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Top reasons Sacramento Ballet gala guests will return

1930's Personalities
1930's Personalities
Susan Raines

On March 15, 2014 the Memorial Auditorium will come alive in the flare of the 1930’s as the Sacramento Ballet presents its second annual theme Gala. Many of the attending guests will be returning from last year’s dramatic event that featured the 1920’s “Great Gatsby.”

The event is designed to allow guests to truly delve into the ambiance of the Golden Hollywood style as theme appropriate music, food, drinks, fashion, games and décor set the mood for a perfect evening of enjoyment. Dressing up is noted as one of the number one reasons that guests look forward to the gala. Ticket holders intend to come dressed as assisted by stylists or their own creative workings from their closets or simply in the most elegant gown or tux fitting to the style of the ‘30s.

Due to the success of the 2013 Gala called the “Great Gatsby Prohibition Party,” individuals, groups, table sponsors and couples are confidently hoping to be greeted by another Pecorelli Productions extravaganza. Sponsors like Classique Catering and the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium are generously insuring that the Sacramento Ballet is more than well represented and supported.

The event is produced in the manner of a complete party experience that will encourage guests to live the “Glitz and Glamour” of the time and perhaps even compete in the Hollywood Golden Era Costume Contest. The Memorial Auditorium will be turned into a supper club, dance floor and lavish play casino with complimentary chips. Rather than a fundraiser auction and raffle promotion, the guests will be focused on fun from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m. as live music by the Peter Petty Orchestra rolls out the classics in 1930’s style.

There are a great number of reasons why guests who attended the 2013 gala are excited to party at this year's Glitz & Glamour Gala. While individuals may reference certain aspects as their personal favorites of the occasion, the foremost reason is fun. Even the approach to a favorite is unique to each guest but they all have a common cause in the Sacramento Ballet.

Please see the list of top reasons why some guests plan on returning to this year’s Sacramento Ballet Gala, “Glitz & Glamour” as they share their past highlights and hopes for more to come. The list can be found above with the series of photos. You can find more information about attending the gala here. Please also feel free to add your comments below and share your experience of the 2013 Great Gatsby Prohibition Gala or your anticipation for the upcoming Glitz & Glamour Gala. Comments on your first-hand experience of the Sacramento Ballet and their incredible team are also welcome. Thank you!

Jim Hargrove enjoys supporting the Sacramento Ballet while having a blast
Jim Hargrove enjoys supporting the Sacramento Ballet while having a blast Pecorelli Productions

Jim Hargrove enjoys supporting the Sacramento Ballet while having a blast

One of the top reasons people come and return to the Sacramento Ballet Gala is their love for the ballet. Party guests such as Jim Hargrove enjoy totally immersing themselves in a theme party atmosphere that makes for a complete night of fun all while supporting the ballet. The Sacramento Ballet was once a “small regional ballet” that has since transitioned “to an integral centerpiece in the rich cultural tapestry of Northern California.”

Through years of hard work, outstanding artistic direction by Ron Cunningham and Carinne Binda, generous donations and dedicated dancers, the Sacramento Ballet “has risen to national prominence for its artistic excellence and outstanding work in the community.”  Along with the typical fundraisers and alluring performances, events like the annual Gala are helping to draw awareness to the art and its presence in our lives.

However, the Gala is not one of those auction central fundraisers or admittedly sometimes staunch dinners filled with serious faces. The gala is a huge party as well as an elite social opportunity to engage with friends, ballet associates and theme party lovers. Jim Hargrove is among those who have danced and played to the 1920s action in the first 2013 Gala called the “Great Gatsby Prohibition Party.” He will return this year to the 1930s Hollywood gleam at the “Glitz & Glamour Gala” on March 15.

Jim will not only return and demonstrate the 1930s flare at the play casinos and on the dance floor with the ballet dancer led Conga Line, he will be bringing nine close friends with him to share in the glitz and glamour. As a table sponsor, Jim Hargrove expresses that one of his reasons for attending is “to be around the dancers and other supporters of the Sacramento Ballet.”

According to Jim the first Gala “was such a fun party…  [where he was able] to dress up in period costume as a gangster,” he couldn’t turn down another opportunity to have that much fun. He is still considering his period attire and whether to slick back his hair like Clark Gable. Since he is a Westerns lover, John Wayne and Gene Autry are among his favorite 1930s personalities but he says “of course Clark Gable in Gone With the Wind was terrific.” Regardless of how Hargrove eventually ends up dressed, he and his party of nine other gala patrons will arrive ready for a full night of glitz and glamour fun.

Period styling draws Shane McDaid and friends
Period styling draws Shane McDaid and friends Pecorelli Productions

Period styling draws Shane McDaid and friends

Another reason people are returning to the Sacramento Ballet Gala is their love for the period personalities. and style. Shane McDaid, President of Muse Makeover, Inc., says Orson Welles “owned that period” and is easily his favorite 1930s star. While he might not look like a Welles double, McDaid is insured to arrive themed to the max. At last year’s Prohibition Gala, he was styled by Chris Tafoya who he will return to for a 1930s Hollywood look. Stylist Tafoya put McDaid in a period silk smoking jacket as well as an authentic raccoon coat made from 80 year old fur that “was so insanely cool” that he “made at least 20 new friends that night just from curious questions.”

Most attendees just go to their closet and put together a look that suits the occasion while others hire stylists or make a trip to specialty fashion stores. Either way, it’s great fun for everyone. Shane's attention grabbing garb and styling was part of his personal approach to making the first event a special experience and the “Glitz & Glamour Gala” is another fun opportunity for McDaid and friends to dress up and mimic the theme period and personalities. 

Shane McDaid also looks forward to attending this year’s Gala because he says, “The Great Gatsby Prohibition Party last year was probably the best gala I've attended in Sacramento over the 20 years I've lived here. The attention to detail, the talent, particularly Peter Petty on vocals, the enthusiastic participation of the crowd, the food, the drinks, the gaming tables, I could just keep going and going.  …it's so rare to see an event where almost every single person comes dressed to a ‘T’ in perfect theme and you feel like you are vacationing in another era for the evening.”

His genuine enthusiasm credits Pecorelli Productions for “completely nailing it.” Shane says, “I look forward to seeing what Natalee Pecorelli has in store for this second event. I can't imagine how she could top what she did last year but I have full faith that she'll blow my mind once again!”

Liza Kilgariff is inspired by greats like Holiday and Baker
Liza Kilgariff is inspired by greats like Holiday and Baker Golden Gourmet

Liza Kilgariff is inspired by greats like Holiday and Baker

Paying homage to incredible period celebrities like Billie Holiday and Josephine Baker is one of Liza Kilgariff’s reasons for attending the “Glitz & Glamour Gala” this year. Kilgariff will take time out of her busy schedule at Golden Gourmet Catering to plan her gala outfit from her closet as she recalls the “impassioned sultry voice” of Holiday and the “sassy confident swagger” of Josephine Baker.

Because the 1920's affair was “so terrifically well orchestrated” last year, Liza is looking forward to another “wonderful fantasy escape to a bygone era.” In general, Kilgariff is aiming to attend in order to have “another raucously good time” and says to “keep the martinis coming.”  The “roughed knees, bathtub gin and endless parties” of the 1920's will be replaced by the 1930's Hollywood Glam and Glitz.

With inspiration derived from one of the first African-American women to star in a major motion picture (Josephine Baker in Zouzou 1934) and “Lady Day” Billie Holiday who “pioneered a new way of manipulating phrasing and tempo” as she became noted by music critic Robert Christgau as “possibly the greatest singer of the century,” Liza will enter the Glitz & Glamour Gala” prepared to rock the night. Bygone great stars, great movies and great music of the era will summon guests to “party like a Rockefeller” as they enjoy the casino games, Action Flip Books green screen action photography, signature drinks and ballet dancers teaching guests the Continental.

Nancy Garton and Kent Palmerton enjoy visiting with ballet dancers and fellow ballet fans and supporters
Nancy Garton and Kent Palmerton enjoy visiting with ballet dancers and fellow ballet fans and supporters Martin Vo

Nancy Garton and Kent Palmerton enjoy visiting with ballet dancers and fellow ballet fans and supporters

Nancy and Kent's love for the Sacramento Ballet and its unwavering high level of performance will nurture their enjoyment of the gala that also gives them an opportunity to dress up.
Nancy intends to wear an Oscar de la Renta gown with a very subtle metallic fabric while Kent will arrive in a tux. They are sure to inspire fellow gala guests to think of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers as they enter the Memorial Auditorium ready to party. Photographers will be eager to click and snap as they stand by and document the glamour as guests from all over the region come dressed in glitz reminiscent of the ‘30s.

Nancy is also a Fred Astaire fan and hopes to enjoy a few glimpses of some swift and glamorous dance action on the floor as guests move to the grooves provided live by Peter Petty and his own Titans of Terpsichore Orchestra. The romance and awe inspired by great Golden era dancers like Rogers and Astaire, Josephine Baker, Russian ballerina Tamara Toumanova and many others will keep the Gala atmosphere alive with period flavor and drama whether the inspiration is Broadway Stage dancing, Swing Jazz, Ballet or Tap.

Dianne Walker loves the period mavens
Dianne Walker loves the period mavens Pecorelli Productions

Dianne Walker loves the period mavens

With so many “glamorous mavens” to choose from for inspiration, Dianne Walker is hard pressed to settle on just one that inspires her most for the 1930’s gala theme. She says, “The classic dark horse, Marlene Dietrich; the snappy wit of Claudette Colbert; the elegance of Norma Shearer; the amazing footwork and gowns of Ginger Rogers. They don't make 'em like they used to!”

Walker and her friends will be searching the internet for images and tips as they put their “ideas and wardrobe together” and “whip up outfits” to put them “in a festive mood to go out in style.” Dianne and her “gala-going gals” will definitely be dressing to suit the era because for them it’s part of what makes an event like the Glitz & Glamour Gala so much fun.

Last year’s gala was so thoroughly enjoyed by Walker and friends that she is quick to give Pecorelli Productions and the Sacramento Ballet a big thumbs up. She says it was an “amazing night down to every last detail … the food, the music, the décor, the flipbook favors, the beautiful setting of the Memorial Auditorium, the gaiety that the darling Ballet Corps members provided … I am a huge fan of costumed events and this was the real deal. It seemed that every single attendee got into the spirit.”

Enjoying food, drink and fun while supporting the Sacramento Ballet
Enjoying food, drink and fun while supporting the Sacramento Ballet Pecorelli Productions

Enjoying food, drink and fun while supporting the Sacramento Ballet

The Glitz & Glamour Gala will be a top notch social event that also supports the Sacramento Ballet while enjoying a quality three course dinner, drinks and entertainment. What could be better than having a great night of fun in a 1930's theme setting with an 80% tax deductible donation benefiting some of Sacramento's most dedicated and delightful performing artists?

Classique Catering will also be providing signature drinks suitable to the Hollywood 1930's theme perhaps with martinis and a champagne cocktail along with a champagne reception. The music will flow, the fun will grow from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m.

Special evening drinks are currently in the planning stage along with the final dinner menu. Gala guests won't be disappointed when the delicious preparations are unveiled at the Memorial Auditorium on March 15, 2014.