|Last Thursday night the Park Avenue Armory held its annual gala. They honored director Peter Sellars who among his many productions, recently staged Bach’s St Matthew Passion at the Armory. This gala draws several hundred guests and they always attend with anticipation of what it will look like, because Master Event Designer David Monn turned the Wade Thompson Drill Hall into something theatrically spectacular.
Guests gathered for cocktails in the gallery and the meeting rooms and library awaiting the doors to the Drill Hall to open.
|Once open, it was like entering a drama, a movie, even an opera. The vast cavernous room was transformed into another world. David Monn’s world. It’s a dinner of course, and the table settings are part of the drama. They set the stage and then the room becomes the stage.
The “entertainment” was an environmental performance experience entitled Masquerade – we were given masks when we picked up our seating cards. The atmosphere was inspired by the historic tales of Dante and Venetian masquerades. The choreography was created by Desmond Richardson of Complexions Contemporary Ballet. The lighting design by Al Crawford created the sense of being on a stage in this drama at this dinner.
|Photographs by Patrick McMullan|