Beyond the glories of Houston Ballet's new production of Romeo and Juliet, top-ranking Houston Ballet patrons have been savoring an added dose of glamour with the temporary makeover of Wortham Theater Center's Founders Salon, compliments of Todd Fiscus and Todd Events.
The rather tired VIP area where mega donors and their guests can enjoy pre-performance dinner and intermission cocktails has undergone a pop-up facelift that ballet patrons anticipate will inspire a permanent renovation of the space. Glass-topped tables, orchids, Italian fabric drapings, ghost chairs and oversized floor lamps have transformed the salon into a dramatic backdrop for the tableau of well-heeled ballet patrons.
The pop-up concept was the brainchild of Phoebe Tudor, president of the Houston Ballet Foundation Board of Trustees.
"This temporary set-up is our first step to a permanent redecorating this summer."
"I have been working since last spring with the folks at the ballet and Houston First, which runs the Wortham, to upgrade the dining area in the Founders Salon," she told CultureMap. "This temporary set-up is our first step to a permanent redecorating this summer. Todd Fiscus was kind enough to design Café V, as a salute to Verona, the setting of Romeo and Juliet, as an in-kind contribution to the ballet."
The transformation included creating a swank lounge area to the left of the entry with velvet seating and banquettes. As guests turn to the right to go down the stairs to the dining area, they pass through a paneled and lace-curtain draped arch declaring the space Café V.
Not only did the Todd Events team add radiant orchids in glass vases and other slick accessories, they created a new menu for diners. Elegant Events and Catering by Michael provided the Italian-inspired offerings.
After opening night, Tudor commented on the transformation. "The Founder’s Salon looked beautiful and we had a delicious meal. Everyone was in a great mood. And I heard so many compliments on how much better the space looked. I think it was an unqualified success all around."
"It's been nine years since the Founders Salon was freshened. And we're excited to see the transformation . . . what it might mean for the future."
Houston Ballet is 100 percent behind an upgrade for the space. As ballet managing director Jim Nelson noted, "We’re thrilled to give our patrons a first look at a re-imagined space for dining before performances at Wortham Theater, and we’re excited to be working with our wonderful partners at Houston First who will be making more permanent upgrades over the summer break."
Houston First spokesman John Harris concurred that the Founders Salon is up for a redo, explaining Houston First is looking into the cost of renovations and studying improvements that should begin in early summer. "It's been nine years since the Founders Salon was freshened. And we're excited to see the transformation . . . what it might mean for the future.
"It's very cool to see. We're going to take a good look at what it might be, look at the cost and use this as a prototype."
Plans at the moment are for the Café V set to be struck after the end of the Romeo and Juliet run today (March 8).