12.10 Cirque Du Noir

Gala Under the Gallery

By BJ Hill

Vessela Stoyanova and Valerie Thompson of Goli

Vessela Stoyanova and Valerie Thompson of Goli

The Citizen Wine Bar recently took a trip down Nocturne Alley when it played host to Cirque Du Noir, brainchild of graphic designer Michelle May, to support the Worcester Country Food Bank.

When a long-running Halloween party outgrew her home in Worcester in 2008, Ms. May approached Niche Hospitality about hosting a larger gala at Bocado on Winter St. Based on the success of that party, this October they moved to Niche’s other haven, Citizen Wine Bar. The covered gallery, illuminated by strings of red lights, bordered by Speak Easy’s dark, industrial feel, were the perfect setting for a night to remember.

Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

A gothic/steampunk dress code was de rigueur, with attendees wearing black suits, glamorous gloves, tight corsets, and slick leather. Cathy Walsh of Sprout on June Street had opened her flower shop to attendees who wanted to design their own unique accessories for the event; along with elegant makeup, ornate headdresses, like the radiating crown of flowers worn by Josephine Martins and the feathery, exotic Venetian mask worn by Angelo Cannistraro, made for fabulous flirtation.

Melodies were ministered by cello/ marimba duo Goli and multicultural progressive jazz quintet Esthema. Artists Antonio Fonseca, Aaron White, Emily Quillen, Scott Boilard, Jeff Gemma (of Secret Society Tattoo), and Canman worked together to create interactive fusion pieces during the event. The seven illustrations were auctioned off at the end of the evening. About twelve local artists, including Donna Dufault, Scott Erb, Joe Leong, Nicole Tamarin Leone, and Scott Holloway, donated prints and artwork to the silent auction as well.

Tom Caywood, Scott Holloway, Jonathan Hansen (of Darkwell Studios), Susurrus Din

Tom Caywood, Scott Holloway, Jonathan Hansen (of Darkworld Gallery), Susurrus Din

Other generous event sponsors included Checkerboard Ltd., KJ Baaron’s Fine Wine and Spirits, the Worcester Art Museum, Vertical World Adventures, Mass Liquors, and Dr. Gonzo’s Uncommon Condiments. The evening’s delicious appetizers were provided by the newly opened People’s Kitchen.

In total, Ms. May and co-planner Andreea Waters helped to raise over $2,500 for the Worcester County Food Bank; the money will be used to transport food items to pick-up points around the area. For those who couldn’t attend the gala but would still like to donate to the WCFB, please visit foodbank.org .

THIS JUST IN! Ms. May and Ms. Waters say that due to popular demand, a summertime Cirque Du Noir is in the works. For more information, please see www.cirquedunoir.org.