Glitz, glamour, neon lights everything Vegas but the mafia will be in play at the Durango Arts Center for the Revisit the 60s theme party New Years Eve on Friday night.
Its been 50 years since a new generation ushered in the 1960s, and the world hasnt been the same since. If youre old enough to remember, its time to raid your closets and come in style. If youre too young or dont remember that decade, which happens, come get your fill this New Years Eve.
To help set the scene, all food, music and dress will be authentic 60s vintage. Former Telluride restaurateur and current DAC Theatre Manager Diane Panelli is in charge of the kitchen and the bar.
There will be fun food and fun drinks, Panelli said of the menu that will likely include fondue, those timeless and nearly-food favorites Twinkies, beef stroganoff, Jell-o molds and pigs in a blanket. Martinis and high balls are among the recommended thirst quenchers.
Tuning into the rising tide of the social dance movement, ballroom dancing will take place in the gallery, which will be oddly devoid of art on this rare occasion. Denise Kroeger of Cortez, who is one of the finest ballroom dancers in the region, will offer instruction as well as perform.
The theater area will morph into a glamorous nightclub lounge where Tracy Lyn Thomas, who starred in the title role last summer in Always...Patsy Cline, will perform period music with some of her friends from Atlanta.
As for the dress code, think Vegas swank a la Sinatra, Sammy and Dino. For guys, that means pencil-thin trousers, skinny ties, a silk square tucked into the suit jacket pocket or an undone bowtie to keep the cool. A fedora tops the look.
For the women, think Jackie O and Doris Day in other words, get out your white gloves and pillbox hats. Dont forget to coif your hair. Gents can slick it back with some pomade, and women should aim high with their bouffants. Bobby pins are a must.
We are trying to entice a different demographic of people than normally come to the Arts Center, board member Amy Buchanan said.
The idea for this party started with Buchanan, although she modestly passes it off as a collaborative effort. Each board member is committed to helping the DAC be sustainable and therefore is tasked with helping out with fundraising.
I chose to spearhead this event, Buchanan said.
Its a different approach to celebrating New Years Eve, she added, noting there is no template to follow for the party. Its the first time the Arts Center has hosted a New Years Eve celebration, but they hope to make this an annual event.
Proceeds from ticket sales will help the general operating costs of the DAC, including education, programming summer shows and exhibits.
A champagne toast will, of course, occur at midnight, followed by a Vegas- style buffet. The DAC has taken care of everything the food, the mood and the music will take you back to Sin City in its 60s heyday. All thats missing is the smoking.
Karin L. Becker teaches composition at Fort Lewis College. Reach her at becker_K@fortlewis.edu.