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Candlelight - #1 - 146I loved the theme for Candlelight Concert. This year’s 39th annual signature benefit for Segerstrom Center for the Arts showcased a “Live the Arts” theme, which featured in a delightful, eye-catching way every facet of the Center’s celebrated offerings.

As the 430 guests arrived, they were entertained with vignettes and mini-performances, which included a string quartet representing the Center’s chamber series, darling ballerinas executing ballet positions on the Grand Staircase for the Center’s acclaimed dance series, and dual pianists performing jazz and cabaret during the cocktail reception, representing two more of the Center’s renowned series. Once guests entered the hall, they were greeted by large posters of many of the Broadway musicals which have played at SCFTA. One of the shining stars of Broadway, two-time Tony Award-winning Sutton Foster, entertained later in the evening, and later still, the beloved rock ‘n’ roll band Huey Lewis & the News revved up the energy for all the dance fans in the crowd. Rock ‘n’ rollers have been on the docket at SCFTA for quite a while, in case you wondered.

The ambience was spectacular, with jewel tones taking the lead in the decor, especially in the tiered dinner seating in the hall, which showcased tables covered in gold sequin or gold crinkle linens, jewel toned chargers, velvet cushioned chairs and extravagant floral centerpieces. Segerstrom Center’s logo, the proscenium arch, covered the entire center stage in a huge gold paillette chain, and gold dupioni-draped chandeliers banded in gold and diamond ribbon were the perfect gala touch. Kudos to Linda Young‘s Elite OC Productions for implementing the evening’s entire design!

Those at the podium included the ever-debonaire Center Board Chair Larry Higby, who recognized Hugues de Pins, the charming President of Vacheron Constantin, the benefit’s Presenting Sponsor, while Center President Terry Dwyer thanked the extensive Candlelight committee, event underwriters, and the Center’s board of directors and Center staff.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the delicious four-course gourmet dinner with its impressive wine offerings, thanks to Patina Restaurant Group and Young’s Market Company, as well as the scrumptious chocolate truffles from Xan Confections.

Guests departed with lovely gifts from Vacheron Constantin – a silk scarf for the ladies and a leather wallet for the men, and, thanks to Acura, the Center’s official automotive sponsor, there were Xan chocolates awaiting guests in their cars. The final tally saw nearly $1 million netted in support of the Center. All in all, a great night for the arts!

Photos: Steve Dawson, Joesan Diche, Doug Gifford, and Happy Photos

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