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Playing with fire at Chris Del Gatto and Fabiola Beracasa’s Summer Circus Bash

Keeping with their recent tradition of throwing the Hamptons’ hottest and most surprising Labor Day party, Fabiola Beracasa and Chris Del Gatto closed down the summer season in the Hamptons with their Labor Day Party known as the Summer Circus Bash for 300 friends the Sunday of Labor Day weekend. 

Guests arrived to find stilt-walkers, fire-eaters, clowns, midgets and hula girls greeting them with a menu of hot dogs and popcorn and cotton candy by the Bearded Lady (ewww), Sno-cones by the Dog-faced Boy (you had to be there, arf-arf), Cabana Cachaca cocktails served by Fabiola as Fabulous and her Car-full of little people. 

Among the guests, Dori Cooperman, Jason Beckman, Alex Kramer, Jay and Allison Aston, Richard Johnson and Sessa Von Richtofen, Kelly Klein, Russell Simmons, and Zani Gugelmann watched as others, more daring guests danced with life-size inflatable zebras and giraffes to the music provided by the Star Room DJ. Kelly Killoren Bensimon and Annie Churchill had their eyes decorated with butterflies by the talented face painter. Ms. Bensimon revealed that her trip to the fortune teller – whose crystal ball was rivaled by Susan Shin’s that evening – was far less intimidating that she expected, when she was told that she’d see immense good luck before the new year! Perhaps the great surprise of the evening was the seamless late-night appearance of a troupe of stilt-walkers, midgets, fire-eaters, and other performers, who treated party-goers like Tinsley and Topper Mortimer, Nacho Figueras and Delfina Blaquier, Nick Raynes, Michelle and Chris Barish, Eleanor Ylvisaker, Shoshanna Gruss, Kelly Klein, Annie Churchill, Celerie Kemble, Emilia Fanjul Pfeifler, Bronson Van Wyck, Mark Langrish, Andrew and Natalie Leeds Leventhal, Bettina Zilkha to a real treat when they performed several shows on the dance floor, under the huge balloon-covered tent that spanned the back lawn.

Chris del Gatto and Zani Gugelmann

Alex Kramer
David Gruning and Emma Snowdon-Jones
L. to r.: Fabiola and a stilt-walker; Chris Del Gatto surrounded by a caterpillar-like stiltwalker.

Annie Churchill and Allison Aston

Kelly Killoren Bensimon
Nacho Figueras and Delfina Blaquier

Abigail Klem

Lisa Cant and Amanda Smith
Nadine Johnson and Jacqueline Schnabel

Ali Djana and Amir Banesh

Bronson Van Wyck and Andrew Frye

Chris Connor and Stephen Gambrel

Russell Simmons and Zani Gugelmann

Andrew and Natalie Leeds Leventhal

Kelly Klein, Fabiola Beracasa, and Kim Vernon

A captive audience for the Circus performers

Jen Raines, Dori Cooperman, and Bettina Zilkha

Susan Shin

Lucy McGovern and circus performers with Sessa von Richthofen and Annie Churchill

The skies cleared and the sun peaked out just in time for the Evidence Dance Company’s triumphant return to the East End with their On Our Toes in the Hamptons Gala. This was the troupe’s third annual party and performance gala. Joyce Mullins-Jackson and Loida Nicolas Lewis were the Gala co-chairs.  As the event has become the only major African American cultural event of the Hampton’s season, everyone was thrilled that the gods were kind.

Joyce and Loida, joined by Evidence Chairman of the Board Reginald Van Lee and Honorary Chairs Susan L. Taylor and Khephra Burns, welcomed guests to the enormous barn for cocktails including Peg Alston, Virginia and Earl Arrington, ClydeButler, Sybil Chester, Scott and Elizabeth Corwin, Anthony Clark, Lloyd and Patricia Howell, Deborah Lee, Neil Lowe, Yvonne Doggett Rhea, Audra Gaul, David Robertson, Dr. Marcy Street, super chef Doug G, media sponsors Nicole Brewer, Vanessa Leggard and scores more.

Norma Jean Darden of Spoon Bread served up a delectable array of Caribbean, Cajun, African and Soul Food treats: Yucatan chicken, black eyed peas fritters, spicy shrimp, country ham & biscuits, mini sweet potato pies and peach cobblers.

Evidence Dance Company

The fashionable crowd had plenty of time to pore over the Silent Auction, but the best was still to come when Rene Slyer brought to the stage amidst thunderous applause the Evidence Dance Company and its founder Ronald K. Brown. Preceded by a choir comprising singers from several local churches, Evidence began the first of a thrilling, emotional and achingly beautiful trilogy “Truth Don Die”. The exhilarating and often soul wrenching performance was a sneak preview of this newly completed work by Brown which will debut in New York this winter at the Joyce Theater.

Norma Jean Darden, Neil Lowe, Joyce Mullins-Jackson, and Clyde Butler

Joseph Lane, David Zabbeki, and Bret Harley Birnbaum

Patricia Edwards, Dr. Marcy Street, Reginald L. Barnes, and Vanessa Leggard

Clyde Butler with Larry and Olga Dais

Pretta VanDible Stallworth and B. Michael

Reinaldo Glover, Diane Lewis, Loida Nicolas Lewis, Sanford Cloud, and Diane Cloud

Dr. Neil Lowe and Thelma Golden

Kathleen Tait, Renee Cox, Greg Ifill, and Meredith Frey

Bernard Jackson, Olivia White, and Carey White

Mary Singh, Elizabeht Corwin, Reggie Van Lee, Scott Corwin, and Alok Singh

L. to r.: Reggie Van Lee, Joanne Hill, Kelvin Faircloth, Susan Taylor, and friend; Daniel and Donna Ceriano.

Dr. Marcy Street, Scott Corwin, Susan L. Taylor, and Gary Flowers

Joanne Hill, Mack LaFollette, Quay Whitlock, and Dacquiri Smittick

L. to r.: The Evidence Dance Company; Ronald K. Brown, Evidence Dance Company founder.

L. to r.: Joyce Mullins-Jackson and David Robertson; Derrick Roberts, Neil Lowe, Joyce Mullins-Jackson, Eddie Marerro, Tamara Regis, and Reginald Van Lee.

Rene Syler and Buff Parham

The Evidence Dance Company

Mats Carlston and Lydia Carlston

Joyce Mullin Jackson and Loida Nicolas Lewis

Joanne Hill and Yvette Campbell

Jacklyn Monk and Leigh Gallagher

Reggie Van-Lee and Susan Taylor

Bonnie Cannon

Gala Co-chairs Khephra Burns and Susan L. Taylor

Rene Syler

Renee Cox and Reginald Barnes

Rita Salois and Alyson Mance

Renee Cox and Calvin Faircloth

Virginia Arrington, Earl Arrington, and Rene Syler

Photographs by ©Patrick McMullan (Beracasa); ©Rob Rich (Evidence).


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