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  • Steve Sucato

Meet 'Limit (Less)' Performance Space Designers, POMP Parties

By Steve Sucato

For GroundWorks DanceTheater's landmark 25th Anniversary Season, founding artistic director David Shimotakahara knew he wanted to shake things up a bit with an unusual approach to the audience performance experience.

For the company's new nextSPACE 2.5 series production Limit (Less), featuring the Theron Brown Trio, he did just that. Gone are the proscenium stage, the theater row seating, and audiences being fixed to a single viewing angle. In their place is an intimate and interactive performance setting where audience members choose their own vantage point to view the performances, from a couch, in a comfy chair, at a table with friends, or they can shift viewing angles throughout by roaming about in the space. To realize this alternate performance setting, GroundWorks partnered with POMP Parties, Cleveland's "go-to" specialty event rental and design company.

“A colorful, cozy, eclectic living room” is how POMP Parties' owner, creative director, and globetrotting buyer of all things beautiful, Tracey Rezak, described the vibe she was aiming for in creating and curating the performance space for Limit (Less)'s Cleveland shows on March 22 and 23 at the POMP Parties' East Side warehouse storage space.

Begun three years ago, Rezak says of her interest in launching POMP Parties, “I loved entertaining family and friends at home. I really got into creating interactive experiences for people. Many would leave the parties saying, ‘My god, this was the best party ever. You should do this for a living.’ So I did.”

Rezak began buying furniture to start the POMP Parties. Now, the business boasts a rental inventory of some 1500 eclectic and custom-made furniture and accessory items from all over and filling a 12,000-square-foot warehouse. Their items include Sophie, a life-size baby elephant statue, stuffed lamas, a Ferris wheel, a clawfoot bathtub, and several bars and hedge walls. 

“Things happened organically,” says Rezak. I think the main reason I started the business is that I love making people happy.” 

POMP Parties' recent growth led to the hiring of Beth Benjamin as the company's new full-time Implementation Lead (get-things-done person). “My job is to support Tracey and help realize her vision," says Benjamin.

With themes such as disco, “The Great Gatsby,” “Alice in Wonderland,” and the "Circus," Rezak is used to planning lavish parties, gala fundraisers, and awards ceremonies. GroundWorks' Limit (Less) will be the first time she has worked with a dance company on creating a performance event. 

Excited for the challenge, Rezak says, “I want to make it a super eclectic and fun space. Cohesively, it will all flow together, but I want it funky and homey like you are walking into a living room. It will include different colors and textures and have tables, lamps, pillows, rugs, couches, and chairs."

Rezak says she will also incorporate interactivity in her design so people can have fun with the set pieces, providing photo opportunities for them to document their experience. 

Partnering with GroundWorks to create Limit (Less)'s unique performance experience is another way POMP Parties is separating itself from the area competition. "We are trying to bring a hip, fun, whimsical vibe to the marketplace that has been missing," says Rezak. We have new, edgy, and unique furniture and accessories. We want to help people's imaginations go wild and then work with them to realize what they imagined."

GroundWorks DanceTheater and the Theron Brown Trio present Limit (Less), 7:30 p.m., Friday, March 22, and Saturday, March 23, POMP PARTIES at Twist Drill Building, 4700 Lakeside Ave, 2nd floor, Cleveland, OH. Tickets $10-25.


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