April 30th, 2023 by Jill McGraw SDSA

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Party at Evie’s house: Jennifer Garner guest stars throughout this comeback season with series original and regular Adam Scott. And sparks do fly! Photo by Colleen Hayes © 2022 Starz Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Set Decorator Jill McGraw SDSA

Production Designer David Saenz de Maturana


Over a decade ago, the beloved late Set Decorator Daryn-Reid Goodall SDSA worked his magic with the sets for the last season of the witty sleeper hit PARTY DOWN. This year, the delightful and talented Set Decorator Jill McGraw SDSA stepped in, along with Production Designer David Saenz de Maturana, to help bring back the show, thirteen years the high standards already set. Jill felt a personal homage to Daryn, and was honored to have the opportunity to pay tribute throughout the series. 
Starz network encapsulates the new season:
“Ten years after Henry Pollard [Adam Scott] gave up his day job working for Party Down Catering, a stroke of bad luck lands him back with his old team of Hollywood dreamers and misfits tending bar.”
Like the original, each episode was shot in a different location, just as a catering company would experience. Jill takes us through glimpses of each episode, but first a description of the photo above!
“Adam Scott is a consummate professional, unlike his character Henry, the bartender, who seems to be dying on the inside with every new catering gig. Adam could be dying on the inside and still pull off a poignant and memorable performance—you will never guess which scene it was!  Evie plays it straight as the perfect girlfriend, but Jennifer Garner is funny AND brave. I once watched her prank Ricky Gervais, of all people, and he was speechless!
Season 3, Episode 1...
Ron Donald [Ken Marino] is finally realizing his dream of owning Party Down Catering company, although the pandemic led to him temporarily living in the company van, secretly of course...

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Back alley: Party Down Catering Company van (and temporary office!)...Set Decorator Jill McGraw SDSA points out, “No more white van for this crew. I love how we pretend that all their equipment fits in here! Sophisticated graphic wrap and wheat-paste posters by Graphic Designer Kera Saenz de Maturana.” Henry Pollard (Adam Scott), Ron Donald (Ken Marino) Photo by Colleen Hayes © 2022 Starz Entertainment.

Hollywood Club: Former catering server Kyle Bradway has just landed his star-making superhero role. He hires Party Down to cater his celebration party, leading to welcome reunions and some unexpected surprises. -- Starz

“Location is the Bourbon Room,” Jill reveals. “It is always a great day when Ryan Hansen is #7 on the call sheet! He is so convincing at playing shallow actor Kyle Bradway, you would never guess that he is a down-to-earth guy who loves camping, restoring vintage trucks and befriending the crew. Constance Carmel is played by Jane Lynch, and I have been a fan since we both lived in Chicago. She played Carol Brady in ‘The Real Live Brady Bunch’ at Annoyance Theater when I was bartending nearby at a performance art space called Club Lower Links.”

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Hollywood Club party set. Top left: Connor Hines, Jane Lynch & Ryan Hansen. Top right: Jane Lynch & Megan Mullally. Bottom left: Tyrel Jackson Williams. Bottom right: Connor Hines & Ryan Hansen. Photos by Colleen Hayes © 2022 Starz Entertainment.

"I wish I could take credit for this décor, especially the pendant lights made from Zildjian cymbals!  We zhuzhed it up with neon from Heaven or Las Vegas, table lamps from Practical Props, art from Pinacoteca Props and taxidermy from Bischoff’s.”

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Hollywood Club: Evie [Jennifer Garner] seated with Jack Botty [James Marsden], fallen: Ron Donald [Ken Marino]. Photo by Colleen Hayes © 2022 Starz Entertainment. All rights reserved.

However, this set is entirely ours. Production Designer David Saenz de Maturana and Art Director Ryan Martin matched the Bourbon Room for inserts with a build, and we added banquettes and sconces from Warner Brothers, tables from Lennie Marvin, barstools from RC Vintage and zebra carpet from Linoleum City.” 

Season 3, Episode 2: Evie’s Surprise Birthday Party for Jack Bottycatered by Party Down...
“Another beautiful location, the gallery-type space called out for art by our crew!  Leadman Adam Clark is a graffiti writer and the author of “Billboard Bandits: Outlaw Artists in the Sky”. Large abstract paintings and prints are by set dresser André Rizé of Outskirts Art Gallery. More set dressing credits: Show Biz Balloons/PKA/Balloons by Tommy, ArtPic, Dazian, Warner Brothers, Modernica, Faux Library and LA Party Rents.

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Evie’s house, surprise party for Jack. Top left: Ryan Hansen, Adam Scott & Ken Marino. Top right: Adam Scott. Bottom left: Jennifer Garner, James Marsden & Adam Scott. Bottom right: Yaani King Mondschein, Adam Scott & Jennifer Garner. Photos by Colleen Hayes © 2022 Starz Entertainment.

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Evie’s home office needed some character, especially since she's a film producer! Kera Saenz de Maturana created genius spoof film posters. Buyer Hanna Szabo layered Evie’s artifacts to perfection. Jennifer Garner as Evie, Adam Scott as Henry. Photo by Colleen Hayes © 2022 Starz Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Season 3, Episode 3: Symposium...
“Is anyone watching Henry and Evie kiss when a glorious tray of hors d’oeuvres is in the foreground?”

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Symposium event kitchen. Evie & Henry [Jennifer Garner & Adam Scott]. Photo by Colleen Hayes © 2022 Starz Entertainment. All rights reserved.

“Propmaster Sarah Snyder enhanced our serve ware rentals with outrageously great food styling. Chef’s kiss to Daryn-Reid Goodall for establishing much of this behind-the-scenes look in previous seasons. Catering dressing from Air Designs and L.A. Party Rents, art from Hollywood Studio Gallery.”

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Symposium event kitchen, catering team: Kyle Bradway [Ryan Hansen], Lucy [Zoe Chao], Roman Debeers [Martin Starr], Henry Pollard [Adam Scott] & Sackson [Tyrel Jackson Williams]. Photo by Colleen Hayes © 2022 Starz Entertainment.

 Season 3, Episode 4: Malibu Luau...
Party Down caterer/manager Ron Donald is played hilariously by Ken Marino, who also directed this episode. Ken is an underrated genius at both acting and directing. I should know, because this is the fourth series we have worked on together! (CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL, WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER: TEN YEARS LATER, and RYAN HANSEN SOLVES CRIMES ON TELEVISION are the others.) Costume Designer Leslie Schilling shares this distinction. Two of those series had amazing PARTY DOWN tribute episodes!”

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Malibu Luau: Judy Sacker [Judy Reyes] & Ron Donald [Ken Marino] lead a sting operation. Photo by Colleen Hayes © 2022 Starz Entertainment. All rights reserved.

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Malibu luau: “What decorator hasn’t wanted to rent every piece of Lenny Marvin’s wonderful tiki décor?! We couldn’t afford all of it, but I think it looks perfect in Paradise Cove! Our catering tent equipment came from Rick’s Enterprise.” Detail: Tiki torch décor! Martin Starr as Roman Debeers. Photo by Colleen Hayes © 2022 Starz Entertainment.

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Malibu luau: Ken Marino not only plays caterer Ron Donald, he also directed this episode. Lots of tiki décor details in BG! Photo by Colleen Hayes © 2022 Starz Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Season 3, Episode 5: Proms Away...
“My first catering job, when I was 13-years-old, was serving up venison stew at the Bristol, Wisconsin Renaissance Faire, so I was excited to slayeth this one. 
The location is the Biltmore Hotel, with its rich, jewel-tone colors and a dreamy theme: Once Upon A Time. Illustrator Molly Sievert hand-painted the banners. I learned there is a superstore called Anderson’s Prom, and their displays are harder to construct than an IKEA NORDLI. Other set dressing sources include Universal Drapery, Ray’s Rentals, Show Biz Balloons/PKA/Balloons by Tommy, RC Vintage, Faux Library, Beautiful, Fabulous Things, Jackson Shrub Supply and L.A. Party Rents.”

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‘Once Upon a Time’-themed prom ballroom. Top left: Henry Pollard [Adam Scott] & Roman Debeers [Martin Starr] handle the bar. Top right: Ron & Sackson [Ken Marino & Tyrel Jackson Williams] with wrong sign! Bottom left: Prom queen/TV star Escapade [Liv Hewson] dancing with Kyle Bradway [Ryan Hansen]. Bottom right: Aftermath [Ryan Hansen]. Photos by Colleen Hayes © 2022 Starz Entertainment.

Season 3, Episode 6: Sepulveda Basin High School Spring Play Opening Night
“Henry inspires his high school theater students and Evie hires Party Down to cater the after-party.”

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“Henry [Adam Scott] inspires his high school theater students...This was shot on location in San Fernando, where the fire alarm went off twice when an excess of Axe Body Spray made the smoke detectors malfunction while we were dressing our sets. The stage backdrop and furniture are from Grosh, Omega, Warner Brothers and Castex.” Note paper flame torch detail! Photo by Colleen Hayes © 2022 Starz Entertainment.

 “Cheers to everyone who cared enough about this show to bring it back 13 years later!”
 Editor’s note: Don't miss the after-party photos, click on SHOW MORE PHOTOS below!