Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Moscow, L.A., & Palm Beach Social Diary

Audience at Matthew Barney’s Q&A in Moscow
The RIGroup in cooperation with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Moscow Mortgage Bank, sponsored the Matthew Barney film retrospective, as part of the second annual Moscow International Biennale of Contemporary Art. The films of Matthew Barney were shown during the six-day event in Moscow.
Matthew Barney and Janna Bullock
Nic Iljine and friend
L. to r.: Janna Bullock, Matthew Barney, and Nic Iljine during Matthew Barney’s Question & Answer session; Ilya Ribalkin and friend.
Samuel Keller and Janna Bullock
Olga Sviblova (Moscow House of Photography)
RIGroup representatives meeting guests for the cocktails
Matthew Barney, Janna Bullock, and Minister Counselor for Public Affairs US Embassy Moscow James Kenney
Philipp Zariyan and Ilya Burets
Guests at dinner
L.A. - Early this month they held the 15th annual “A Night at Sardi’s” awards ceremony and gala fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Association of the California Southland at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles. They raised $1.2 million for the fight against Alzheimer’s.

It was a sold-out event, attended by 1000 guests, honoring actor Peter Gallagher for his tireless advocacy work and commitment to the Alzheimer’s Association. The entertainment for the evening featured celebrities performing musical selections from the Broadway musical “Guys and Dolls.”

Also honored were FX’s Rescue Me for its compelling depiction of Alzheimer’s disease were Los Angeles resident,  local Alzheimer’s Association founding member and long-time volunteer, Judy Wunsch; and Wells Fargo Regional President Shelley Freeman for corporate leadership.   The event’s presenting sponsors were Wells Fargo, Elan Corporation and The Hargrove Pierce Foundation.

Shelley Freeman receives the Corporate Leadership Award from William Shatner.
This year’s musical entertainment was the Broadway hit, “Guys and Dolls.”  Master of Ceremonies was Eric McCormack.   The evening opened with McCormack singing “Luck Be A Lady” while weaving through the crowd of 1000 seated dinner guests in the Beverly Hilton’s ballroom. After the dinner and awards, the show continued with Michael Chiklis, Brent Spiner and Dick Van Dyke donning fedoras and singing “Fugue for Tinhorns.”  Other celebrity cast members were: Ken Howard singing “Follow the Fold," then being joined by Steven Pasquale and Daniel Sunjata for “The Oldest Established;” Victor Garber singing a beautiful “I’ll Know,” then joined by Joely Fisher for “I’ve Never Been in Love Before;” Sharon Lawrence amusing the crowd with “Take Back Your Mink;” Jason Alexander performing “Adelaide,” followed by Lea Thompson and her daughter, Madelyn Deutch, with “Marry the Man Today.”

Dick Van Dyke performed “More I Cannot Wish You,” followed by Megan Mullally singing “Adelaide’s Lament,” mocking having a cold and needing a tissue for the “drip.”  Tracie Thoms sang “If I Were A Bell” beautifully, then Jean Louisa Kelly and Josh Radnor performed a hilarious, feuding“Sue Me.”  The performance ended with Sam Harris and Billy Porter singing “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat,” with back-up from the award-winning Crenshaw High School Gospel Choir, which got the whole audience clapping.  The finale, “Guys and Dolls,” included the company, led by Peter Gallagher, Ken Howard and Eric McCormack.
Brent Spiner, Michael Chiklis, and Dick Van Dyke sing "Fugue for Tinhorns"
Elan Corporation CEO Kelly Martin, a longtime personal friend of Peter Gallagher’s, presented him with the Elsa Rose Fabares Award for his tireless advocacy work for and commitment to the Alzheimer’s Association. Gallagher’s mother suffered from Alzheimer’s for 20 years, before dying of the disease in 2005.  Gallagher starred in “Guys and Dolls” on Broadway.  Gallagher spoke of his respect for Shelley Fabares (the award is named for her mother) and his personal experience with Alzheimer’s, saying that “it doesn’t discriminate.”

Shelley Fabares presented Judy Wunsch with the Alzheimer’s Association’s Caregiver Award. Actor Michael Chiklis presented The Abe Burrows Entertainment Award to FX Network President and General Manager John Landgraf, and FX’s “Rescue Me,” for heightening awareness of Alzheimer’s through their storyline about the chief’s family dealing with his wife having Alzheimer’s disease.  Cast members Daniel Sunjata and Steven Pasquale accepted the award alongside Landgraf. 

William Shatner presented the Corporate Leadership Award to Shelley Freeman, Regional President of Wells Fargo.

Laurie Burrows Grad
created “A Night at Sardi’s” and chaired this year with her husband, Peter Grad.  Under Mrs. Grad’s leadership, “A Night at Sardi’s” has now raised more than $14 million for Alzheimer’s-related programs and services in the Los Angeles area. She conceived of the event to honor her Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright father, Abe Burrows (who wrote “Guys and Dolls” 57 years ago), who died of Alzheimer’s, and has seen it become the premier television industry fundraiser. Laurie wore a vintage red dress by Bob Mackie with a red feather boa.
Alzheimer's Association of the California Southland President and CEO Peter Braun with Board President Suzanne Middelburg and Elsa Rose Fabares Award Recipient Peter Gallagher
Peter Braun with honorees Shelley Freeman (Corporate Leadership) and Judy Wunsch (Caregiver)
Event MC Eric McCormack entertains the dinner guests with "Luck Be A Lady"
Honorary Event Chair James Burrows and Peter Gallagher

One of the most talked about and dazzling galas of the season was hosted by ORBIS INTERNATIONAL, on March 15th at The Breakers, to celebrate its 25th anniversary. Winston Churchill II saluted ORBIS for its fine work worldwide, restoring sight to millions in developing countries.
The hotel’s Venetian Ballroom that was magically transformed into a wonderland of white, blue, and silver with soaring white plumes and calla lilies as the centerpiece on each table.  Keeping with the evening’s theme, Rhapsody in Blue, the room was bordered by floor-to-ceiling ice blue silk banners highlighted by subtle white lights that swirled throughout the room. Suspended above the stage was a mural of the ORBIS sleek hospital aircraft with gobos of moving clouds to give the illusion of the plane in flight on a sight-saving mission.
Joining Gala Chairmen Luce and Winston Churchill and Honorary Chairman Audrey Gruss for this glamorous celebration were Dina Merrill and Ted Hartley; photographer Harry and Gigi Benson; Charlene and Jimmy Nederlander; Richard Meier; Susan Lloyd,  Martin Gruss, Rhoda and David Chase, Amanda and Charles Schumacher, Mia and Bob Matthews, Sabrina and Carl Forsythe, Camilla “Coco” Blaffer Royall; Nanette Ross, Judith Murat Grubman and Charles Castor, Trish and Thorne Donnelley, Ellen Graham and Christopher Phillips; Margie and Ed Allinson, Frances Scaife and Tom McCarter; Susanna Dwinnell and Michael Carr; Anka Palitz and Michel Collin; Petra and Steven Levin, Anita and Sam Michaels, Katharine and Thomas DeLong, Paula and Robert Butler, Diane and Brandon Reid, Michele and Craig Millard, and Julie and Rob Reveley.
Gala chairs Luce and Winston S. Churchill
Richard Meier and Dina Merrill
Peter Duchin and his  orchestra featured the music of George Gershwin, filling the dance floor all evening until the band packed up.
A copy of “The Great Republic” by Sir Winston Churchill was part of the gift bag along with a bottle of Laurent Perrier Champagne donated by Michael D. Carr to toast the 25th year of ORBIS. Major donors also received satin-lined boxes of Clive Christian fragrances brought from London by Ball guest Victoria Christian, and a portrait by international master photographer, Gray Hawn who also came in for the Ball from Texas.  
ORBIS International is a nonprofit global humanitarian organization dedicated to saving sight worldwide. The ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital, the world’s only airborne ophthalmic training facility, serves as the focal point for ground-breaking educational programs. Leading ophthalmologists, including, 25 in the state of Florida, volunteer their services to transfer sight-saving skills to health professionals in the developing world. Attending the gala were two members of the ORBIS Volunteer Faculty from the Palm Beach area, Dr. Lawrence Katzen and Dr. Clifford Salinger.     
L. to r.: Edwina Sandys and Harry Benson; Peter Duchin and Gray Hawn.
Sunny Castro and Judith Murat Grubman
Martin and Audrey Gruss, honorary chair
Ellen Graham and Christopher Phillips

Photographs by Dlugolecki Photography (Sardi's); Lucien Capehart (Orbis).