble toasts the Lensic.

Lensic board officer Alexis Girard.


Barbara Flicker and Susan Meredith.

Nancy and Richard Block at the Lensic fundraiser.


Joyce Melander and Whitney Smith.



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