Claire Spera and Kiira Bivens at Art Bra Austin.

HEALTH & STYLE: How theatrical! It had been a couple of years since I’d checked in on Art Bra Austin, the festive fundraiser for Breast Cancer Resource Center. All I can say is: “Wow!” At the Austin Music Hall, delirious guests mingled on multiple levels over snack food and outrageous costumes. Quickly, though, we got to business: Dozens of artfully designed and constructed breastplates, corsets and other protective garments, were modeled on a high runway by breast cancer survivors. Here, auctioneer Gayle Stallings‘ gifts matched the theatrical scale of the event — her imposing personality has always reminded me of Mama Rose in “Gypsy.” And while the bras in the past were aptly fanciful, this time they tended to take on mythological themes, done up in operatic style. While dozens of the outfits were auctioned “silently”, a few amazing samples, including a mosaic corset, went on the live auction block. The models, too, had been coached to take heroic poses and interact with stage props. Well, props to everyone who put this memorable show together. See my snapshots of the models at my Instagram page.

Leigh Zimmerman and Stacy Sutton at Art Bra Austin.

ARTS: Tangling with Texas and sexuality. Taken from my article in the Statesman: “Playwright Terrence McNally, 76, left his native Corpus Christi in 1956. He has rarely looked back. Now very much a New Yorker, he has chronicled many aspects of American culture — including the evolution of gay life — for more than five decades. Winner of multiple major honors, including the Tony Award, he is, along with Wharton’s Horton Foote and Austin’s Robert Schenkkan, among the state’s most distinguished playwrights. Recently, his comic drama “Mothers and Sons” opened at Zach Theatre. It follows two characters, Katharine and Cal, introduced to television audiences in the Emmy Award-winning 1990 movie “Andre’s Mother.” In that show, both are devastated by the recent AIDS death of Andre, Katharine’s charismatic son and Cal’s partner. They struggle to connect. In the current show, Katharine has come to visit Cal, who is now married to Will, a writer, with whom he is raising a son, Bud.”

Jamie Logsdon and Ashley Whitfield at Art Bra Austin.

TRAVEL: Carry me back to Virginia: Taken from my article in the Statesman: “A destination wedding took us back to Virginia. The ambrosial affair gave us permission to further explore the Richmond and Charlottesville regions. First, though, the wedding. Our gorgeous niece and goddaughter, Lauren Barnes, wed dashing Alex Bonetti — both University of Texas grads — at Keswick Vineyards outside of Charlottesville. The historic Edgewood Estate rises in an impossibly beautiful valley of horse farms and old country homes. The site played small roles in the Revolutionary and Civil wars. On a cool, clear May late afternoon, the ceremony took place against the background of rolling vineyards and the green hills beyond. Lauren and Alex wrote their own vows. Especially touching were their tributes to the rest of the wedding party. The tented reception — including jaunty toasts — added to the evening’s sweet trance. Knowing my family, I’m sure there was an after party following the after party.”