Glamorous women, well-attired men, martinis and gadgets. This year’s Jump Back Ball is one that would have put a smirk, if not a full-blown smile on 007’s face.
We started in the Palace Theatre lobby for the VIP party. JBB0023’s VIP sponsor was Chef Dante Boccuzzi, who wasn’t content just serving delicious food, but also impressed everyone with his playful presentation.
The vegetarian sushi rolls, seafood salad with plump shrimp and scallop, and creamy polenta with tomato braised pork ragu were the highlights. Fresh ingredients and full of flavor.
However, it was little things like turning the sushi roll into a push-up pop and presenting the seafood salad in sardine cans that reminded me of the well-executed and enjoyable experiences we’ve had at his Dante Dining Group restaurants.
In years past, I’ve filled up on food at the VIP party because I’d only want to grab a bite or two at the main event. However, one of the improvements to this year’s Jump Back Ball was a catered dinner by Driftwood and Chris Hodgson.
Every JBB guest was treated to crisp white asparagus, pieorgi, Shepherd’s Pie, and other hearty dishes, fuel for an evening of partying.
And that fuel was very much needed.
At JBB 0023, we played Spy Hunter, tore down the Berlin Wall, tested our flexibility – and sobriety – by navigating the laser gauntlet, and wrote down what we planned on doing before next year’s Jump Back Ball. “Become Batman” and “launch a comic book company” were my and Scott’s answers. Unfortunately, I think only one of those will happen before next February.
While our dance moves may not have been the best, the flutes of champagnes and various other cocktails helped (or at least made me care less). The champagne bar was my other favorite addition to this year’s Jump Back Ball and one I hope becomes a more permanent fixture.
Although the main stage band Your Villain My Hero was enjoyable, we really rocked out with Pop Rocks who played out the rest of the evening in the State Theatre lobby. You’d think we’d be tired by 10pm after partying since six; however, they helped us gain our second wind.
Of course, a post about Jump Back Ball is incomplete without a look at the looks of the evening. To complement the State Theatre, which was dressed in an incredible light show, Jump Back Ball’s guests donned glittering and elegant garb.
I loved seeing a few of my fellow Oddjobs, a beautiful sari dress, Q, a martini shaker, and my Man with the Golden Gun in full white tuxedo. I even ran into Bond, James Bond, ornithologist – the one and only Clark Pope of Pope’s Kitchen, whose bloody mary mix was put to good use the next day.
If you’d like to get involved with PlayhouseSquare Partners, the group that organizes and hosts Jump Back Ball each year, drop me a line. Or stop by our Partners Happy Hour this Thursday, March 6 at Battery Park Wine Bar.
The last couple of years I’ve ended my Jump Back Ball posts with a goofy picture of Scott. Until next year, I leave you with this: