Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County’s “Take Center Stage” Gala
World-Class Performances and Enchanting Décor Thrill Attendees
The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County celebrated the opening of its third season with its “Take Center Stage” Gala. The elaborate and theatrical fundraiser, themed “Coming Up Roses,” was attended by 1,000 of South Florida’s most celebrated arts enthusiasts and featured performances by the Center’s resident companies – Miami City Ballet; New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy; Florida Grand Opera; Concert Association of Florida – and the Center’s charismatic resident artist, Jencarlos Canela.
This year’s Gala was the first for the Adrienne Arsht Center since announcing its new name in January 2008. Hosted by Gala Honorary Chair Adrienne Arsht and Gala Co-Chairs Missy Carricarte and Marlén Pernetti, the event was designed and produced by Le Basque Productions under the direction of Alejandro Muguerza together with partner Jim Mozina. Emcee of the evening was ABC Channel 10 anchor Laurie Jennings.
In attendance were John Richard, the newly appointed CEO of the Adrienne Arsht Center; Ricky Arriola, Chairman of the Adrienne Arsht Center Trust; Alberto Carvalho, Miami Dade-County School Board’s new Superintendent; Charles Perez, Laurie Jennings’ co-anchor on ABC Channel 10; Sarah Arison, President of the Arison Arts Foundation; Rob Barlick of Goldman Sachs; Alfonso Goyeneche of Ahorro Corporación; Ella Cisneros, Founder of Miami Art Central; Jorge Plasencia, Chairman and CEO of República; artist Romero Britto; George and Maria Feldenkreis of Perry Ellis International; Jorge Moreno, Grammy Award-winning recording artist; Alan and Diane Lieberman; fashion designer Nicolas Felizola; Susie and Walib Wahab; MOCA Executive Director and Chief Curator Bonnie Clearwater and husband, actor James Clearwater; philanthropists Sanford and Dolores Ziff; attorney and art collector Marvin Ross-Friedman; and State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle.
The evening began with cocktails, compliments of Bacardi, in the bi-level Arthur E. and Alice F. Adams Foundation Lobby of the Center’s Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera house, followed by a five-course dinner by Restaurant Associates on the Lynn Wolfson Stage, which was enveloped in fuchsia light and decorated with enormous, seven-foot-round hanging spheres of red paper roses suspended from the soaring ceiling above the guests. Full-length black curtains surrounded the dining area, concealing the three custom-designed stages, as well as providing a dramatic backdrop for the décor.
Guests were seated at round tables adorned with red and hot pink shantung linens, with oversized red and pink paper rose centerpieces, surrounded by mounds of fresh rose petals, and encircled by LED-illuminated pink crystal rocks.
Jason Frix from Jason Frix Design, with his unique talent, assisted Muguerza in the culmination of the rose project.
Ana Moran-Varela from Emerald Bouquet donated more than 5,000 red roses that were used throughout the cocktail reception and gala dinner. Creative graphic designer Dushka Semsch of Dushka Semsch created a memorable program and gala menu that incorporated the “Coming Up Roses” theme in a stylish black, white and red design, making the program and menu a piece of art in itself.
The five-course gourmet dinner was created by Executive Chef Gary J. Nudelman of Restaurant Associates. Just after the first course was served, one of the three stage curtains parted, revealing Artistic Director Michael Tilson Thomas with his entire New World Symphony,
America’s Orchestral Academy, which delivered a rousing Sylvia by Delibes and “Malambo” from Ginastera’s Estancia. Course by course, a different stage curtain opened, revealing a new act by one of the Center’s resident companies.
Each course was served with wine pairing, compliments of Wines of Argentina. During a champagne toast, hundreds of thousands of rose petal confetti were released from the soaring ceiling, floating over the guests.
This was the first time the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County created three distinctively separate performance spaces on the Lynn Wolfson Stage to meet the needs of each performance. Roman Terleckyj, “Take Center Stage” Gala Artistic Director, who had the vision that the Ziff Ballet Opera House stage be the star of the evening creatively developed efficient use of the overall space for a unique flow of the performance program.
The celebration continued into the night with the “Coming Up Roses” After Party, hosted by more than 20 of South Florida’s leading VIPs and nightlife impresarios, including Jimmy Vargas, Max Pierre, Daniel Arsham, Brian Antoni, Michael Capponi, Ingrid Casares and Amir Ben-Zion.
The disco party was held at the Center’s Carnival Studio Theater, which was completely transformed by Le Basque Productions into a high-energy, over-the-top nightclub, complete with glowing Lucite bars and roses suspended in dangling crystal fixtures. Promoted by Gorillas Lifestyle Marketing, the after party featured renowned celebrity spinners DJ Paul Sevigny and DJ Ruckus, while DJ Induce entertained guests in the softly illuminated lobby.
Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County is made possible by the public support of the Miami-Dade County Mayor and the Board of County Commissioners, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, and the Miami-Dade County Tourist Development Council. Education & Outreach is funded in part by The Children’s Trust.
The Adrienne Arsht Center also receives generous support from private and corporate contributions to the Performing Arts Center Foundation of Greater Miami through its Membership Program; City of Miami Omni Community Redevelopment Agency; Dade Community Foundation; The MAP-Fund, a program of Creative Capital, supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation; The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs; the Florida Arts Council; the National Endowment for the Arts; and The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.