By Stacy Horowitz Posted November 9, 2011, 2:17 PM EST
BOSTON The Citi Performing Arts Center's gala, held to raise funds and celebrate the upcoming Broadway-in-Boston production of The Addams Family at the Citi Shubert Theatre, had glow-in-the-dark footprints, googly eyeballs on napkin rings, and took place less than one week after Halloween. Planners, however, were not concerned about the timing.
”The Addams Family lends itself to a macabre yet stylish event,“ said Sean Gilbertson, special events manager for the center. “The theme encourages elegant mischievousness, a step above the usual Halloween costume party.”
The event took place at the Wang Theatre, where the stage was set with tables inspired by cheekily spooky television show. “We transformed [the] stage into our own haunted mansion,” Gilbertson said. “The dining space on the stage was sectioned and dedicated to the individual Addams Family characters, including Gomez, Morticia, Uncle Fester, and Grandma.” Be Our Guest provided decorative tropes inspired by each character, and costumed actors representing them mingled with guests throughout the evening.
The Catered Affair provided a thematic menu that started with a “Blood Red Beet Salad” and ended with the “Toxically Cruel Dessert Buffet,” where items included ladyfinger cookies and edible mice.
More action took place backstage, where guests got a tour that was meant to create “an interactive history of the Wang Theatre,” Gilbertson said. Guests popped into dressing, wig, and wardrobe rooms as well as rehearsal studios. “The design of each room paid homage to major events in the theater history, from its days hosting vaudeville musicals and big bands, to a movie cathedral, to a rock n' roll music hall, to its restoration in the 1980s,” Gilbertson said.
Using in-house inventory and nearly every nook of the theater while giving each space a distinct look helped planners achieve the tone they sought. “Executing a revenue-producing event that wows the guests, while keeping within an ever-shrinking budget, is always a creative challenge,” Gilbertson siad. Ultimately, the event raised $350,000.