As guests pulled up Friday night in front of the Mattress Factory, the sound of soul music greeted them in a way that brought it all back if you were there the first time. Motown just makes you want to move, and the El Monics, three fabulous gentlemen decked out in white suits, sang the hits so well that even 20-year-olds felt the nostalgia vibe. So began an evening that is the envy of every nonprofit in town, a bash that's pure fun and still made $250,000 thanks to chairs Anuj and Anne Nemer Dhanda.
More than 1,300 guests were lucky enough to get tickets to this year's Urban Garden Party, "Soul Factory: Motown at the Museum," and they came in waves through the night. First there were the VIPS for a private party hosted by Bob Sendall, who served a soul food menu of fried chicken and mac and cheese. They had a private room reserved for the night, but who wanted to stay inside when outside, in the installation museum's garden and tented lot, the people watching was divine. A bevy of drag queens is always de rigueur, but so are people who come in costume, well, just because. Standouts were John Gates as Andy Warhol and Dennis Bergevin as his mother, Julia Warhola. Dr. Lisa Cibik, her daughter Alexandra Good and their friend John Grimm came as the Supremes, and meanwhile, Mrs. Smokey Robinson, the real one, brought her four daughters in lieu of her husband, who was honorary chair but doing a concert in Toronto.
Joe King served as emcee for a steady stream of music and performances by DJ Zimmie, Kierra Darshell's Divas of Drag, Title Town Soul & Funk Party, The Gaff, Zany Umbrella Circus, assorted go-go dancers, a Soul Train Line by the MadHouse Dancers and much more, plus food and drink of every persuasion from local restaurants and purveyors. Stopping in the name of love were Mattress Factory co-directors Barbara Luderowski and Michael Olijnyk, board chair Dr. Michael White, Molly and Peter Blasier, Rick and Laurie Johnson, Art and Greta Rooney, Peggy Finnegan, Donna and John Peterman, Lalit and Supriya Chordia, Jessica and Jeff Brown, Scott Westwood, Cicely Patterson, Sue and Scott Lammie, Eric Werner and Clare Westwood, Pam Bryan, Sherry DuCarme and Jeff Crummie, Caryn Rubinoff and Craig Dunham and many more.
First Published June 25, 2013 4:00 AM