Jamie Lee Curtis, Brenda Vaccaro at 'Diavolo' at the Broad Stage
Who doesn't love a good party? That's the attitude of leadership at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica. So with that thought in mind, Friday's opening night of "Diavolo" came complete with a shindig at the French bistro La Cachette in Santa Monica.
As a former dancer, board member Jamie Bishton recalled the cast parties he attended after his performances with the American Ballet Theatre, Twyla Tharp's dance company and the White Oak Dance Project. "When I was dancing, we wanted to meet everyone who saw the show, not just the select few who paid the big dollars," he said. "Here we're opening the doors to everyone, saying 'Come on and enjoy our opening night.' "
More than half the audience joined "Diavolo's" cast members and artistic director Jacques Heim, who described the gymnastic dance show as a salad, combining as ingredients: everyday movement, ballet, modern dance, martial arts, hip-hop and acrobatics. "You tweak it a little and then you toss the salad," he said. Although there are themes to each piece, such as faith, love, chaos, balance, consciousness and wisdom, he added: "It's like an abstract painting in a museum. You can look at it and enjoy it, but if you're waiting for it to speak to you, forget it."
Actress Brenda Vaccaro of "You Don't Know Jack" and her husband, Guy Hector, shared a table on the patio, where servers passed mini-pizzas, quiches and tomato tarts. Impressed by the show's athletic nature, Vaccaro compared the dancers to gladiators. But she said compared with Heim, other choreographers take small, dainty steps. Regarding Heim, she said, "This guy paints the sky."
Teaming up with Los Angeles magazine, La Cachette's chef/owner Jean Francois Meteigner and manager Fabrice Lorenzi welcomed party-goers, who also included Bill Borden and Melinda Gray, Daniel Greenberg and Susan Steinhauser, Rosanne Ziering and Liz Levitt Hirsch.
-- Ellen Olivier
Photo of Brenda Vaccaro, left, and Jamie Lee Curtis at "Diavolo" from Amy Graves, Getty Images