It was all “check it out” and “crack up” at the Hartford Stage Paint House on Murphy Road Saturday as its workshop was transformed to a time when girls groups, Motown, the Rolling Stones and the Beatles ruled, cocktail dresses were in and Hartford Stage was a fledgling glimmer in the Hartford eye.
“Consider us the captain and stewardess from flight 1964,” said stage staffers Andy Palmer and Stacie Synder decked out in “Airport” garb as they welcomed guests to the annual “Party in the Paint House” party, a special one celebrating the theater’s 50th anniversary.
And as good theater should, the Stage was ready and willing to help guests get their groove on and feel the vibe by setting up a retro-60s living room, complete with a hastily purchased vintage Admiral console tv from eBay, mod-style orange, gold and brown furniture, and accoutrements including ashtray, dial phone and a chrome and glass bar cart.
“I remember my grandparents having this kind of set-up,” said Melanie Masterson, a Springfield resident who was attending her first theater party. “It is just so cool,” she said, batting layers of false eyelashes and doing a twirl in a 60s-era cocktail dress she found online. “I feel like I’m ready for the Ed Sullivan Show or something.”
And while guests either brought or found their 60s self once they arrived, there were vestiges of the year that just had to be left behind.
“I wanted to bring my 1964 Mustang,” explained Ct Superior Court Judge Mike Riley. Riley and buddy Jerry Bundy, had planned to bring the Mustang and a vintage 1964 Ford Corsair to the event but said they were dissuaded because well, there were some other ‘sponsored’ cars on display.
Fresh off the train from New York City where he is directing a play was Hartford Stage’s artistic director, Darko Tresnjak, who only knows tales of 1964.
But his goal for the night as the theater held one of the last of its anniversary special events?
“I don’t want this to a proper party,” quipped the evening jacket clad, good time-loving host as the music was turned up and the guests began to loosen up a bit. “I hope it’s all improper.”
For more pictures go here.