The Krewe of Les Femmes held its 59th annual Mardi Gras Carnival Ball celebration on January 24, 2009, at the Biloxi Community Center. The theme for the event was Direct From Broadway. For the evening, the ladies of Les Femmes offered guests and members alike the unique experience of various Broadway musicals. The tableau began with the presentation of the 2008 royalty, Queen Andrea Huff, and King Roy Gibson. Before turning over their reign to the new Krewe of Les Femmes Royalty, they made their way around the floor and then sat back to enjoy the festivities.
Representing various musicals Direct From Broadway, members, led by their group leader, performed an assortment of dance routines. Group leaders and the Broadway musical each symbolized are as follows: Kim Bourgeois and Chicago; Eve Halliburton-Shannon and Sweet Charity; Dusty Burdine and the ladies from Moulin Rouge; Rosemary Eicher and Kismet.
The Krewe of Les Femmes was proud to present not one but two separate performances for the special entertainment that evening. First, a group of young ladies from Nancys School of Dance for Education and Performance, located in dIberville, performed a fabulous routine from the musical, Grease. This routine was followed by vocals from the wonderful ten-year-old, Sydney Migues, of Biloxi. She first sang Romeo and Juliet. Next, the young ladies from Nancys School of Dance returned to the stage and danced to the song I Would Die For You. The special entertainment portion of the nights tableau ended with another crowd-pleasing performance by Sydney. She sang Over The Rainbow.
Following, officers of Les Femmes 2008 were introduced and made their way around the floor. Officers for 2008 were Sandra Doll, President; Eve Halliburton-Shannon, Vice President; Kathy Terry, Treasurer; and Tina Morrow, Secretary.
After experiencing just a glimpse of various Broadway musicals, it was time to present the royalty of the krewe, who, by their grace and charm, gave a unique glance at each musical Direct from Broadway as each maid of the royal court descended from the stage. Jennifer Hill, Ms. Chicago, was escorted by duke Ken Hill; Shannon Kern, Ms. Sweet Charity, was escorted by duke Kevin Kern; Laverne Burdine, Ms. Moulin Rouge, was escorted by duke Rick Burdine; Rosemary Eicher, Ms. Kismet, was escorted by duke Jim Ragsdale; Kim Bourgeois, Ms. Grease, was escorted by duke Michael Fay.
Prior to the representation of His Royal Majesty, the kings page, Tanner Alan Boney was introduced. He is the three-year-old son of Melissa Burdine and Brent Boney. Dressed in a white tuxedo with tails, Tanner anxiously awaited the presentation of the King Les Femmes.
Representing the city where Broadway musicals are primarily showcased, New York also offers a wide range of attractions and breathtaking views. Therefore, it was only natural that the ladies of Les Femmes found a governing monarch befitting of such qualities. The King of Les Femmes 2009, Chuck Burdine, was introduced. His Royal Majesty entered to the theme of New York, New York, attired in a white tuxedo with tails.
Before the entrance of the Queen of Les Femmes 2009, her page, Trinity Jean Gary, was introduced. She is the five-year old daughter of Ryan and Melissa Byrd of Biloxi. Anxiously awaiting the entrance of Her Royal Majesty 2009, Trinity was dressed in a solid snow white princess-styled dress accentuated with long white gloves and a glistening tiara.
As Broadway is the street in New York that has come to symbolize live theater entertainment and musicals through out the world, it would have been difficult to disagree with such after having just a glimpse of various musicals that evening Direct From Broadway. Consequently, shouldnt Broadway be considered the queen of all theatrical sites? Thus, it was a necessity that a young lady exhibit, merely by her presence, such similar recognition as the Queen of Les Femmes 2009. Her Royal Majesty Queen Melissa Burdine was revealed on the magnificent street of Broadway, attired in an Erte style floor-length gown with full halo mantle edged with pure femina ostrich plumes and Swarovski crystals. She descended from the stage to the song On Broadway.
In a ceremonial transfer of royalty, 2008 Queen Andrea Huff presented Queen Melissa Burdine with a pin, symbolizing the passing of the royal scepter. The royal toast was presented to the court, krewe and guests by the queens mother, Kathy Terry, with the wish for a glorious and prosperous reign in 2009. Following the royal toast and the grand march, the members celebrated the close of the tableau with the traditional krewe promenade.
The Queen and Maids ensembles were sketched by Margie McGraw, with the Queens apparel being executed by her as well. Master of Ceremonies for the evening was Jim Tabor. Lighting services for the ball were provided by Dan McElhinny. Music for the evening was furnished by Paul Lee. Take-Two Video Productions provided the videography, while photography services were by Corrines Photography. Stage decorations were completed under the direction of Rick Burdine. Lighting decorations were done by Rhody Morrow and Lowell Wiley. Patricia Wiley acted as the hostess for the evening.