The smash Broadway musical Hamilton served as the theme for this year’s TPAC Gala. From the costumed greeters to a menu inspired by the original 13 colonies to a spectacular performance by Hamilton cast member, Chris Lee, the evening did not disappoint!
The event started with cocktails and a silent auction in TPAC’s Andrew Jackson Hall lobby. There were passed appetizers of Maryland crab cakes, Mount Vernon vegetable tarts and Georgia pork belly. This year’s auction offered unique TPAC experiences that included backstage tours, downtown hotel stays and dining at the newest restaurants.
When the cocktail hour came to an end, we were ushered into a transformed Andrew Jackson Hall for dinner. The first course was a salad of summer greens, burrata, heirloom tomatoes, country ham “prosciutto”, grilled peach and pickled red onion. The entrees were medallions of smoked beef and smoked salmon with grilled zucchini, fresh corn and hominy souffle and blackberry gastrique. The gluten and dairy-free vegetarian entree option was a zucchini roulade with Carolina red rice, mushroom, fresh corn, roast tomatoes, spinach, field peas and creamy smoked tomato sauce, Dessert was lemon meringue icebox cake.
During dinner, Mike Shmerling and long-time sponsor Delta Dental of Tennessee were recognized for their years of commitment to TPAC and the arts in Nashville. They were this year’s recipients of the Applause Award. We also heard from the new president and CEO, Jennifer Turner, Board chair Tracy Kane and 2019 co-chair David Minnigan. One of the biggest highlights of the evening was the performance of Chris Lee with Belmont University Music Theatre students. For those of you that don’t know, Lee was a Belmont University musical theatre student and he recently wrapped up the national tour of Hamilton playing the dual role of “Marquis de Lafayette” and “Thomas Jefferson.” After dinner guests made their way to the Polk Theater for the Late Party which included an open bar, appetizers and lively performances by Young Hearts and Wyn Starks.