Java has to preface this with a disclaimer. I have never watched the PBS tv hit series “Downton Abbey” and have little if any familiarity with the dozens of Crawley Family members and servants who are on the show. But I walked into the CPTV “Downton Abbey Masterpiece Ball” Friday willing and able to learn.
And while most of the 150 guests who attended the ball, which included a little sneak peek at Season Four of the Victorian-period soap opera, sure liked the show, they seemed to be more wrapped up in the characters than in the characters’ names.
“Oh, I like the little blonde girl that keeps getting stood up,” explained Nelson Rivera, who with wife Liz Rivera, dressed up in Downton Abbey-inspired wear to get into the proper English partying mood. Java researched but still has no idea who this might be!
“The lord of the house is my favorite character,” said Kelly, referring apparently to Hugh Bonneville who plays Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham. “He’s a good soul.”
And if you are looking for a show endorsement, consider the well-known lawyer’s critique of the show.
“It is the best theater on tv,” said Kelly who attended the bash at the Hartford Marriott with daughter, Bridget Kelly.
Costumes that were worn for the occasion ranged from authentic period pieces like New Britain Museum of American Art executive director Douglas Hyland’s authentic Scottish kilt, one that belonged to his father-in-law.
“Noting on under this,” kidded the plaid skirt outfitted Hyland as he and other frozen guests hurried inside from Friday’s bitter cold. “This could be the end of the family line.”
Hyland’s wife Tita’s wore her grandmother’s 1918 embroidered silk coat while Greater Hartford Arts Council president/CEO and the state’s first lady, Cathy Malloy, went a bit more theatrical.
Malloy, who attended with not-so-Downton abbey clad Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, tapped the Goodspeed theater costume closet where she was fitted in a Downton Abbey-era dress and coat with West Hartford stylist John McGarvey providing the perfect Victorian-era hairdo.
And her favorite character on the show?
“The head of the kitchen, she said, apparently referring to Mrs. Patmore.
For more pictures go here.