October 2011

Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic Los Angeles 2011

This weekend, the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic took over the Pacific Palisades. Socialites, polo players and celebrities alike came out to sip some bubbly and stomp the divots! 

Actress Camilla Belle was there to toss in the ceremonial first ball to kick-off the game at Will Rogers State Park — the last remaining polo grounds in the Los Angeles area (at the height of polo’s popularity, there were over 20 polo fields around LA).

The 4,000 guests were greeted by waiters and waitresses dressed in elaborate 1920’s attire. Picnic blankets and popular food trucks like India Jones and Sweet E’s lined the grounds where yellow Veuve Clicquot umbrellas shaded attendees from the sun.

Team Black Watch defeated Team Veuve Clicquot with a score of 7-5. Rachel Zoe presented Nacho Figueras of Team Black Watch with the Most Valuable Player accolade.

For full article, click here.

November 2010

Glamour Salutes Its Heroines

Monday evening, on the stage of Carnegie Hall, Julia Roberts was performing the role of celebrated actress, making a delightfully amusing yet touchingly self-deprecating speech at Glamour magazine’s annual Women of the Year Awards. She held up a shiny red trophy composed of interlocking dinner-plate-size rings and asked what the heck it was supposed to be. 

Of her presence on stage, Ms. Roberts said: “Proof — all you have to know is how to play ‘Hot Cross Buns’ on the piano, and you can make it to Carnegie Hall.”

If only it were so easy. The event happened to be celebrating its 20th year and in its signature fashion included tributes to a diverse cast of women of remarkable achievement: actors, athletes, pop stars, designers, humanitarians and heads of states.

This might have been the sole occasion when you could find the president of HSN seated in the same row as the president of Liberia, and the speeches could veer from inspiring tear-jerkers to flat-out comedy routines. After a two-hour ceremony, a dinner for 250 followed at the Museum of Modern Art.

“I was an emotional wreck before I was even onstage,” said Stacy Ferguson, otherwise known as Fergie, once the party had moved to MoMA. “I cried three times.”

Ms. Ferguson was wearing a sexy red one-shouldered Zac Posen gown, from next spring’s collection, she noted. Her mood was now approaching that of her dress. As Kate Hudson, wearing gold-flecked one-shouldered Lanvin, approached to sit down next to her, Ms. Ferguson whispered, playfully, “She wanted to wear one-shoulder, too, so I said it had to be the opposite shoulder.”

Though it was not a black-tie affair, many of the guests wore tuxedos or dinner jackets over their gowns, as did both Hilary Swank and the singer Estelle at Donatella Versace’s table. (Ms. Swank was covering up a large hole that had been ripped in the side of her dress, when another guest stepped on it.) Cher also seemed to be wrestling with a long black Ann Demeulemeester skirt that kept getting tangled under her shoes. 

One honoree who looked flawlessly comfortable in a monkey suit, custom made by Isaac Mizrahi, was Constance McMillen, the Fulton, Miss., teenager whose high school canceled its prom rather than allow her to bring her girlfriend as her date. Both had wanted to wear tuxedos.

 “I tweeted about her when that whole incident occurred,” said the young singer Janelle Monáe, who routinely wears tuxedos as part of her act.

“I could not imagine what it would feel like for someone to tell me I couldn’t go onstage in a tuxedo,” she said.

Toward the end of dinner, Ms. Roberts clinked on a glass. The entire room shut up. She announced that, in 33 minutes, it would be the birthday of Ryan Murphy, the creator of “Glee” and the director of “Eat Pray Love.” As 250 guests sang in chorus, Mr. Murphy looked somewhat harassed. 

“I wasn’t picking on him,” Ms. Roberts said as they left. “I was heralding.”

For full article, click here.

November 2008

A Sundance Celebration

It’s not everyday that you get to order a cocktail from a celebrity bartender (at least once they have become famous). But, at the Sundance Institute’s annual New York City gala hosted by President and Founder Robert Redford, it has become a well known tradition.

This year the notable waitstaff included actors Michael Imperioli, Hope Davis, Joey Pantoliano, and Judah Friedlander (30 Rock) who served up drinks and chatted with guests during the cocktail reception of the gala, which raises money to support the organization’s development programs for independent film and theater artists.

Overland Entertainment was commissioned to design the Sundance event with the mantra that it was to be the “non-gala,” gala. The design and event production company took its inspiration from the Sundance Institute Artists’ Lab by bringing to life each of the four seasons of the artists’ programs. Roseland Ballroom was enclosed in 12 foot scenic flats with 10 foot photographic collages of the stunning Utah landscape.

“We wanted to bring the beauty of Utah and mesh it with the urban landscape of New York. That’s why we have a fish jumping out of a fire hydrant,” explains Sophie Geidt, senior producer at Overland. For the silent auction, the designers created a series of vignettes that showcased packages of film and TV memorabilia donated by Glenn Close, Ashley Judd and Al Pacino among others.

VIP guests Alec Baldwin, Maggie Rizer, Kenneth Cole, Chevy Chase, and Jane Fonda enjoyed passed canapes by Hudson Yards Catering  and a dinner menu created by Top Chef‘sTom Colicchio, which included a family style spread of Seared Striped Bass with Red Pepper Aioli and Braised Cavolo Nero with Tuscan Kale. 

The fundraiser concluded with an after party with DJ and Sundance Alum John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch).

For full article, click here.

April 2006

Overland Wins Two Prestigious Awards

Overland Entertainment listed as one of the top 100 Event Production companies in the U.S

Best Staging/Set Design and Best Content/Program

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May 2005

Beard Awards Stage Looks Like Child’s Kitchen

The set design and decor at the Marriott Marquis for this year’s annual James Beard Foundation awards was inspired by Julia Child’s home.

With this year’s James Beard Foundation awards—honoring the best in the food and restaurant industry—billed as a tribute to Julia Child, the event’s set designers looked no farther than Child’s kitchen for inspiration for the set design and decor at the Marriott Marquis.

Set designer Paula Longendyke of Overland Entertainment went to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History’s permanent exhibit of Child’s kitchen, and worked closely with the curator to add detailed touches to the stage. Decor included turquoise green cabinets, walls hung with pots and pans, posters of cats (a favorite of Child’s), and shelves lined with cookbooks all similar to those in Child’s original kitchen. Color photographs of Child with Jacques Pépin (who received the evening’s lifetime achievement award), James Beard, and other chefs highlighted the night’s tribute.

The event’s M.C. was friend-of-Julia and Good Morning America coanchor Charles Gibson.

For full article, click here.


December 2000

Rock’s Million Dollar Bash

“Anyone can be bought; anyone is available for a price,” Jonathan Scharer says flatly. He ought to know. His Overland Entertainment Company has booked everyone from Beck to Bob Dylan for private parties and corporate gigs. Although Scharer will not discuss specific fees, he characterizes prices as “outrageous”-and rising. Just two years ago, the Eagles received a reported $500,000 to play for the financial firm Nomura Asset Capital Corp.; now superstars can command more than $1 million for about an hour’s work.

November 1999

They Rock Hard for the Money

On corporate dates 20 years ago, you booked Don Rickles or maybe the Everly Brothers. “That’s changed dramatically. The counterculture element of rock has disappeared into the woodwork.” And good riddance, said Jonathan Scharer, president of the Overland Entertainment Company, a New York promotion firm that deals primarily in private parties. When he first formed the company, Scharer said, performers who agreed to play private parties were not sure what kind of commitment they would get from the producers. “They were playing in airplane hangers and hotel ballrooms. They were singing on hotel risers. We got sophisticated.”

Scharer said the private party niche was unexplored territory when he started. “I identified a need in the corporate sector for rock ’n roll. Corporate executives were getting younger and younger. They wanted to boogie.”