Inside last night’s Mad Hot Wonderland gala: Boldfaced names, a hookah-smoking caterpillar and fascinators galore
Wonderland was unleashed upon the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts (and its surrounding area) last night for The National Ballet of Canada’s annual Mad Hot fundraising gala. This year, the Ballet took its theme from the wildly popular premiere of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon. After a gala performance—including selections from the work as well as Passacaglia, No. 24 and The Dying Swan, danced by principal dancer Greta Hodgkinson, who is celebrating her 20th year with the company—guests including Karen Kain, Galen Weston Jr., Alexandra Weston and actress Lisa Ray wined, hors d’œuvre’d and wandered the transformed building, which housed an extra-long mirrored dining table filled to the brim with traditional tea fare, a hookah-smoking caterpillar, and multiple bars serving “White Rabbit” cocktails in teacups. Across the street on the Osgoode lawn, six Alices played croquet with flamingos.
Not to be outshone by the boldfaced names in attendance, guests came dressed in theme, with outlandish fascinators atop so many heads you’d have thought you were at the Royal Wedding. One: a robin’s nest complete with blue eggs. Another: a veil and black cherries reminiscent of Anna Dello Russo’s. As gala dinner guests were ushered back into the theatre to enjoy a Mark McEwan–made meal on the stage, others were whisked out the door to play a larger-than-life-sized game of chess. Curiouser and curiouser…
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