Ten blocks downtown from the Minskoff Theatre, workers are busy raising sails, toting shrubbery and hoisting tiny guillotines on sticks. This is the Hammerstein Ballroom at the Manhattan Center, where the opening night cast party for Scarlet Pimpernel is setting up. As organized by Grey Entertainment, the room where the party will take place has been divided into two sides, the "England" side with scarlet and violet tablecloths and the "France" side, with red and yellow. Between them, two rows of black tables are surmounted by sails and billows, to represent the English channel. Above the French tables, tiny guillotines are mounted on sticks giving the room an even more surreal atmosphere. It's two and a half hours to curtain; five hours until the guests begin feasting in this unique room.
-- By Robert Viagas