Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Let Them Eat Cake

In this case, a white rose cake on a silver plate on the stage of the Morris Performing Arts Center. The cake matched my cousin's wedding gown which was also covered in white roses.  The reception was held literally "on stage" at the Morris (originally called the Palace Theater), since my cousin is a performer and professional dancer (when she is not using her architectural degree from Notre Dame).
[Morris Center] The Palace Theatre was built in 1921 as a vaudeville house and part of the Orpheum theatre chain. In its early days, vaudeville shows ran continuously with a new act every ten minutes. Patrons could obtain admission for just 22 cents and enjoy the day’s new acts as they made their way on and off the stage.

At its inception, the interiors of the theater were glorious. Old roses, blues and creams predominated and not one singular architectural style could define the whole of the structure. The architect, J.S. Aroner from Chicago envisioned the theater as a little palace; a place in which theatergoers could feel as if they were royalty. A trip through the theater was intended to make a patron feel as if she had just made a trip through Europe. With many different architectural styles including Baroque, Spanish Renaissance, Greco-Roman and even a little Art Deco, patrons entered intricately detailed and carefully planned interiors when they entered “The Palace.” 

The cocktail hour was held in the Grand Lobby. My brothers and I got to play doormen in our tuxes and white gloves. You went to the box office to get your "ticket" and then mingled with the other "patrons" at the bar. At the appropriate time, the chimes were rung, my brother and I opened the main doors to the theater, and the "audience" was seated.

Grand Lobby (Photo: MorrisCenter.org)
The inside of the theater is just as grand. After the curtain went up and the bridal party was announced, the bride and groom enjoyed their first dance under the spotlight on stage. After that the guests were invited up on stage for "dinner and dancing".  It was quite the production.

Arch and Stage (Photo: MorrisCenter.org)
It's amazing what people will do if you just don a tuxedo and some white gloves - they just follow your every direction. I may have to take these to work -- or better yet, wear them at home for the Nodlings.

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