Friday, December 21, 2007

Chicago and Miami Social Diary

At the Chicago Club for the opening night family dinner of Joffrey Ballet’s Nutcracker Chicago.
The Joffrey Ballet held its sold-out opening night of the Nutcracker last Wednesday, December 12 at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago. The performance was preceded by a gala family dinner at the Chicago Club.

There was entertainment for the young guests during cocktails and dinner, featuring clowns, jugglers, stilt walkers, costumed characters dressed as Nutcrackers and ballerinas — plus Santa Claus. The dinner featured a special children’s menu and sophisticated fare for adults. The youngsters left for the Auditorium Theatre with goody bags filled with super books, jelly bellies and other exciting gifts.

Carrie Parr and her daughter, Bea, meet Santa
The Joffrey Nutcracker Ballet was conceived by Gerald Arpino, Joffrey Artistic Director Emeritus, and the late Robert Joffrey. The Tchaikowsky score includes the Waltz of the Snowflakes and Waltz of the Flowers. This is a timeless holiday classic that has entertained generations. The ballet features dozens of dancing and singing children, several of whom are children of Women’s Board members, with a full orchestra conducted by Dr. Leslie B. Dunner and the acclaimed Joffrey dancers.

Not only do three Board members have children dancing in the Nutcracker, but the Joffrey was very proud to announce that four members of the Joffrey’s Education & Community Engagement program (ECE) were also part of the cast.

The 2007 Family Night Dinner and Performance is a benefit project of the Women’s Board of the Joffrey Ballet and was co-chaired by Sandra Deromedi of Lake Forest and Shawna Owen of Chicago. The president of the Women’s Board is Kathleen Klaeser of Glenview. The new artistic director of the Joffrey is Ashley Wheater.
Bank of America was the Opening Night event sponsor and the program sponsor was Macy’s. Macy’s has featured the Joffrey Nutcracker in its State Street, Chicago, Christmas Windows. Additional season sponsors are Abbott Fund, Huron and United Airlines.

The chairmen, Sandra Deromedi and Shawna Owen announced that the evening’s net was $100,000.
Event Chairs Shawna Owen and Sandra Deromedi
Liz Ryan and Holly Boyd
Christina Gilberti and her son Russell
Jackie Ferro, Angela Dearborn, and Alexis Piscazzi
Shawna Owen, Sandra Deromedi, Ashley Wheater (Joffrey’s new artistic director), and Nancy Klimley
Alexandra and Charlotte Ryan ...
... Enter Andrea Schwartz and Charlie Kost
Helen Melchior, past president of the Joffrey Women’s Board with a toy soldier and young ballerina
Heather Webster and Gail Rodman
Heather Webster and Gail Rodman
Jackie Ferro and Ashley Wheater
Two days before the Joffrey's opening night of the Nutcracker, over at Graff on 103 East Oak Street in Chicago, Henri Barguirdjian, President and CEO of Graff, and Diana Hall, Director of Graff Chicago, held a book signing reception for New York society/celebrity photographer Patrick McMullan and his new book "Glamour Girls." The evening also saluted The Donna La Pietra and Bill Kurtis Healing Garden Society.
Henri Barguirdjian, King Harris, and Diana Hall
Holly Jacobs, Tom Hall, and Diana Hall
Bill Kurtis and Donna La Pietra
Linda Johnson Rice and Diana Hall
Diana Hall, Henri Barguirdjian, and Donna La Pietra
Marty Higgins, Maria Smithburg, and Barbara Weed
Patrick McMullan, Eva Quateman, and Gary Quateman
More Chicago ... The Parkways Foundation Committee for Children with Disabilities was formed in March of this year. Parkways Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Chicago Park District, with Laura Barnett as president of the Foundation and Laurie Ashcraft and Gerri Shute as co-chairmen of the Committee for Disabled Children. This new committee provides the first ever free adaptive camp for disabled children in Chicago.

The first camp was in Columbus Park last July with children enjoying adaptive kayaking, golf, hand cycling, swimming, wheelchair basketball and other adventures in a program developed and run by Gerry Henaghan, Therapeutic Recreation Manager.

They held their first fundraising gala, "Dancing Under the Star" at the Casino with 170 guests dining on Long Island Supreme Duck. Helen Brown and MaryBeth Smith co-chaired. Mary Ann Childers of CBS2 News was Auctioneer. The Matt Reed Band played and Dance Chicago performed Latin Dances and got the guests dancing the night away.
MaryBeth Smith, Laura Banett, and Helen Brown
Carol Prim, Susie Fortsman Kealy, and Laurie Ashcraft
John Ansehl and Gerri Shute
Carrie Lennon and Anthony Rossi
Kerri Horton and Adam Zielka
Gerri Shute and Bunky Cushing
John Ansehl leadsw the conga line
Skipping over Art Basel back to mid-November in Miami ... socialites Morgan Park Smith, Cristina Echavarria, Kristen Munroe, Regina Russo, and Alison Zhuk hosted a "decadent" evening of daring dresses, delectable and delicious desserts. DVF is a very popular brand and over 100 women turned up in their favorite dresses — an assortment of von Furstenberg's vintage as well as latest styles. The evenings prevalent color was pink  — Snow Queen martinis rimmed with pink sugar, mini cupcakes iced in pink. Each guest left with a DVF emergency kit consisting of various tiny make up products, a DVF T-shirt and a cookie shaped to look like red lips, a signature logo of the DVF brand.
Christina Chartouni Calle, Cristina Arellano Echavarria, and Michelle Martinez
Rebecca Macias with Alexandra and Cristobal Gonzalez
Carlos Lastra and Jessica Busse
Morgan Park Smith, Kristen Munroe, Cristina Arellano Echavarria, Alison Zhuk, and Regina Rousseau
Laurie Jennings and Carol Bell
Treena Sokol and Lynne Rosen
Shari Menachem, Abby Zanarini, and Missy Kent
Valeria Braga and Kathy Liao
Claudine Nannini, Gina Grant, Regina Rousseau, and Margie Godoy
Hortensia DeSolminihac and Maria Beguiristein
Marcia Martinez and Ellen Marchman
Courtney Parmenter and Tina Carlo
More fashion in Miami ... Late last month the French fashion house Celine hosted an intimate dinner in Miami Beach to celebrate the unveiling of their latest resort collection. The seated dinner took place on the terrace of the penthouse of the Sagamore Hotel overlooking the ocean. Guests were greeted with flutes of Ruinart Rose (which was so popular several of the guests elected to stay the night at the hotel instead of driving home) and models dressed in the collection.    

The 35-foot-long table designed by Karla Conceptual Event Experiences was set for 55 ladies, the place cards done in calligraphy cards illuminated by the Moroccan style lanterns. Fragrant all white centerpieces of lilies and roses ran down the center of the table. The table was set with raffia linens and bamboo chairs with raffia seat covers deigned by Pablo Oliveri of Nuage Designs and the dinner was served buffet style with selections from the Sagamore’s very popular in house restaurant, Social.   

The elegant affair was hosted by Nancy Karp, Charlotte Hicks, Amarilis Moran Osorio, Beth Tasca, and Celine Bal Harbor boutique director, Claudia Tripepi. Each of the guests including Sagamore Hotel owners, Jennifer and Neil Sazant, left the evening with a wonderful gift bag filled with Christian Dior Beaute products and Celine sunglasses.
Michelle Rubell, Jillian Jacobson, and Sarah Harrelson
Nancy Batchelor, Jennifer Quinton, and Courtney Parmenter
Norma Quintero and Monica Gosmith
Merchy Ricon and Amaralis Osorio
Francesca Halpryn and Yolanda Berkovitz
Amaralis Osorio, Claudia Tripepi, Nancy Karp, Betit Tasca, and Charlotte Hicks
The table settings
Celine models
Marlen Pernetti and Alexia Echevarria
Marisol Patton and Kim Wood
Michelle Sanchez and Monica Quirch
Victoria Ashley, Neil Sazant, and Jennifer Sazant
Daniella Swaebe and Jillian Jacobson