Vibiana is perhaps the most beautiful event space in Los Angeles. The former church was revamped by husband-and-wife team Chef Neal Fraser and restaurateur Amy Knoll Fraser, as an adjunct to their downtown restaurant, Redbird. We have been to numerous benefits there, and last October they got creative with an immersive Halloween experience.
The Frasers are taking it a step or ten further this summer with a new multisensory show, “Revive.” Collaborating with the acrobats and dancers of San Francisco’s Vau de Vire Society, cutting-edge visual effects magicians Sigma-1, and Fishbone-alum Angelo Moore and his band the Missing Links, the space will present a 1920s-inspired circus-themed dinner show starting this weekend.
The LA Beat was invited to a press preview this week where we enjoyed a run-through of the performance, with fantastic Prohibition-style music, acrobats spinning on aerial hoops, and dancers performing 20s-style choreography worthy of a Broadway production of “Cabaret” while we savored delicious hors d’oeuvres and themed cocktails. Vau de Vire co-founder and creative director Mike Gaines hopes that “Revive” will do exactly that, bringing people back to life after lockdown: “It really is a revival, and Angelo is the perfect person to lead that revival. This show is about joy and celebration.”
Start the evening off with live music, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and cure-all tinctures at a welcome reception in the beautiful Vibiana Courtyard. Then enter the cathedral where you will dine on one of the stages, immersed in visual effects known as projection-mapping, and surrounded by live performers who blur the lines between performers and audience and give a new meaning to the phrase “table dance.”
The “Revive” cast includes actor Frank Ferrante as The Chef. Ferrante is best known for his one-man show, the long-running, award-winning “A Night With Groucho.” He has portrayed Groucho Marx on stages internationally, in New York City, in London’s West End, and on PBS.
As far as inspiration for the meal goes, Neal told us, “We tried to do things seasonally while keeping pace with the show.” The four-course dinner includes Jubilee Watermelon Salad, Peruvian Scallop Crudo, Creekstone Farms Filet Mignon with Black Truffle Polenta, and Charred Rapini Ragout with Porcini Jus, followed by Valrhona Chocolate Cake with Green Farm Strawberries and Chantilly. Vegetarian and vegan options are available, including, as Neal shared, “We’re offering smoked BBQ tofu that takes several days to prepare. The idea was that the food would be as exciting and dynamic as the show.”
Shows will be offered Thursdays – Sundays, June 18 – July 24, 2022 at 6:45 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and once on Sundays at 5:00 p.m. The $250 entry fee includes passed hors d’oeuvres, a welcome cocktail, a 4-course dinner by renowned chef Neal Fraser, and of course an extravaganza for all of the senses (OK, maybe not touch, but that could so easily go wrong). Additional beverages may be purchased separately. 18 and over with valid ID. Wheelchair accessible.