The Scene: The Washington Performing Arts’ annual gala

Last Saturday night, the place to be for a spirited live show wasn’t a new club on U Street; it was the Washington Performing Arts’s annual gala.

The event, which had a South African theme, was held on the 20th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s inauguration as president and featured South African singer-songwriter Vusi Mahlasela, who was flown in to perform for the organization’s 550 patrons at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. Also taking the stage were WPA’s Children of the Gospel Choir, Step Afrika!, singer Karin Paludan and tiny violinists Maxence, 11, and Stella Mouries, 7. 

Washington Performing Arts President and CEO Jenny Bilfieldat the WPA's annual gala on Saturday, May 10, 2014. (Chris Eurch Photography)
Washington Performing Arts President and chief executive Jenny Bilfield at the annual gala on Saturday. (Chris Burch Photography) 
South African singer Vusi Mahlasela and the WPA Children of the Gospel Choir perform at the WPA's annual gala on Saturday, May 10, 2014. (Chris Eurch Photography)
South African singer Vusi Mahlasela and the WPA Children of the Gospel Choir perform. (Chris Burch)
A member of Step Afrika! performs at the WPA's annual gala on Saturday, May 10, 2014. (Chris Eurch Photography)
A member of Step Afrika! performs at WPA’s annual gala . (Chris Burch Photography)
Violinists Stella Mouries and Maxence Mouries perform at the WPA's annual gala on Saturday, May 10, 2014. (Chris Eurch Photography)
Violinists Stella Mouries and Maxence Mouries perform at WPAS’ annual gala. (Chris Burch Photography)
Lloyd Howell, Patricia Howell, Pam Joyner at the WPA's annual gala on Saturday, May 10, 2014. (Chris Eurch Photography)
Booz Allen Hamilton executive vice president Lloyd Howell with Patricia Howell and Pam Joyner at the gala. (Chris Burch Photography)

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Helena Andrews is the co-author of The Reliable Source. Follow her on Twitter @helena_andrews, and send your hot tips, sightings, and gossip to reliablesource@washpost.com.
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