Chris Blue, the winner of “The Voice” competition last year, performed Sunday for 130 people on the stage of the Tennessee Theatre.
Of course, Knoxville’s newest star, Chris Blue, is a great draw for a fundraiser — even at $400 per ticket. But another element that made the Stars on Stage event so successful last Sunday was the unique chance to eat dinner on the stage of Knoxville’s treasured Tennessee Theatre. To top it off, dinner was prepared by Trevor Stockton of RT Lodge, a favored culinary destination of locals and visitors alike.
The lovely evening raised about $50,000 to benefit the historic downtown theater, according to the Tennessee Theatre’s executive director, Becky Hancock. She said the proceeds will be used to help fund ongoing preservation of the renovated Gay Street landmark and to underwrite costs of free community programs that welcome everyone into the Tennessee.
“There were so many ‘stars’ on our stage that evening: a stellar and intimate performance by Chris, an elegant and fantastic dinner by Chef Stockton, and the 130 attendees who believe in and support the Tennessee Theatre’s mission,” she said. “It was truly a memorable event.”
The evening began with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the lavish lobby of the Tennessee Theatre.
From left, Susan French, Glessia Woodruff and Fran Owen.
Kenneth Stark and Nancy Voith.
Tonjanita Johnson and her daughter, T’Anna.
Sid Blalock and Tennessee Theatre Executive Director Becky Hancock.
Lila Honaker, the Tennessee Theatre’s director of marketing and outreach, with Evvan Tolly.
Larry and Brenda Cox.
One of the passed appetizers: smoked duck breast with pickled cherries, dill and mustard seed.
Mini buttermilk biscuits with mixed berry jam.
From left, Glenn Swift, Hallerin Hilton Hill, Joan Swift and Chris Blue.
Great bartender! Antoinette Fritz.
Bob Lederer with Reagan Canaday, left, and Ali Johnson.
From RT Lodge, Shelby Spradlin, left, and Jayden Barrett. Great job, ladies.
Hallerin Hilton Hill and Jen Mowrer.
Talk about setting a stage! Here’s what the dinner setup looked like on the actual stage!
The major sponsor table.
All other tables. Look at all that silverware!
Chef Trevor Stockton, left, and Mark Hawkins of RT Lodge.
Natalie and Jim Haslam.
Donna and Bill Cobble.
Sabrina and Tom Feiten.
Rachel Zizka and Chris Chandler.
The first course was served family style and passed at each table. It was 21-month aged ham with Sweet Grass Dairy Green Hill cheese and pickled Tennessee strawberries.
Tom and Evelyn Shaw.
Sid and Jo Blalock.
Elizabeth and Jeff Swilley.
Susan Richardson Williams, left, with Pat and Tom Bright.
The arugula salad featured a wonderful combination of flavors and textures: smoked and pickled beets, yogurt honey roasted peanuts and beet cured egg.
Jami Kiger of Visit Knoxville, right, and her mother, Victoria Wear.
John and Lauren Miller. Lauren is with Moxley Carmichael.
Victor Ashe with Joan Cronan.
The fish course was brown butter poached North Carolina rainbow trout with crispy skin, watercress and mushroom broth.
Lori Hickok, left, and Julia Bentley.
Mickey Chapman and Eric Smith.
Christi Branscom, left, and Cate Biggs.
Susan Brown, right, with Cynthia Gibson, center, and her daughter, Loren Gilbert.
Red wine braised beef short rib with winter vegetables and greens and pickled pearl onions. Delish.
Julie Mannino and Saeed Etezadi.
Joan and Victor Ashe.
Pecan pie with benne seed whipped cream and bourbon caramel.
Chef Stockton addressing the fans.
In short order, Chris Blue took the stage.
It’s great having a talent like him to glam up the local events!
After a quick costume change, he sang happy birthday to his wife, Stephanie.
And then the dance floor opened! These folks were ready!
Marilyn Dick and Tanner Priest during one of the slow numbers.
My friend Jen Mowrer and my husband, Alan Carmichael, hamming it up.
David and Sandy Martin.
After the dancing, Stephanie Blue posed with Tami Purcell.
Chris Blue’s mom, Janice Blue-Williams, with Susan Brown.