Friday, November 03, 2006

Black, white and fun all over

The Black and White Gala is my new favorite annual party.

It's a Make-A-Wish Foundation benefit organized by Young Affiliates of the Mint Museums. Last night's event was the first at CenterStage on North Davidson, and except for a slick floor, it was a good and spacious location.

I attended a Young Affiliates beer tasting a few years ago, and found the group to be a little stuffy. Last night, women kicked off their heels and par-tayed. Men and women dressed in tuxedos and ball gowns grooved -- and I mean grooved -- to the Maxx, an Atlanta-based cover band. Women in the audience jumped on stage and took over the microphone to sing Beyonce's "Crazy in Love" and Nelly's "Hot in Herre." They also freaked the band members, who rolled with it by inviting them to do the "Lean Back" dance. Less-crazy dancers stayed on the dance floor, twirling themselves and each other about. Women outnumbered guys 2 to 1. So fellas, next year, grab a tux or a fly suit, and make your way to the gala.

Along with current hits such as Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" and older hip-hop hits, the Maxx performed a disco set that included Donna Summers' "Bad Girls," and they took it way back to Martha & the Vandellas' "Heatwave." If you ever get a chance to see the Maxx, it's a band not to be missed.

The gala has to be the best deal in town. For $35 (advance tickets), you can get your eat and drink on with an open bar of beer, wine and malt beverages. Fresh oysters, pasta, mini-sandwiches, cupcakes and all kinds of dips were available to soak up all the alcohol partiers consumed.

I woke up this morning and sent text messages to friends telling them to put the Black and White Gala on their calendars for next year -- assuming the Maxx performs again. It's a dress-up event, with get-down flava.