Party Play: “Play Your Part” 2019 Gala – A Spectacular, Theatrical Celebration!

Beth Fhaner
 | Sep 12, 2019

On the evening of Saturday, Sept. 7, SCR’s “Play Your Part” 2019 Gala got underway at The Westin South Coast Plaza, as guests arrived through the Private Valet entrance to the East Galleria. Designer Angela Balogh Calin’s theatrical vision awaited attendees, with dramatic red drapery and tables draped in black velvet linens lining both sides of the entrance, setting the tone for all of the excitement to come. 

As guests entered the cocktail reception, they were delighted to have the chance to “play their part” with six “selfie stations” featuring large frames placed in front of some of SCR’s favorite past productions. Cocktail tables draped with Shimmer Thyme linens from La Tavola and exquisite arrangements by Floral Creations by Enzo also helped to set the chic ambience. Guests enjoyed champagne sponsored by Le Grand Courtâge ​and the Signature Cocktail was the “Curtain Call”—a refreshing cucumber soda cocktail featuring Tito’s Handmade Vodka. Guests also indulged in incredibly tempting tray-passed hors d’oeuvres such as vegan polenta with vegetable ratatouille, miso salmon on a crostini with edamame spread and brie cheese and raspberry in phyllo.

Following the cocktail reception, guests entered the Plaza Ballroom, which featured elegant drapery along with an array of SCR costumes and draft renderings of past SCR productions. The stage, surrounded by truss and featuring the ​SCR logo, was surrounded by screens that showed images of past SCR productions. Tables were draped with laser-cut Toni Black linens from La Tavola ​that displayed white linens underneath—all to a stunning effect. The tables also featured Galaxy Black Glass Chargers from Signature Party Rentals and Dupionique​ Seaweed linens from La Tavola.

Executive Chef Adrian Hernandez impressed the crowd with his delectable cuisine including chilled potato and leek soup and a selection of artisan breads, followed by a delicious duet of filet mignon with a peppercorn sauce and rosemary-skewered shrimp served with mashed potatoes and green beans. For a sweet finish, partygoers indulged in mini chocolate cakes garnished with a chocolate collar and raspberries.

During the festive event, theatre enthusiasts cheered greetings from Board President Sam Tang, Managing Director Paula Tomei, Gala Chairs Laurie and Steve Duncan, and Artistic Director David Ivers. Immediately following Ivers’ remarks was a surprise two-song performance by American Mariachi musical director Cynthia Reifler Flores and her group, Mariachi Corzón de México.

Following dessert, the raffle drawing was held onstage​ and it added an exciting element to the evening. Prize winners included Carla Furuno (and Jeff Pulchaski), who won the 18-karat yellow-gold diamond bangle from Lugano Diamonds; Diane (and Rodney) Sawyer, who won the South Coast Plaza Gift Certificate; and Wylie and Bette Aitken, who won the private Inside the Actors Studio Workshop at SCR. The winners of the two intimate dinner parties to be held at the homes of Artistic Director David Ivers and Managing Director Paula Tomei were Socorro and Ernesto Vasquez, who won ‘An Evening at Chez Ivers’ and Pattie and Jon Fasola, who won ‘An Evening at Chez Tomei/Emmes’.

The celebration continued as The A-List, a 10-piece band performed an extended set for partygoers, and guests drifted to and from the dance floor to the East Galleria, which was transformed into an intimate lounge and featured a gourmet coffee station, a sweets table donated by Gala Gift Sponsor B. Toffee and a gelato cart donated by Mangiamo Gelato Caffe. All in all, everyone agreed that it was a wildly successful evening—a spectacular celebration of the theatre they supported so generously.

Gala Chairs Laurie and Steve Duncan also shared their enthusiasm for the special evening. “The 2019 Gala was a huge success and a fantastic night because of the dedicated effort, passion for excellence and leadership of the Gala Committees and the SCR Staff,” said the Duncans.

“From the beautiful graphics, logo, save the date and invitation, to the delicious food and wine, the beautiful flower arrangements, sparkling tables, amazing framed decor and fantastic band that got us all on the dance floor, all the Gala committees and SCR staff truly contributed and brought their very best abilities; they demonstrated the epitome of our 2019 GALA theme: Play Your Part,” they added. “It was an honor for us to be able to participate in this amazing annual SCR event, we got to see it transition from vision to successful reality, and we had fun!”

We’d like to extend a heartfelt Thank You to everyone who joined us over the weekend at the Gala. All proceeds will support the theatre’s award-winning core education and outreach programs that bring the magic of live professional theatre to more than 30,000 underserved students, teachers and families throughout Orange County each year.

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