The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago celebrated the 15th anniversary of its performance program, the MCA Stage, at the remixed/reimagined: 2011 MCA Performance Benefit on June 23, 2011. More than 300 guests arrived to commemorate the longevity and innovation of the MCA Stage with a lively evening that raised more than $300,000 for MCA programming.
The evening, which was was co-chaired by Sara Albrecht and Jay Franke, commenced outside plaza of the MCA with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, courtesy of some of Chicago’s most notable food trucks: The Southern Mac & Cheese Truck, 5411 Empanadas, and the Hummingbird Kitchen. As guests enjoyed their bites and sips amidst stage road cases for seating, impromptu performers treated them to surprise entertainment. Redmoon Theater delivered a “mini-opera” amidst attendees, while drum ensemble JASC Tsukasa Taiko delighted with pulsating beats from the museum’s steps. To conclude the cocktail hour, punk circus marching band, Mucca Pazza, permeated the crowd with energetic melodies and ushered everyone into the theater.
HMR Design Group and Event Creative “re-mixed” the setup of the theater to a color-blocked creation that allowed guests to dine onstage. Bright pink box centerpieces and electric orange table covers from HMR Design Group adorned tables and vibrant pink lighting courtesy of Event Creative welcomed attendees to their seats. A projected image by Sterling Ruby dripped colorful ink onto a large backdrop.
Wolfgang Puck Catering prepared a summer-themed feast, featuring a pre-set first course, tapas, and an entrée. During the seated dinner, a surprise performance from the Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus delighted guests, as the entertainers appeared from the dark wings of the theater and took position in the audience seats for four songs and a medley, re-mixing the traditional idea of a performance on stage. Following the meal, the Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus led the group to the freight elevator, which opened to reveal another bar for guests while they were transported to the Kovler Atrium.
For dessert and dancing, guests arrived on the second floor, which featured crisp, white lounge seating, tall tables, silver bars and alternating lights from HMR Design Group, while Event Creative mastered sound, the DJ stage and lighting. New York DJs Eclectic Method mixed upbeat music while rotating visuals and videos of the cocktail reception and past performances from the MCA Stage were displayed on large screens. DanceWorks Chicago members danced throughout the galleries as guests enjoyed the dessert bar of buttermilk cake with strawberries and crème fraiche and warm chocolate truffle cakes with whipped cream and spun sugar. Passed treats paired with liqueur included lime bar squares with shortbread crust and a shot of chilled tequila; warm zeppolis with raspberry jam and espresso shots; and “sweet tarts” of lemon curd custard profiterole with lemon icing and a shot of chilled limoncello. Finally, as the evening concluded, iced coffee and biscotti were served to go.