Posted February 12, 2007, 12:00 AM EST
LOS ANGELES Warner Music Group vice president of corporate communications Susan Mazo and her preferred creative team—which year after year includes Krisyln Meyer-Komarov and Lulu Powers—keep their annual Grammys party fresh in part by taking inspiration from the venue’s features. And this year’s venue, the Old Church at 2 Main, provided plenty of inspiration for the planners, as it has in other ways for inhabitants dating back to the 1800’s in its original capacity as St. Vibiana’s Cathedral. After a $3 million renovation, the old-world space has just reopened as an event venue, and Warner was among the first to present it to a seen-it-all-but-not-this Grammys-going crowd, including Warner Music Group artists Red Hot Chili Peppers, James Blunt, Gnarls Barkley, and T.I., among others, who made the short jaunt across downtown LA. from the ceremony at Staples Center. (In all, Warner’s artists had a collective 105 nominations and 23 wins.)
“Obviously, you walk in and just fall in love with the space,” Mazo said. Meyer’s designs enhanced the old church’s existing character, with plush brown velvet tufted ottomans and more low seating in plaid silk making for a surprising complement. Bartenders poured from behind faux marble bars, which Meyer created to blend seamlessly with the marble in the venue, particularly in the low light. Silk Japanese maples in pots sat beneath dramatic pillars. Wrought-iron patio furniture dotted the adjoining garden—covered in a transparent tent when the forecast called for rain (although none fell on the big night)—which had at its center a giant horse statue for a luxe polo-club look.
Inside, a five-piece band accompanied the New Dimensions gospel choir of 18 singers, amplified by the old church’s powerful acoustics. String Theory built a unique instrument to entertain the music-savvy crowd, and DJ Cassidy rounded out the eclectic live offerings.
Among Powers’ passed goodies were Atlantic blue-crab cakes with citrus chili aioli, Kobe beef sliders with caramelized shallots, carrots and zucchini parmesan canapés, seared skirt steak on grilled baguettes, tuna tartare adorned with wasabi caviar, and mini asiago-and-spinach grilled cheeses. Cheeses, fruits, and nuts decked tables so artfully that they recalled classic still-life paintings. “I call them grazing tables,” Powers said. “It’s not a buffet—‘buffet’ sounds so gauche.” Servers passed Powers’ caramel fudge brownies and mini cupcakes with lavender frosting for dessert.
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