Members of the Orange County Performing Art Center's Business Alliance support group took the stage in Segerstrom Hall on Monday night--for their annual gourmet dinner.
Seated at round tables covered with white linen and topped with vases filled with a red rose and a "Phantom" mask, guests dined on a feast prepared backstage by the Four Seasons Hotel in Newport Beach.
Alliance members pay dues of $1,500 annually to help defray the center's operating costs.
As a tribute to the center's 10th anniversary year, vocalists Eileen Clark and Jim Raycroft performed selections from a musical menu that saluted center productions.
With Beth Ertz on piano, Clark and Raycroft sang "Two Lost Souls" from "Damn Yankees" and "All I Ask of You" from "The Phantom of the Opera."
Clark soloed with "Tomorrow" from "Annie" and "Memory" from "Cats." Raycroft sang "What Kind of Fool Am I?" from "Stop the World--I Want to Get Off" and "Some Enchanted Evening" from "South Pacific."
Magician Warren Gibson also entertained guests, making coins and playing cards disappear and reappear. In one instance, a card torn in four pieces and placed in Melinda Morgan's hand came out whole again when she opened her fist. "No! I don't believe it," she said, wide-eyed.
Guest Hal Harley, attending with his wife, Cindy, had it all figured out: "I've seen those cards and coins at magic shops. They melt together when you hold them in your hand." His table mates were not convinced.
Working from tables set up on the center's loading dock and backstage areas, chefs from the Four Seasons presented a five-course meal that had guests complimenting the chefs.
The meal began with appetizers enjoyed in the dressing room area (where the names of guests shone on stars pasted to the walls). Here, guests tasted salmon tartar on focaccia, beef carpaccio and "truffled" corn with Boursin cheese on brioche rounds.
The first course--taken on stage--was Gulf prawns with eggplant and goat cheese cookies. A field green salad followed, and then guests enjoyed the piece de resistance-- pepper-crusted veal loin with morel sauce and roasted red pepper mashed potatoes.
Dessert was a Bailey's milk chocolate bombe with berry compote.
On the Scene
Attending were Alliance president William Carroll with his wife, Hope; event chairman Grant Bettingen with his wife, Christi; center chairman Tom Nielsen with his wife, Marilyn; chairman designate Mark Chapin Johnson with Wanda Harrell; James and Renee Bogenreif; Doris and David Law; Wolf and Ann Stern, and center president Tom Tomlinson.