my first gala (out of two) was about 5 years ago, when i worked at the ballet. we planned for months, and when the night came, i shepherded the all-important press around while wearing a strapless lilac evening gown with lots of silver beading (me and not the press). the event proved to be elegant yet hip, and this is what i've come to expect from galas. and with the auction i coordinated, i tried to hold everything to the same standards: eye-catching, pretty, and produced on a tight budget while not looking like it was (hello, donated chocolate!). and while i can't afford to attend a gala ($1,000/person tables aren't authorized by my visa) i expect nothing but the best from our performing arts elite when i read the post-event press in the paper. until now.
some crackhead at the symphony apparently thought that fine dining under a tent and excellence in classical music should be portrayed via a hanging giant yellow pipe cleaner. i love how in the chronicle's photo, this random woman is looking on as if dreamily thinking "my, what a wonderfully constructed and molded pipe cleaner! that $18,795.79 sure was worth it. perhaps next year we can get a title sponsor for it."
what, was the budget slashed and a team of 1st graders hired to do decor? no wonder mtt and co. got a lukewarm review. class as in high quality, people, not a class of children. get it right.