San Francisco’s elegant Four Seasons Hotel, its foyer lined with exquisite costumes and larger-than-life photos of some of the Bay Area’s finest actors, provided the dramatic setting for California Shakespeare Theater’s One Great Party on Saturday, March 19, 2011.
With extraordinary assistance from event- and lighting-design firms Blueprint Studios and Got Light?, Cal Shakes transformed the Four Seasons’ elegantly understated ballroom into a theatrically glowing hall filled with mirror-topped dining tables reflecting the room’s continuously-shifting colored lighting.
“That we were able to raise record funds for arts education in this economic climate is a testament to the incredible generosity and responsiveness of our donors,” commented Cal Shakes Managing Director Susie Falk. ”It truly was One Great Party, but only because we’re a part of One Great Community.”
Following a lively cocktail hour with spirits courtesy of Stockholm Krystal Vodka, 350-plus party-goers joined Cal Shakes Artistic Director Jonathan Moscone and Falk, and honorary co-chairs Nicola Miner, Robert Mailer Anderson, Carole Shorenstein Hays, and Dr. Jeffrey P. Hays in the ballroom to dine on delectable spring risotto, truffled potatoes gratin, and filet mignon, with wines generously provided by Alpha Omega Winery, Goosecross Cellars, Honig Vineyard and Winery, The PlumpJack Group, and Trinchero Family Estates.
After being entertained—and moved—by a video detailing the broad and deep impact of artistic education on Bay Area youth, the party kicked into high gear with an energetic live auction helmed by auctioneer extraordinaire Greg Quiroga. The elated guests bid enthusiastically and generously on one-of-a-kind packages: trips to France, Italy, New York, and San Francisco; private behind-the-scenes tours of Pixar, the fabled Getty Mansion, and Disney’s newest hit, Shake It Up!, starring Cal Shakes alumnus, Zendaya; and exclusive access to some of the finest wineries and golf courses in the country. Finally, guests packed the dance floor and boogied into the night to the sounds of the CoolTones big band.
Guests at the spectacular evening included The Hon. Willie Brown, Wilkes Bashford, Gina Moscone, Sharon and Barclay Simpson, John Adams and Deborah O’Grady, Ellen and Joffa Dale, Frank and Carey Starn, Harvey and Gail Glasser, Bronwyn and Kevin Brunner, Nita and Jim Roethe, and Francesca Vietor. Also there to celebrate Cal Shakes: William Taggert, Carey Perloff, Phil and Chris Chernin, Ed and Denise Del Beccaro, Kate Stechschulte and David Cost, Octavio Solis and Jeanne Sexton, Susie Medak, Nina and David Bond, Joe Di Prisco and Patti James, Mike and Ginny Ross, Jeff and Janie Green, Arline Klatte and Jon Ennis, Phillipa Kelly, and David and Diane Goldsmith.
The evening’s auctions, ticket sales, and donations raised more than $465,000 to support Cal Shakes’ artistic and educational programming, with the Fund-a-Need appeal single-handedly garnering more than $150,000 to bring Shakespeare to underserved youth throughout the Bay Area.
The evening was made possible in part through the generosity of Blueprint Studios, City National Bank, Got Light?, Mechanics Bank, Meyer Sound, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, San Francisco Magazine, Safeway, Simpson Strong-Tie, and Stockholm Krystal Vodka.