By Alesandra Dubin Posted February 5, 2008, 12:51 PM EST
Yesterday, the Recording Academy unveiled plans for Sunday's official Grammy after-party, an event that will take over seven million cubic feet of real estate in the L.A. Convention Center. The look for this year's 50th anniversary event, with production by 11-year Grammy bash vet Mary Micucci and her team at Along Came Mary and design by Angel City, will be a melange of old-world European influences, nodding specifically to the opulence of Viennese opera houses.
Cyndi Lauper and Natasha Bedingfield will perform, as will a troupe of about 50 surreal performance artists from interpretive Vaudeville-style act Lucent Dossier. A rotating slate of opera-house and related images on a massive scale will surround the 6,000 guests.
Recording Academy vice president of production and process management Branden Chapman said he has been conjuring the theme of the event since before last year's clubby Asian-inspired party bowed (and told us so even then). Chapman says his team was never daunted by the threat of fallout from the writers strike, which may indeed come to a resolution before Grammy weekend. “The most challenging part [of planning Grammy events during the strike] was all the misinformation out there. We were trying to manage our jobs while fielding all the phone calls. But now our guests are even more excited for this one to happen.”
Ubiquitous caterer Wolfgang Puck, who last week unveiled plans for his Oscar ball menu, was on hand to show off the vast international buffets that will take over the Grammy party space and the dessert stations that will include chocolate boxes bearing the Grammy logo. But despite presiding over 200 staffers in the Grammy kitchen and many more overall at the event, Puck does not lay claim to any favorite artists of his own. Rather, his picks are more business strategic: “In the restaurant [Cut], we have a computer to select the music. So like when Mary J. Blige comes in, we play her songs,” Puck said.