Guests mingled and posed in front of Smuin’s logo-bedecked banner, before heading upstairs to the cocktail hour, which included a silent auction with cakes generously donated by Cake Coquette, Fillmore Bakeshop, and Delessio Market & Bakery. Among Smuin’s many esteemed guests were former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown, senator Scott Weiner, former senator Mark Leno, Baseball Hall of Fame announcer Renel Brooks-Moon, and San Francisco Board of Supervisors president London Breed.
An exclusive performance by Smuin’s dancers followed the cocktail hour, featuring works by guest choreographer Val Caniparoli (also in attendance), as well as many of Michael Smuin’s beloved works. Dancers performed pieces from Smuin’s Beatles and Gershwin-inspired ballets and a duet from the Company’s first ever mainstage work, Dances with Songs.
After the performance (and a quick change for the dancers), a plated dinner catered by McCalls of short rib sauerbraten, horseradish puree, and vegetables fortified guests before the event’s live auction. While vivacious auctioneer Abra Annes shone bright in a bejeweled pantsuit, dancer Rex Wheeler stole the show with his charm and tales of his experiences at Smuin. Dancers Benjamin Warner and Nicole Haskins soon joined the party, surprising the audience with their own homemade baked goods to add to the auction.
While Smuin’s live auction is always an exciting venture, the highlight this year was London Breed’s unanticipated entrance with a final surprise auction item: three pairs of highly sought-after Hamilton tickets! In all, this year’s gala was easily Smuin’s most successful ever, raising a record-breaking $455,000 to benefit the Company!
If you were unable to make it to this nearly sold out event, you can still take a piece of the Smuin experience home with the signature cocktail of the evening! Nicknamed “spa water” by McCalls Catering, this refreshing take on a traditional vodka Collins had the evening’s guests relaxed and ready to enjoy the party!
To make Smuin’s signature gala cocktail, you’ll need:
- 2 ounces of club soda
- 2 ounce premium vodka
- 2 ounces cucumber collins mix*
- A pinch of chopped, fresh ginger & cucumber slice to garnish
*To make a quick collins mix with a cucumber twist, let one cucumber, sliced sit overnight in a combination of 6 ounces of simple syrup and the juice of four lemons. Remove cucumber slices before serving. Serves 6.
Combine vodka and collins mix in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a highball glass with ice and top with club soda. Add ginger and cucumber to garnish. Voilà! Smuin Spa Water!
See see more photos from this glamourous evening here!