When our Colorado client Debbie turned 70 years young, we were thrilled by the request to throw her a risqué Roaring 20s birthday party. This evening-into-night event included many nods to the jazziest decade, and a big part of the fun was seeing all guests arriving in full costume. But what truly created the sense of being immersed in the Jazz Age was the entertainment, which set the stage and continued throughout the evening, culminating in a burlesque performance with a surprise ending. 

Décor and So Much More

This party took place at Debbie and Tony’s sprawling mansion in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. After taking photos at a vintage Rolls Royce with characters in costume in the driveway, some guests were given a secret password and escorted to a back hallway where they were greeted by a Prohibition-style bouncer, who requested that password then gave them access to a private speakeasy down a staircase where they encountered a bathtub of bottled and corked gin drinks.

In the main party, two enormous spiral staircases were hosted by costumed greeters, as a piano player tickled the ivories with jazz and ragtime tunes. 

  WM Events Roaring 20s Birthday Party  

 WM Events Roaring 20s Birthday Party  

Roaming Roaring 20s Performers

We engaged a dozen on-site entertainers to create this Gatsby-style house party atmosphere. The performers and actors mingled with guests throughout the event, participating in photo ops and providing dance lessons — Charleston, anyone? These interactive features like live music and roaming character performers enhanced the decor and food & beverage choices to impart an authentic 1920s feel. 

If the entertainment had ended there, this party would have been deemed really swell, but there was much more to come.  

WM Events Roaring 20s Birthday Party  WM Events Roaring 20s Birthday Party  WM Events Roaring 20s Birthday Party

Burlesquing the Bday

The entertainment, which kept ramping up throughout the evening, culminated in a spectacular performance that started on the second-story balcony facing the pool. The hosts had wanted to push the envelope and asked for a show that would be a bit risqué and a lot surprising. We delivered with customized entertainment that featured three original songs performed by two singers, who were backed by four dancers.

WM Events Roaring 20s Birthday Party  WM Events Roaring 20s Birthday Party  WM Events Roaring 20s Birthday Party

Oh My!

With each new song, the dancers shed pieces of their costume, offering a classic burlesque performance that brought them down the exterior spiral staircase to the poolside where guests stood to watch the show. This burlesque performance was truly the cat’s pajamas.

Because the hosts are grandparents, no one expected this type of show. In fact, no one expected a show at all, so they were dazzled when the singers and dancers appeared on the upper balcony. As the songs progressed and the performers started their classic-style striptease, the crowd went wild. As a final unexpected gesture, the singers and dancers jumped into the pool, which was festooned with silver orbs.

WM Events Roaring 20s Birthday Party    WM Events Roaring 20s Birthday Party

How We Did It

Spectacularly choreographed custom entertainment like what guests enjoyed at this event takes a lot of effort, and for our team, one of the biggest challenges was coordinating the creation, development, and rehearsal of it from 1,400 miles away.

In partnership with the singers and dancers, we developed the custom burlesque show, which was fully choreographed and scripted, and ensured it would fulfill the client’s request for entertainment that would be risqué and surprising without going beyond propriety. That meant we needed to straddle a fine line.

Plus, it had to be a memorable performance, which led to the idea of ending the show with the singers and dancers jumping into the pool. It was completely unexpected because we had also decorated the pool with silver spheres, so it appeared as a decorative feature rather than an opportunity for late-night swimming. 

As much as the clients knew what we up to, the final performance surprised and delighted them. And we got a surprise of our own. A couple of the guests were so excited, they jumped into the pool too! 

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