Last Monday night The Dramatists Guild Fund and Dramatists Guild of America held their annual gala dinner and Guild awards ceremony to benefit the Fund. John Guare was the master of ceremonies and Kathleen Marshall was the director of the evening’s program at the Hudson Theatre in the Millennium Broadway Hotel at 145 West 44th Street.
Co-Chairs were Kate Betts, Debra Black, Claude Wasserstein, and Richard Mishaan. The Producing Committee was John Guare and John Weidman and they did a superb job of giving the audience what it came for. There were performances from “Sweeney Todd,” “The Color Purple,” “Jersey Boys,” and “Ring of Fire,” along with a salute to Wendy Wasserstein by Meryl Streep and Mamie Gummer who read from “Third”, and a scene from August Wilson’s “Fences,” performed by original cast members James Earl Jones and Courtney B. Vance.
This year’s Guild award winners include Harvey Schmidt, recipient of the Frederick Loewe Award for Dramatic Composition, presented for his body of work; Robert Waldman, recipient of the Flora Roberts Award; and August Wilson, recipient of the Dramatists Guild Award for Lifetime Achievement. The finalists for the 2005 Hull-Warriner Award, the only award given by dramatists for a dramatic work, were William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin for “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee;” Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty for “Dessa Rose;” Christopher Durang for “Miss Witherspoon;” Austin Pendleton for “Orson’s Shadow;” and Michael John LaChiusa for “See What I Wanna See.” The winners were Adam Guettel and Craig Lucas for “The Light in the Piazza”.
Guettel and Lucas were both in attendance along with Edward Albee, Alexandra Shiva, Robert Waldman, Bettina Zilkha, Lorne Michaels, Marcia Mishaan, Andre Bishop, Linda Janklow, Eric and Fiona Rudin, Bruce and Claude Wasserstein, Chip Brown, Silas and Celia Chou, Jay and Tracy Snyder, Lauren Bush, David Lauren, Chris Durang, Marshall Brickman, Elisa Lipsky-Karaxz, Arthur Kopit, Virginia Coleman, Michael Vollbracht, Terence McNally, and Liz Robbins.
Janet Neipris, Arthur Kopit, and Susan Birkenhead
Susan Birkenhead with Joe and Elisa Stein
Janet Neipris, Ira Levin, and John Weidman
Richard Hester, Robert Spencer, John Lloyd Young, and Peter Gregis
Emily Mann and Terrence McNally
Heidi Ettinger, Jonathan Reynolds, John Guare, Christopher Durang, and John Augustine
Joe and Elisa Stein with Ira Levin and Milton Schafer
Craig Fols and Lanie Robertson
John Guare, Kathleen Marshall, Marsha Norman, and Alee Willis
Alexandra Shiva and Jonathan March Sherman
Tom Dusenbury and Jaime Heindlein
Nina Brickman, Marshall Brickman, Heath Schwartz, and Susanne Tighe
Liz Robbins, Andre Bishop, and Linda Janklow
Tina Howe, Jerold Couture, and Susan Birkenhead
Fiona Rudin, Richard Mishaan, and Kate Betts
Lisa Pilkington, Charlotte Frieze, and Olivia Sabine
Lisa and Jim Kelly
Pam Wasserstein, Olivia Sabine, Lisa Pilkington, and Jennifer Brooks
Lauren Bush and David Lauren
Marshall Brickman, Andre Bishop, Linda Janklow, and Christian Hoff
Gretchen Cryer and Micki Grant
Jay and Tracy Snyder
Cecilia Heart and James Earl Jones
Top: Lorne Michaels. Above: Nina and Marshall Brickman.
Meryl Streep and Mamie Gummer
Toby and Ralph Sevush
Jeremy Nussbaum and Lila Coleburn
A number of weeks ago The Cinema Society held a celebrity-studded glittering premiere of “Ask the Dust” at packed Tribeca and Soho Grand hotels.
The Paramount Classics film, which is based on John Fante’s masterpiece, was written and directed by Academy Award winner the great Robert Towne (who wrote “Chinatown”, “Shampoo”, “Mission Impossible 1 & 2” and who worked on “Bonnie & Clyde” with Robert Benton, though Towne went uncredited).
The film stars Salma Hayek and Colin Farrell, as star-crossed lovers in Depression-era Los Angeles.
Piaget sponsored the glam gathering, and those decked in Piaget included Iman, supermodel Petra Nemcova, and Cinema Society founder Andrew Saffir, who welcomed swarms of celebrities to the screening and to the private dinner in the Soho Grand Penthouse afterwards.
Among those in attendance were cast members Salma Hayek, Idina Menzel ("Rent") and Eileen Atkins, writer/director Robert Towne, along with Ed Norton, Clive Owen, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Lindsay Lohan, Lenny Kravitz, Patricia Clarkson, writer/director Michel Gondry, Bridget Moynahan, Michelle Monaghan, Amy Sacco, Sante D’Orazio, Damon Dash and Rachel Roy, Nan and Gay Talese, Hamish Bowles, Brooke de Ocampo, Narciso Rodriguez, Cynthia Rowley and Bill Powers, Terry George, Robert Benton, Rufus Albemarle, Janice Combs, Dennis Basso, Debbie Bancroft, Daniel Benedict, Peter Davis, Christian Leone, Andrew Black, Bettina Zilkha, Tiffany Dubin, Helen and Tim Schifter, Allison Sarofim, and Piaget North America President Larry Boland. The night was so star-studded that many compared it to the whirl of Oscar parties.
The much-talked about evening benefited Martin Scorcese’s Film Foundation.
Calejo, Cynthia Rowley, and Bill Powers
Towne, Bridget Moynahan, and Andrew Saffir
Zilkha and Daniel Benedict
Basso and Allison Sarofim
Germania and Rufus Albemarle
and Liz Stern
Salma Hayek and Lindsay
Roy and Damon Dash
Towne and Eileen Atkins
and Helen Schifter
Last Monday night BOMB Magazine celebrated its 25th Anniversary with a spring gala honoring artist Elizabeth Murray, poet Bob Holman and Whitney Museum of Art Director Adam D. Weinberg. The evening began with cocktails and dinner at The Park and ended with a silent auction featuring the work of 52 artists, and raised more than $400,000.
Participating artists included Marina Abramovic, Jennifer Bartlett, Ross Bleckner, Robert Gober, Mona Hatoum,Mary Heilmann, Kerry James Marshall, Raymond Pettibon, Robert Rauschenberg, Dana Schutz, Richard Serra, James Siena, Luc Tuymans and Terry Winters.
After dinner, Founding Editor-in-Chief Betsy Sussler talked about the course that the magazine had taken over the last quarter century. “Imagine yourself in New York City in 1981. A couple of artists, writers and actors are sitting around a kitchen table, and I say, ‘Let’s start a magazine, one where artists are able to speak about their work the way in which we speak about it among ourselves.’ And everyone says, “Great idea, let’s do it,” Betsy said.
The crowd of 250 people were all smiles as they thought of how the magazine has influenced their lives, and very receptive to painter Judy Hudson’s speech recognizing honoree Elizabeth Murray’s work. “I would like to take you all back to the evening of Elizabeth’s opening at the MOMA. Having loved her work for decades, the retrospective nonetheless caught me unawares. Elizabeth’s soul is truly hardwired to her hand ... I hadn’t anticipated this feeling of freedom, of unruly life. The works appeared not so much painted as electro-shocked into being,” Judy said.
Other guests included the Honorary Chairman Robert Storr, Lisa Phillips, actor and writer Wallace Shawn, Board member Michele Gerber Klein, Tom Otterness who designed a special collection of small pink bomb sculptures to commemorate the anniversary, Angela Kotinkaduwa, Tim Nye, Samantha Tsao, Allan McCollum, Vera Lutter, Jessica Stockholder, Blake Freitag, Julie Direlli, Colette, famed photographer Cindy Sherman, Amy and Ronald Guttman, David Kiehl, R. Couri Hay, Frances Bose, Anthony Grant, fashion designer Jo Charnuis Cheng, Jeanette Ingberman, Leon Falk, Patrick McGrath, James Nares, Shamim Momin, Susanna Moore, Pat Steir, and David Salle.
Bob Holman, Adam Weinberg, and Paula Cooper
Frances Bowes and Anthony Grant
Cindy Sherman with Amy and Ronald Guttman
Jeanette Ingberman and Robert Storr
Michele Gerber Klein and Lisa Phillips
Susanna Moore and Pat Steir
Jo Charnuis Cheng
Blake Freitag and Julie Direlli
David Kiehl and Adam Weinberg
Patrick McGrath and James Nares
Tom Otterness and David Salle
Elizabeth Glaser was infected with the AIDS virus through a blood transfusion in 1981 and unknowingly passed it on to both of her children. Mrs. Glaser was the wife of television star Paul Glaser. AIDS in those early days of its public exposure was surrounded by dread and ignorance. Many called it “gay cancer” and diagnosis was a death sentence that seemed to infiltrate a large section of the Hollywood community. Many of us who lived in New York and Los Angeles during those years knew many many people who died tortured hideous deaths from the affliction. When Mrs. Glaser got sick, it hit the community like a bombshell since it was theretofore regarded as an almost exclusive male (and homosexual) disease. Mrs. Glaser’s daughter Ariel lost her battle in 1988. It was then that Mrs. Glaser and her two closest friends Susan DeLaurentis and Susie Zeegen created the Pediactric AIDS Foundation. She too had a death sentence but she gave her last days and months her best.
The desperate urgency that permeated the community about AIDS has faded away mainly because medical science has provided pathways for long term survival, but the battle is far far far from over and until it is over, we are all at risk.
A couple of weeks ago they held a Kids For Kids cocktail party for the Pediatric AIDS Foundation.
Larry Babbio, Pamela Barnes, Sheri Babbio, and Jonathan Tisch
Sheri Babbio, Jonathan Tisch, and Tia Chapman
L. to r.: The musicians for the night; Dr. Hal Raveche and Dr. Elizabeth Raveche.
Brian Stewart, Stephanie Krieger, and Sheri and Larry Babbio
Pamela Barnes, Elizabeth Glaser President and CEO
L. to r.: Robert Hochberg and Jackie Harris Hochberg with Sheri Babbio and friends; Larry and Amy Robbins.
by Billy Farrell Patrick McMullan (Cinema Society);