By Courtney Thompson Posted December 10, 2010, 2:48 PM EST
While most of the 800 guests attending The Tourist's after-party on Monday would have been content to stare at Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt in an empty parking lot, event producer Chris Benarroch aimed a bit higher. “When you're lucky enough to be working with such high-profile filmmakers like Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp, you really want to pull out all the stops to create a glamorous party,” said Benarroch, who worked with Columbia Tristar senior vice president of special events Alison Bossert to construct the event's look and feel. “Also, during the holidays, everyone loves to dress up and celebrate.”
The film, which takes place in luxurious hotels, trains, and cafes in and around Venice, climaxes at a ball, where Jolie is chasing her felon boyfriend and Depp intercedes. The scene was the inspiration for the film's after-party, which took place at Gotham Hall. “When we walked into the venue, we instantly recognized how the space resembled the ball scene from the film,” said Benarroch. “The party should be incredibly luxurious, and the goal became to recreate a Venetian ball in the middle of Manhattan.”
Four gold silk organza panels draped from the overhead chandelier framed the center of of the venue, creating a theater-in-the-round type setting. The circular space was clustered with opulent furnishings—think gold tufted Chesterfield couches and round banquettes, black velvet chaise lounges, and the evening's focal point, a mirrored circular bar topped with towering rose- and peony-filled arrangement by Ron Wendt.
Stick-to-your ribs fare (ideal for a frigid night) included risotto and panini bars that drew lines, and passed hors d'oeuvres like gooey Brie croutons and artichoke fritters.