By Courtney Thompson Posted January 7, 2011, 12:38 PM EST
NEW YORK Bravo decided to throw its hat into the televised New Year's countdown ring this year with a special segment of network host Andy Cohen's Watch What Happens Live. Held in the show's Hudson Street production offices where the show is filmed weekly, the evening combined a live broadcast with a New Year's Eve party for 150 guests, mostly comprised of “Bravo-lebrities” (read: the network's crop of reality stars).
Samantha Repp, production manager for Watch What Happens Live, tapped Jung Lee and Josh Brooks of Fête Events to transform the run-of-the-mill 2,000-square-foot office into a dynamic event space, complete with stocked bars and drinking games. The challenge? Fête needed to keep a section of the office intact—and hidden from sight—so that staffers could produce the live show.
“We attached Plexi half-circles to 17 panels of fabric, and hung them from the ceiling to create a wall around the functioning office,” explained Brooks, who added that the most of the office's desks were moved to an empty space in the building. “Behind the wall was desks and computers so that the staffers could continue working throughout the party.”
Aiming to keep the event in line with the irreverent tone of Cohen's show, Fête created a seven-foot-tall Wheel of Drinking Games that guests could spin. Each panel on the wheel represented a different cocktail or prize, like a glass of Champagne for the “Happy Wife, Happy Life” (quoting The Real Housewives of New Jersey's Teresa Guidice), or a disco ball necklaces for “Gettin' Giggy With It” (referencing The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' Lisa Vanderpump's dog).
Because the show was filming from 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., music was kept at moderate level of loudness, as the producers didn't want the noise to filter over to the broadcast. Once the show wrapped, however, the evening's talent joined the rest of the party and danced until 2:30 a.m., long past the party's intended 1 a.m. end time.