REAL STORIES: Big Broadway Birthday Bash at The Rittenhouse

October 3, 2009 ,
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Broadway comes to Philadelphia in true Evantine Design style! (which generally means over-the-top!)


We have worked with Stephanie and Chuck on a variety of events for their family and favorite charities over the years.  Naturally, when Chuck approached us for help in planning a special surprise for Stephanie’s birthday, we were thrilled to assist.  Especially when he proposed that we bring in a top-name performer.

After reviewing the potential entertainment list, including names such as Bette Midler, we settled on a fantastic cabaret format which would showcase one of Stephanie’s passions: The Broadway Musical.  Chuck knew that we occasionally work with, and have the ability to book. top-name talent, so he requested that the show include original Broadway performers in the roles that they made famous!  Hmmm. Not a problem.

Guests arrived at The Rittenhouse for a fabulous cocktail reception.  Beautiful passed hors d’oeuvres were followed by several select food stations and bars.  We worked with the hotel to style each station and food presentation, down to the china and flatware used.


Stephanie is a talented interior designer in her own right, and her favorite color is blue.  Chuck requested that we design the spaces using her favorite color along with personal items that he provided, such as the surprise portrait below of her children and family dog!  We filled the room with comfortable upholstered seating, creating a living room for guests.


Needless to say, when the blue taffeta drapes were pulled open to reveal the surprise, Stephanie was blown away!


The reception kicked into high gear with a selection of exquiste passed dinner courses.  Guests mixed, mingled and dined comfortably in the seating areas provided, as well as on small cafe tables.  Just when everyone was comfortable and thrilled to have been part of such a special night, the really big surprise was revealed!


Two large screens in the room were unveiled showing a “youvie” scripted and filmed by Dave Williams of CinemaCake.  The guests were rolling in their seats.  Chuck, his two sons, and daughter sang their way through a hillarious musical of their own.  It was nothing short of amazing!


Then to the surprise of everyone, one of the walls of the ballroom parted to reveal a spectacular stage we designed.  With lighting and sound to rival any Broadway theater, the original cast performers of several shows worked their way to the stage.  Some of them actually walked through the guests to the stage!

Shows such as “Wicked”…






The incomparable Idina Menzel from Wicked…


The Lion King…


Les Miserables…


and Smokey Joe’s Cafe…


Precise planning, impeccable execution, and perfect timing created an evening that will be remembered for a long, long time!  All of these amazing photos, and many more, were captured by Cliff Mautner.