Photo credit Neshan H. Naltchayan.
Editorial credit Caroline Coppel.
You wouldn’t think that an improv group would excel at party planning, but Washington Improv Theater organized a lovely fundraising gala this past Saturday at Muléh in DC.
The annual event is always revolution themed, in keeping with WIT’s slogan: “The Revolution will be Improvised.” Past years have used the Cuban and Russian revolutions, and this year’s drew inspiration from France’s 18th century uprising. Costumes were encouraged, and people happily obliged – boat shirts, berets and bustiers abounded. There was even a Marie Antoinette in drag making the rounds, looking every bit as regal as the real thing.
Muléh, a chic home furnishings and clothing boutique, filled up quickly as partygoers sampled hors d’oeuvres and bid in the silent and live auctions. The food, provided by Masa 14, was not French themed (sushi, shrimp, meatballs, etc.) but there was a specialty drink called the Bon Marché, a refreshing vodka, lime juice and cucumber cocktail.
The items for auction were fairly typical, but there were some creative surprises among the restaurant gift certificates and improv workshops. One improv team called the Evil Skivvers offered to make a mockumentary about the winning bidder’s neighborhood. Another brave soul volunteered to wear whatever costume, T-shirt or body paint the winning bidder desired while running in an upcoming 10K.
Guests could also purchase the many pieces of clothing or furniture on display at Muléh, with 10 percent of all furniture proceeds going to WIT. Owner Chris Reiter wasn’t too worried about any damage to store wares, saying that a sophisticated event like this would dictate how people behaved. Reiter also has experience in hosting events; the AprilMay Foundation recently held a fundraiser at Muléh.
Bipolar, the winning group from WIT’s 2011 Fighting Improv Smackdown Tournament, performed a 12-minute scene at the start of the event. They fittingly began in an art shop in Paris; the command performance then covered amorous cops, mineshafts and live auctions.
Still, one of the funniest moments of the night came out of the live auction itself: One gentleman offered to start the bidding on two business class tickets to Paris at $500. (They went for $3,500.)
It’s settled then: WIT throws a great party. If you can get tickets, definitely go, especially since next year’s theme is rumored to be the sexual revolution.