Governors Ball Surprises Guests With Bennett, Changing Decor

About an hour into the Academy's official after-party, the decor underwent dramatic transformations.

By Rosalba Curiel September 17, 2007, 1:26 PM EDT

Event producers incorporated the statuette's silhouette into the decor.

Photo: Nadine Froger Photography

While last night's Governors Ball following the Emmys featured one of the evening's winners, Tony Bennett, few people knew about his slated performance before it took place. Hours after a win for his performance in a TV special, and his televised duet with Christina Aguilera, Bennett took to the stage again as the surprise performer at the Academy’s official after-party.

“We didn’t tell anybody anything,” said event producer Cheryl Cecchetto of Sequoia Productions, who worked in collaboration with ball chair Geriann McIntosh for the 10th year. “Why can’t I set a trend that we don’t tell everybody what it’s all about and those that are lucky to be there find out themselves?”

Those in attendance witnessed a large-scale transition in decor inspired by the Emmys' own transition from their 59th to 60th year. Guests arrived to find the Shrine’s exposition hall decked with Art Deco elements tinged with modern twists in a pervasively black-and-white color scheme. About an hour into the event, the prerecorded voice of actor Kelsey Grammer welcomed guests to the ball, and then a series of transformations occurred throughout the space.

Overhead, the white voile drapery hanging from the ceiling opened to reveal two descending domes lit by gobos of the Emmy atom (that's the sphere at the top of the statuette). Meanwhile, the chandeliers—which somewhat resembled small boxes within larger boxes—expanded. Below, fabric flanking four rectangular pillars displaying silhouettes of the Emmy statuette gave way in dramatic kabuki drops, leaving behind the cut-out shape of the Emmy form backed by water walls and backlit in sharp red and orange shades (whereas they had previously only been backlit in white).

In keeping with the event’s eco-friendly slant, Patina created a menu using primarily organic ingredients, such as locally grown and sustainable greens for the portobello ravioli entrée option for vegetarians.

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