This past Saturday I had the pleasure of attending a screening of The Scorch Trials, which was immediately followed by a beautiful reception hosted by Dexter Darden at Merion Caterers. For those who don’t know, Dexter plays the deeply caring and determined Frypan in the film. This is his second annual movie viewing and reception, benefiting Sickle Cell Anemia, something he himself lives with.
The night started at Carmike Ritz Center 16 for a private screening of The Scorch Trials, open only to those in Dexter’s party. It began with a red carpet arrival, where Dexter was accompanied by co-star Alexander Flores, who plays Winston in the film. I got a chance to chat with Alex before the movie started, and he was as friendly and gracious as ever. Once everyone entered the theater, Dexter thanked the crowd for attending and supporting Scorch Trials. This was my third viewing of the film, and I must admit it only gets better each time I watch it.
Immediately following the film was the reception at Merion Caterers, so I made the twenty minute drive to the gorgeous venue. I was greeted by Dexter's mother, who gave me my table number while encouraging me to have fun and enjoy the refreshments. The food was absolutely delicious, and the staff were incredibly friendly. Once most guests had arrived, Dexter's mother thanked everyone for coming out and spoke a bit about Dexter's childhood. He grew up with a strong sense of community, and most people in the room had known Dexter throughout his childhood. His vocal teacher informed us of the growth in Dexter's singing abilities and how proud he was of how far he has come. Once it was Dexter's turn at the mic, he thanked all his friends and family for coming out and gave a special shoutout to Alex for attending and being like family to him. He followed that up with a vocal performance of Ed Sheeran's "Thinking Out Loud," accompanied by a friend of his singing duet. He then performed a special song for his mother, which had everyone in the room teary eyed.
The rest of the night was filled with lots of dancing - where Dexter could really show off his skills - and getting acquainted with other guests at the event. I met some of Dexter's family and friends, all of whom were unbelievably kind to me. I got a chance to chat with Alex again about upcoming projects (fingers crossed for him!), and he generously took another picture with me. I snapped a picture with Dexter before I left the event, and I was surprised to learn he remembered meeting me in Philadelphia last September. Overall, it was a wonderful experience - and when I asked Dexter Darden if he would be hosting one next year, he cheerfully said, "We will be doing this all over again for the next one."