COURTESY SHUZO UEMOTO
ARTafterDARK's Starlight Ball last year at the Honolulu Academy of Arts re-created the feel of old Saigon, Vietnam. This year's event promises to be particularly sumptuous, with sponsor Prada's involvement in creating a Felliniesque setting.
Mix circus with cabaret, add in a little Willie Wonka, and you've got "Starlight Ball 2008: Circo di Notte," Honolulu Academy of Arts' annual fundraiser for its Art to Go education program.
The event, which runs 7 to 11 p.m. Jan. 12, features roaming artists, aerialists, acrobats, jugglers, musicians, a miniature art auction and Italian food by such restaurants as Cassis by Chef Mavro, 12th Avenue Grill and Michel's. Performer Candy Bar will be peddling sensual chocolates, and in pure Wonka fashion, a few candy wrappers will double as Prada discounts.
Sponsor Prada's participation in "Circo di Notte" kicks up the event in a big way this year, organizers say. The company plans to swath the museum in rich fabrics of animal print, velvet, scarlet and gold and is making luxurious pillows to add to the mood of subtle seduction.
COURTESY ONG KING ARTS CENTER
Andrea Torres of Samadhi will perform her aerial act at "Circo di Notti."
"The academy brought a sense of fun and adventure to the event with this theme," says Darlene Reynon, volunteer co-chairwoman of the event.
Reynon says one highlight of the evening will be an "elixir lounge," in which the bartender plays the character of traveling-show medicine man who serves up various "remedies." Drinks will be concoctions that promise to "improve stamina, things like that," she says.
An "Artini" sale will features artwork made in miniature because "miniatures are so affordable," Reynon says. "It's a way for young people to start their own collections. The young people of today will be the great art collectors of tomorrow."
A nice touch to "Artini" is that many pieces are made by Art to Go teachers.
"It's a full circle -- the artists teach the children, they donate their artwork for sale and the money goes back into the programs they teach," says Reynon.
Tickets for "Circo di Notte," part of the museum's ARTafterDARK program, are $85. Call 532-3671 or visit artafterdark.org.