The rain that forced the cancellation of Thursday night's performance of Noche Flamenca again reared its ugly head to abruptly end the Flamenca after-party on Saturday night. The party was a curiuos mish-mash of Spanish themes, party music classics and special guests.
The food, which has become a favorite focus of any good Spoleto party, was extremely plentiful. A long, 'S' shaped table was filled with frittatas, Spanish ham, and artisan cheeses. Possibly the most out-of-place element was a silver chaffing dish filled with meatballs. It was the first in a long line of inconsistencies that, while not in fitting with the party, per se, added a campy charm that made this Society Street fête one to remember. The second undeniable surprise was the music. Walking down Anson Street en route to the party, my ears were perked by the familiar twang of a Creedence Clearwater Revival song. Quite a far cry from the salsa/world beat/Latin fusion that might have been expected at such an after-party. The black and white tile dance floor lay sopping wet until around 11:30 p.m. when it was given a thorough drying. With the risk of slick slip-and-falls out of the way, the dance floor became an appealing option. The first brave soul to dance was Flamenca's own Soledad Barrio. The music may have reminded some of a wedding reception, but it proved its worth as it was embraced by the crowd that gladly danced to Michael Jackson and Donna Summer songs.
Many of Flamenca's performers were in attendance, as well as performers from a variety of other Spoleto shows. The most interesting guest, however, was a 6-foot-tall statue of Humphry Bogart that was stationed beside the bar. It was the strangest decorative accessory and received plenty of corny comments. ("We'll always have Paris.") Looking back on it, I still have no idea what it's purpose was, and maybe that's the point.
The entire party was subject to droplets of rain, but it was ended by a harsh downpour that commenced around 1 a.m. Most may have faulted the rain, but it added another element to the party. The crowding on the porch, the quick offering and accepting of rides home, and the squeals from the soaked made it a fitting, madcap end for such a haphazard affair. —Angela Hanyak