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Topic: Speakeasy/ Prohibition/1920s theme party-help!  (Read 15479 times)
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GrandTheftUno
« on: April 17, 2008 09:26:23 AM »

Last year I planned my first big bash- Fake Prom 2007. This year we want to have the same kind of thing- a party/dance/dinner, but we want the theme to be a 1920s prohibition era speakeasy.

Unfortunately, my basement is in less than stellar condition and is so full of stuff that we couldnt possibly entertain. We're going to hold it outside, because my backyard is sizeable and can comfortably acomodate large groups.

I have a vague idea of how I want things to look in my head. A lot of black and shimmer, tables set up with candles and a small tent set up for photo taking (we did this last year, it was super fun). I've had a lot of offers from friends and neighbors to lend chairs and tables, so that wont be an issue. I'm an artist so anything creatable is game.

I'm thinking of buying some miniature bathtubs to serve drinks in. I could probably find some at the thrift store (I saw quite a few on ebay)

any other crafy (low budget) ideas?
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« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2008 09:31:07 AM »

Do you happen to know anyone with a gramophone you could borrow for music? You could serve old fashioned cocktails like sidecars and gin rickeys. I went to a Great Gatsby party once and it was a blast!
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GrandTheftUno
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2008 05:36:24 PM »

The only person I knew with a gramophone was my...gramma. When she passed away my cousin stole it and sold it on ebay.

Thanks for the cocktail tips though!
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brookem
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2008 04:37:16 AM »

paper lanterns

jazz/ dance hall music

serve drinks in glass jars- like moonshine

give people a secret password to get in and maybe put a sign out front saying 'concerned citizens' meeting --->' or 'church meeting this way', because speakeasys were generally disguised. you could really play up the clandestine aspect of the speakeasy- for instance:
-label the punch bowl: ENTIRELY NONALCOHOLIC
-the morning of the day, take a watermelon and cut a small piece out of the side, as you would do to a pumpkin in order to carve it. take a skewer and stick it into the flesh (but not through the skin) in all directions. next, mix about a cup of high proof spirits (vodka is best) with a tablespoon of icing sugar and carefully pour this into the melon. replace the 'lid'. sit the melon in a bowl or dish to keep it upright and put it in the freezer. slice just before eating and serve sprinkled with diced mint.
-if it is a chilly night you could make mullled wine: 1 part grape juice, 1 part ros wine- i find this produces a lighter product than straight red wine. place orange zest, cinnamon sticks and cloves on a square of clean muslin/ cheese cloth and tie it into a ball (do not use plastic string, use cotton thread or string). strike the ball once with a rolling pin to bruise the spices then place everything in a large pot and simmer until fragrant and warmed thru. serve from a large tea pot, asking people "would you like a cup of tea?" (wink, wink).

get a really old book on party hosting from the library so you can serve authentic 1920's party nibbles

print a glossary of some 1920's colloquialisms on the back of the invites so your guests can speak in character

wander around asking people if they voted for wilson or hughes in the last election, and speak about 'the repeal' with a wistful fondness

have a raffle. mostly because it is fun, also it is a good way to hand out party favors.

at the end of the night you could stage a police raid or sound a siren, which is in keeping with the theme and a good way of signalling the rnd of the party- ideally before your neighbours call the real police
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GrandTheftUno
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2008 12:49:51 PM »

aha! what a bunch of great ideas!

I was definitely going to do the whole "password" thing. Also, as a little bonus to the first people to RSVP, they will get a little bottle of something to hide somewhere on their person.

I was also going to have a pot of "tea" on!

thanks so much for your input
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GrandTheftUno
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2008 01:22:14 PM »

I bought a bunch of decorations and fabrics. I scored a bolt of pale blue outdoor canvas for free because it had water damage and my boss is awesome. I'm going to make some matching cushions and such.

I bought some 1$/m fabric for swags and a tent cover (VIP area? photo ops?)

I also bought some napkins and charger plates that when combined are art deco and totally fab (1$-2$ each). I found some silver art deco lanterns on stakes (5$) and some mini fondue pots for the tables (even though they aren't in keeping with the theme I thought they were awesome and will be easier to clean than doing the fountain we did last year. they are also very art deco, and again, 5$. I have some black, diamond shaped floating candles and I am looking for a glass vessel of sorts.

I am also going to go in search of hooch jugs, and I might be able to snag a clawfoot bathtub if I can enlist enough burly men to lift it

I found some 1920s menus that have inspired the food, including deviled eggs, finger sandwiches, deli/cheese/cracker/veggie trays, and any food people may bring. I am encouraging foods that can smuggle in some sort of alcohol.

if anyone has any other input it would be awesome, the party is but a few weeks away!
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brookem
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2008 06:59:43 AM »

that reminds me of the movie amelie- the scene where the grocer smuggles stolen food inside other food for amelie's neighbour.
sounds like you have everything under control. the only other suggestions i have are- fairy lights, because you can't really go wrong with those, and unlike candles they seldom set anything on fire. food- and if you don't have a dessert idea yet, individual sundaes made in dixie cups- a scoop of ice cream, chocolate sauce, nuts and a cherry. you can make a whole bunch and keep them in the freezer. also, some sort of bizarre meat dish made with jello. back in the day jello was apparently eaten as a savoury with meat, lobster, boiled veg and mayonnaise, which strikes me as hilarious for some reason.
any hoo, have a rockin time and please be sure to post a few pictures.
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« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2008 07:02:39 AM »

You could use creme de menthe for the sundaes. Grasshopper sundays seem fitting!  Wink
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GrandTheftUno
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2008 09:02:31 PM »

due to the vegan/vegetarian presence that weill be at my party, we're probably steering clear of anything jello. I am going to make "drunken chocolate cake", but I really like the ice cream idea, its a lot better than having people scoop their own (with less mess/clean up). I've got a tonne of outdoor lights (the kind that stake into the ground, solar powered LED, my parents just bought like, 18 or 20 in addition to what we have) they are pretty great because they needn't be plugged in. I scored a wicked silver candle holder at the thrift store today.

I will be sure to post lots of pictures of the finished product, and this year I will remember to get shots of the whole yard. I always forget. I'm a bit theme party crazy though, they are always a good time.
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