Saturday, January 2, 2010

"Dressed to Kill" New Years Eve at the Enzian

This is officially my first sketch of 2010. I had four other parties I was considering for New Year's Eve, but Brian Feldman and Tisse Mallon told me about this $5 James Bond themed party at the Enzian Theater. At $5 admission, it may have been the best deal in town. Approaching the theater, I could feel the electric excitement of the crowd. Terry and I had to park several blocks away because the lot was overflowing. At the Eden Bar outside, people were packed shoulder to shoulder. One man in a black jacket had a huge scar down the side of his face and he was petting a white rabbit. This villain explained that the rabbit was much more sinister than the cat used in the Bond movie, From Russia with Love. Beautiful women were everywhere, dressed in gorgeous gowns. Groups were voguing for the cameras. There was a red carpet to the theater entrance. A movie screen was set up outside and crowds were seated at the tables watching. Gunfire ricochets could be heard from every angle.
I found Brian, Tisse and Mark Baratelli almost immediately. It turns out Mark had scored a table thanks to his Blog, The Daily City.com, so we tried to get in. Everybody but Mark was turned away at the door since we did not have wristbands. So we stood in the line for wristbands. The line never seemed to move. Terry proactively sought out the General Manager of the Enzian and got us wristbands.
We squeezed past the bouncer and found Mark's table. There were only two chairs at the table and four of us, so I hiked back to my truck and got my portable chair. Once seated, I scanned the crowd and started sketching. Faces were lit everywhere by the warm loving glow of iPhones and other portable devices. The music was so loud that you really could't talk, so I imagine people might have been texting one another even as they were seated at the same table.
After the ball dropped, Terry and I got on the dance floor. We got caught up in a line dance to a song I had never heard before. The music roared "To the left, to the left, to the right, to the right, turn yourself around, turn yourself around!" It involved a few chorus line kicks and shuffling left and right. We caught on pretty quick, although the crowd itself was never very organized. The smooth slippery beat was addictive. Dancers batted blue and white balloons around the dance floor. The strobe lights tended to blind me so I usually danced with my back to the stage.
We left the Enzian and then headed over to Matt McGrath's house. His place had a group of actors and actresses all shoulder to shoulder at the backyard bar. Leander Suleiman, an actress I had sketched before, was there and I introduced her to Terry. We all toasted with champagne when New Year's came around for Chicago.
Matt and I chatted for a while and I found out he is going to be a producer for a possible Orlando Fringe show called "Project F." The show is fourth on the waiting list to get into the Fringe, but he's excited about the project, and we discussed it for quite a while. Other than talking to Matt and Leander, I didn't socialize much. I was winding down. Matt claimed that his party would be going strong till 11:45 AM, but I didn't have the ambition to keep partying. We returned home happy and pleasantly exhausted.


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