A passport to glamour

First there’s glamour — then there’s “Macy’s Passport Presents Glamorama.”

Macy’s retooled version of its 28th annual Passport fashion event combines two shows — Glamorama, which ran for 22 years in Chicago and Minneapolis, and Passport, which has run in San Francisco and Los Angeles for 27 years — into a streamlined, four-city touring presentation.

The event is more theatrical this year, focused on a single night, Friday, and set in a new venue, the Orpheum Theatre.

“The show definitely has a different feel this year largely because of the venue change. We always called Passport ‘fashion theater,’ so the fact we’re in a legitimate Broadway house seems appropriate,” says Larry Hashbarger, Macy’s director of special productions and founder of the original Passport.

Instead of one runway, the show has three shorter catwalks, Hashbarger says, creating “a lot of opportunity for staging the models, dancers, etc.”

Another major new element of this year’s show is live music, including performances by Grammy winner Macy Gray and VH1 “You Oughta Know” artist singer-songwriter Eric Hutchinson.

Gray — who “has been terrific,” Hashbarger says — will perform a mini-concert, including her big hit “I Try” and “Beauty in the World” from  her new album.
The singer says, “There’s only two Macy’s and this was an opportunity to bring us both together, have some fun and sing some songs, and raise awareness all for a great cause.”

This year’s San Francisco event benefits AIDS Emergency Fund, Project Open Hand and the Glide Foundation. Through its history, Macy’s Passport has contributed $29 million toward the fight against HIV and AIDS.

Glamorama’s dance sequences are choreographed by Brian Friedman of “So You Think You Can Dance” fame and the creative director on “America’s Got Talent.” Another big name associated with the show is Madonna, whose Material Girl clothing line is being showcased in a number set to a mashup of her music.

As in previous years, music, movement and models are featured in themed fashion segments — this year with a techno-media background — culled from the latest collections from top designers such as Tracy Reese, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Just Cavalli, INC, Felina/Jezebel and 2(x)ist.

“I think it is wonderful when fashion can be used to raise awareness,” Reese says, “and as a designer, I am happy to lend my name and time to this worthy cause that affects so many people around the globe — especially the children.”

Another new feature this year is an after party at San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum.

“The best part is that we continue to raise much-needed funds and awareness for all the amazing HIV/AIDS organizations that we have supported,” Hashbarger says.

 

If you go

Macy’s Passport Presents Glamorama

Where: Orpheum Theatre, 1192 Market St., San Francisco

When: 8 p.m. Friday

Tickets: $78 to $1,000

Contact: (888) 746-1799, www.shnsf.com, www.macys.com/glamorama

Note: For VIP tickets, call (877) 252-7814 or visit www.blueroomevents.com/glamorama

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