Motown theme turns Mattress Factory into Soul Factory

| Sunday, June 23, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

By the time 7 p.m. rolled around on June 21, a few things were unfolding at the Mattress Factory museum on the North Side.

1. A line of general ticket holders reportedly three blocks in length was snaking its way around the neighborhood.

2. Smokey Robinson had just joined the VIPs already inside — albeit via a large projection-screen video.

3. Fresh faces were collectively asking what time the anticipated debauchery would start to unfold.

“Nine-thirty,” quipped emcee Joe King.

Its reputation preceding itself, the 2013 Urban Garden Party lived up to all expectations by unleashing a torrent of glorious celebration that left its mark on 1,300 who traded convention for a night unlike any other.

With its Soul Factory: Motown at the Museum theme, there were a surprising number of guests who opted out of embracing the requisite dress code, paving the way for a quality-over-quantity air when it came to creative wardrobes.

“This was my idea,” confessed Bernie Kobosky, as his wife, Dr. Lisa Cibik, and stepdaughter, Ali Good, arrived as Diana Ross and the Supremes, one made golden by the addition of John Grimm to round out the renowned trio.

“It seemed like a good idea at the time,” Grimm said. “I need a drink.”

Elsewhere, high marks for board chair Dr. Michael White, whose afro could be seen from across the room — “I had to get the biggest one!” he said — and also for an inventive go-go boots improvisation by Deb Bergren (with Bryan Garlock). “They were in my closet already and a can of shiny spray paint changed them from brown to white. You gotta do what you gotta do,” she said.

As one would expect, an infectious soundtrack of vintage soul underscored the entire evening, beginning with original 45s being spun by Title Town Soul & Funk Party's DJ Gordy G. before Vancouver-based DJ The Gaff and DJ Zimmie took over in the packed courtyard.

“Good luck moving in there!” warned an exiting partygoer.

Spotted were co-chairs Anne Nemer Dhanda andAnuj Dhanda, MF co-founders Barbara Luderowski andMichael Olijnyk, VIP pre-party host Bob Sendall, Frances Robinson (aka the Mrs. Smokey), Sherry DuCarme andJeff Crummie, Dan Drawbaugh andSarah Thomas, Rich and Cindy Engler, WPXI's Peggy Finnegan, Susan and Scott Lammie, Donna and John Peterman, Eric Shiner, and Laurie andRich Mushinsky.

Kate Benz is the social columnist for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at or 412-380-8515.

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