Thanks to the great work by our actors to promote the gala, everyone embraced the Swinging Speakeasy theme – keen to be part of the fun. Even the VIPs were part of the theme, languishing in ‘jail’ and awaiting some company, their faces plastered all over the ‘wanted’ posters prominently displayed around the room.
As our costumed guests arrived, each was welcomed to choose additional props and costume items, such as fake cigars, feather boas, fedoras, and long strands of pearls to accessorize their outfit. Then they were handed a very important envelope. Inside – ‘funny’ money for gambling and greasing palms and the password necessary to gain entry to our secret gin joint.
At the Speakeasy entrance, our imposing doorman Clodhopper peered through the peephole window. No entry without the password! You can’t be too careful when the coppers are about. A brief orientation once inside (‘in case of a raid, tell ‘em you just came in to use the bathroom’) and guests entered a spectacular setting, from the elegant red, black, and white décor to the variety of casino games and entertainment (jazz music, silent films, photo booth, and stage show).
Police raids swept up likely suspects and shipped them off to the ‘Jail’ where only a bribe or bail could spring guests from behind bars.
But unlike real life, this jail was nearly as much fun as freedom. Some of the hardened cons were sad to leave when their friends rounded up enough scratch to buy their freedom.
Throughout the evening, our actors mingled with the crowd, enhancing the event with spot-on characterizations of typical characters of the era, from the nervous club owner looking for stool pigeons, to the gangster gals with their witty banter and jaded attitudes. All the elements culminated in a spectacular finale, with talented jazz vocalists recreating the great stage shows of yesteryear, singing huge hits that still get toes tapping nearly a hundred years later. Then the DJ took the stage, keeping guests dancing long into the night.
While the logistics of this three-day event were challenging (very short turnaround times between functions) Bright Ideas’ expertise and experience made the difference. Our client marked their 100th anniversary with the kind of celebration that even the Great Gatsby himself might envy.
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