Oscar Preview: Flowers Will Grow Out of Tables at Lounge-Style Governors Ball

By Anna Sekula January 22, 2013, 7:17 PM EST

Photo: Palace Parker for BizBash

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences abandoned the traditional seated dinner setup of its Governors Ball last year in favor of a more “energized” lounge format and will build on that formula for this year's event February 24. Introduced by event producer Cheryl Cecchetto of Sequoia Productions for the 2012 ball, the looser layout and its array of seating configurations will allow the 1,500 guests to circulate while sampling more than 50 passed bites and plates created by Wolfgang Puck and chef Matt Bencivenga. Academy governor Jeffrey Kurland is returning to chair the ball, overseeing the decor, menu, and entertainment planning and working closely with Cecchetto's team.

The design for the official Oscars after-party—unveiled on Tuesday morning at the Hollywood & Highland Center—will also include a 120-foot chandelier and a rich aubergine hue complemented by shades of chartreuse and champagne. Mark Held of Mark's Garden will match the color scheme, using orchids, artichokes, calla lilies, kale, and fern shoots for the floral decor. For dramatic effect, glass-topped cocktail tables will look like flowers are growing out of the pedestals.

The Tuesday preview for the press also saw Puck showcase the dishes he will serve: a menu comprised largely of small plates and passed hors d'oeuvres with a bigger selection of meatless dishes. “Serving small bites makes the experience more like a cocktail party than a black-tie dinner—it allows people to try a variety of dishes,” said Puck. “Adding more vegetarian and vegan dishes to the menu gives people options and helps ensure that everyone will find something they like.”

Other elements include 423 custom furniture pieces from Lux Lounge EFR and fabrics from Resource One. In terms of drinks, there will be specialty cocktails from Patrón and Ultimat Vodka, bubbly from Champagne Thiénot, and wine from Sterling Vineyards.

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