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May 1, 2014: Gala Decor Offends Guests, American Comedy Awards Trophies Too Heavy, Flash Mob Prank Ends With Police


1. GALA DECOR OFFENDS GUESTS: The theme of this year’s Cancer Research Institute gala—where guests included former Mayor Michael Bloomberg—was dance, but the decor at two of the tables crossed the line. New York Post: “Some were horrified that the 'hip hop' and 'breakdancing' tables included a figure of a grinning black man with big red lips and a boombox as well as (faux) marijuana and gold chains.” Organizers apologized but defended the table design as “heavily researched.” http://pge.sx/1krYYVY

2. AMERICAN COMEDY AWARDS TROPHIES TOO HEAVY: After realizing its trophies weighed about 15 pounds, producers of the American Comedy Awards made some quick alterations Saturday. New York Post: “We’re told the team was scrambling until an hour before showtime at Hammerstein Ballroom to get the prizes down to a manageable weight, eventually having the scenic designers saw them in half to remove a heavy marble base.” http://pge.sx/1fw0b1i

3. FLASH MOB PRANK ENDS WITH POLICE: A group from the comedy troupe Improv Everywhere ambushed a New York Gap store dressed as mannequins and posed amid the clothes, but the retailer’s workers didn’t find the joke very funny and called the police. New York Daily News: “For the prank, the troupe selected men and women of thin build who were all about six feet tall so they would blend in with the real mannequins, [founder Charlie] Todd said. They were given white Morphsuits. After walking into the store with Gap-style clothes over the costume, they all took their positions and then pulled the hoods over their heads.” http://nydn.us/1fB9gFO

* LOCAL NEWS *

BOSTON:  Boston event planner AJ Williams—whose client list includes New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick—is profiled in the Boston Globe: http://bit.ly/PTp2zA

CHICAGO:  The Woman’s Board and Board of Trustees at the Art Institute of Chicago will host the “Surrealistically Chic” gala on June 20. The event will celebrate the museum’s exhibition, “Magritte: Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926-1938.”

LAS VEGAS:  Delano Las Vegas, which replaces TheHotel inside Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, is now accepting room reservations for stays beginning September 1. It will have 1,100 guest suites.

Condé Nast Traveler's Hot List Party is May 15 at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

Wynn Las Vegas and Encore have appointed Jeremy Pacheco as executive chef of Society Café Encore.

LOS ANGELES:  The “Star Wars Legion” exhibition opens Friday at the Robert Vargas Gallery. Artists from across the Walt Disney Company as well as street artists have created interpretations of the iconic stormtrooper helmet in celebration of the fan holiday Star Wars Day, or “May the 4th be with you.”

MagicSnow created a special-effects snowstorm inside Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live for the Radio Disney Music Awards. The company filled the 7,100-seat auditorium with snow during a live performance of “Let It Go” from Disney’s Frozen.

Bartenders will create cocktails using the William Grant & Sons portfolio of spirits for the second annual May Mix Off, a monthlong competition starting May 14 at the Mixing Room at JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. Live. The winner earns a trip to Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans.

Covenant House California will host its annual award dinner, a Magical Night of Hope, May 8 at Skirball Cultural Center.

Local event listings from Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/losangeles

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  House, a mega-club in Wynwood, is set to open May 16.

NEW YORK:  The fifth annual Gala for Good is May 19 at the IAC HQ; 500 guests are expected to attend.

The T.J.  Martell 2014 Women of Influence Awards are today at the JW Marriott Essex House New York hotel.

Local event listings from Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/newyork

SAN FRANCISCO:  The Sir Francis Drake Hotel is offering childhood-theme event programming. Meeting “snack break” spreads include house-made Twinkies, and meeting attendees are given bubbles, Play-Doh, and other toys to encourage creativity.

TORONTO:  Ontario Centres of Excellence’s Discovery trade show and conference is May 12-13 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  The Metro TeenAIDS gala, marking the nonprofit's 25th anniversary, is June 11 at the Columbus Club in Union Station.

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With contributions from Jenny Berg in Chicago, Alesandra Dubin in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Beth Kormanik, Jill Menze, and Anna Sekula in New York.

BizBash Daily is the must-read digest of event industry news from BizBash.com.

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