First of all: Beautiful People. There were plenty of them. I wish I had been better advised about the more-or-less dress code, because I actually do have a Little Black Dress and black suede heels, and I would have loved to have been in them. It wasn't only the outfits, although there was plenty of style and flair, and a great deal of self-expression. No; these were exceptionally pretty people (youth helps, of course).
Second: the beautiful people got seated first, at the front. We, being friends/guests of the show-runner, got fine seats in the center towards the back. Thus, I was in a good position to watch the stage manager (who looked pretty swank herself, in a sort of 40s slinky dress and up-do) arrange the BPs the way I might arrange flowers in a bouquet. You, over there, take this table in front; you, no, you're too tall, change places with the girl behind you; you two with the great headdresses, you make a good accent right here. The woman in front got admonished not to set her purse on the table--it would have interfered with the candlelight, would have made the table look fussy instead of very very cool.
Third, they were taking no chances at all that the poets themselves might spoil the image. Here, unawares, some tech person is applying make-up to the next performer. Naturally, everyone is watching.
I had so much fun!