Coming Up Roses

Donors and special guests gathered at the Adrienne Arsht Center for a night of unique entertainment at the second annual Take Center Stage gala.

The second annual Take Center Stage gala saw guests doing just that as the dinner was arranged on the stage at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County...
The second annual Take Center Stage gala saw guests doing just that as the dinner  was arranged on the stage at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County...
Bob Soto

On October 11, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County once again hosted the second annual Take Center Stage gala benefiting the center's educational and outreach programs. Though most fund-raising galas stick to a traditional formula of a cocktail hour, dinner, and entertainment, this event's execution set it apart from the rest.

The artistic team at the Arsht Center broke up the evening by pairing each of the dinner's five courses with a performance by one of the center's resident companies or artists. The New World Symphony, Miami Pops Orchestra, Florida Grand Opera, resident artist Jencarlos Canela, and the Miami City Ballet all performed, as well as guest pianist Xiayin Wang-marking the first time that four resident companies or artists have ever performed on the same stage on the same night . The theatrical displays were held on three different stages surrounding the guests, which were constructed specifically for the event.

It took event decor producers, Le Basque Productions four months-more than double the time it normally takes them to go from concept to execution for an event for more than 600 guests-to make the gala a reality.

"This was a more complicated process, because we had to account for the performances that would be going on as well, and all the people who were involved," said Alejandro Muguerza, special events manager and founder of Le Basque.

For the dinner itself, Restaurant Associates served crisp-skin-seared Florida pompano, black bean risotto, and Berkshire pork belly coated in a bourbon molasses glaze that took three days to prepare.

The evening's "Coming Up Roses" theme, designed by Le Basque, was executed in a variety of ways. Tables draped in red and pink shantung linens were set up on the theater stage and topped with short centerpieces of real and paper red roses lit from within by small lights placed within the folds of the paper leaves, donated by Jason Frix Design.

"You can't distract from the performances," Muguerza said of the low centerpieces. "We didn't want to have a busy thing going on here, because the central thing is the performance."

More paper roses were suspended over the stage in a large, custom arrangement. All four tiers of seats were lit pink underneath the theater's gold dome, which was illuminated red for the evening, representing a massive rose.

Following the last performance, red rose stickers led guests down to the lobby for the after-party, produced and promoted by Gorillas Lifestyle Marketing. A temporary nightclub was created in an adjacent room with red banquets, hot pink pillows, a 32-foot glow bar, five disco balls (with the largest in the center topped with cascading red paper roses), and hanging jewels over the bar courtesy of Le Basque and Karla Conceptual Event Experiences.

DJ Induce, DJ Ruckus, and DJ Paul Sevigny provided the end-of-the-night entertainment.

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