The Kennedy Center at night.
Meanwhile in Washington, D.C., the bright lights of Broadway were transplanted to the nation’s capital for the 13th annual Kennedy Center Gala.

Normally the realm of Washington society ladies, this year’s gala – “A Salute to the 1940s Broadway Musical” was co-chaired by two local bachelors instead. James V. Kimsey, founding CEO and Chairman Emeritus of AOL, and financier Joseph E. Robert Jr. handled everything – including choosing the flowers, china, tablecloths and even the menu.

Julie Andrews
The ladies found this amusing but had to admit the gents did a superb job as 1500 guests attended, and the center raised funds to the tune of $2.8 million plus, which was music to the ears of Gala honorary chair, Julie Andrews.

President Michael M. Kaiser greeted guests as they arrived, then everybody proceeded backstage for cocktails and hors d’ouevres along with a firsthand glimpse of the magnitude of the space behind the curtains.

Hobnobbing on stage were plenty of power brokers and politicos including Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld with wife Joyce; former Secretary of State Colin Powell and his wife Alma, who is a board member; White House Chief of Staff Andy Card with wife Kathleene, White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove with wife Darby; General Peter Pace, Ambassador Elizabeth Bagley and husband and board member, Smith Bagley; Senator John Warner with his wife Jeanne; Queen Noor of Jordan, former Chief of Protocol Lucky Roosevelt; Buffy and Bill Cafritz, Stuart and Ann Stock, who was social secretary for former President Clinton; Susan Bennett, Nancy and George O’Sullivan, ex-officio Board Member Senator Ted Kennedy; board member Jean Kennedy Smith and National Archives Board member Diane Wolf who remarked, “In Washington this is the closest thing we have to Hollywood glamour.”

New York presidential-appointed board members at the gala were former State Senator Roy Goodman, investment advisor George Farias, Alexander Treadwell and Brenda Johnson, a strong supporter of President Bush who expressed, “I’ve served on many boards but this has been the greatest experience, the leadership is inspirational, the greatest privilege of my life ... the one I love most.”

Dinner was served in the grand halls, which were a candlelit sea of lavender skirted tables and flowers. The guests dined on Foie Gras Truffle and Asparagus Salad, Medallion of Beef Tenderloin and Cherries Jubilee. Remember girls, this is what men like.
Clockwise from left: Stephen and Christine Schwarzman; Michael Kaiser and Mary Ourisman; Joyce and Donald Rumsfeld; Karl Rove, Richard and Betsy DeVos, and Darby Rove.

One of the most humorous sideshows was a table full of Washington insiders including the former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and his wife Calista, Kennedy Center Life Trustee Kenneth Duberstein, Chief of Staff under President Ronald Reagan, and his wife Jackie who is a producer with Charlie Rose; Washington Post journalist Roxanne Roberts; Barry and Tracey Mansaur from Chicago, and Mandy and Mary Ourisman.

Mary, a recent presidential-appointed board member, just finished chairing a marathon 3-day Smithsonian event that began at the White House and ended with a black tie dinner at the new National Museum of the American Indian.

“Off the record” comments dominated the conversation, but one “on the record” remark that can be shared was “I came because it’s Sunday and I’ve already watched “Desperate Housewives,” from a chuckling Newt. Do you think Laura Bush got the idea for her speech from him?

After dinner, the guests filed into the Concert Hall. One could not help but observe the charming side of Defense Secretary Rumsfeld as he chatted with board member and actress Bo Derek. One can only imagine what they discussed.

New York’s own Stephen Schwarzman, (CEO of the Blackstone Group) welcomed the crowd for the first time in his new role as Chairman of the Kennedy Center. Of course his wife Christine Schwarzman applauded with the rest.

When asked how he finds the time to be so involved, Steve acknowledged it wasn’t easy. “Since taking this position, this is the first time I’ve had trouble returning all my phone calls in one day.”

Another New Yorker, Marvin Hamlisch was the conductor for the National Symphony Orchestra Pops on this evening. “Marvin has been so wonderful ... making such an impact here by dedicating himself to our national performing arts center,” commented Washington lobbyist Nini Ferguson.

The star-studded entertainment included Broadway headliners like Elaine Stritch who burlesqued her way through “There’s Nothing Like a Dame.” Dana Reeve (wife of the late Christopher Reeve) gave a beautiful rendition of “Some Enchanted Evening.” Irish tenor John McDermott lilted the lyrical “How Are Things In Glocca Morra?” Clarinetist Richard Stoltzman played selections from Pal Joey; Brian Stokes Mitchell performed “Soliloquy” from Carousel. Barbara Cook sang “Wonderful Guy,” and opera star Frederica von Stade accompanied by the Washington Chorus sang “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” The tears flowed and the finale was the Irving Berlin classic “God Bless America.”

Dancing followed on the roof terrace where the guests had the undisputed best view of our national monuments illuminated by spotlights and moonbeams, capping off a most glamorous, entertaining and enchanted evening in our nation’s capitol.

— Jeanne Lawrence for NYSD
Mitchell Hankin, Diane Wolf, and Jack and Annette Friedland
General Michael Hagee and Senator John Warner
Jeanne Lawrence with Mandy and Mary Ourisman
Senator Ted Kennedy and Jean Kennedy Smith
Brenda and Howard Johnson
Former Senator and Mrs. Roy Goodman
John McDermott, Joe Roberts, and Brian Stokes Mitchell
Elizabeth Bagley, Julie Andrews, and Smith Bagley
Buffy Cafritz and George Farias
Newt and Calista Gingrich
Sydney McNiff Ferguson
L. to r.: Bo Derek and Susan Bennett with friends; Ken and Jackie Duberstein.
L. to r.: Jeffrey Trandahl, Kathleene and Andrew Card, and Diane Wolf; William Cafritz and Terre Blair Hamlisch.
Clockwise from left: Elaine Stritch burlesquing her way through “There’s Nothing Like a Dame”; Frederica von Stade and Brian Stokes Mitchell; Songstress Barbara Cook; Dana Reeve.
L. to r.: Tap Dancing Finale; Christine and Stephen Schwarzman.
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Forget everything you thought you knew about the Brangelina affair. We will bring you the real story of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

Angelina and Brad
Some time ago Angelina visited the UK where she went to the West End’s New Ambassador’s Theatre to see Jonny Lee Miller, her ex-husband, in Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me. The once-wed couple then shared a romantic dinner at the Ivy, one of London’s poshest eateries. Well, it seems that “Mrs. Smith” now has someone on her mind other than “Mr. Smith.” The preopening buzz about Mr. and Mrs. Smith was not the kind that instills confidence …in the studio, in the stars, in the producers, in the theatre owners. With Angie and Brad’s problematical movie opening big: $51 million, in fact, it appears to have been helped by the stars’ supercharged “affair.”

Jonny Lee Miller
That’s right. Angelina and Brad are not a couple. It’s Jonny Lee Miller that’s re-captured her heart. She recently flew to Blighty a second time where the two of them joined by Jude Law, took in a performance of As You Like It, in which Sienna Miller appears as “Celia.” Sienna has received rave reviews from London’s frosty theatre critics.

Sienna and Jude Law, as you must know by now, are a couple. And on this particular night, Sienna received four curtain calls with Jude going on stage to present her with a bower of pink peonies.

Further, we hear that Jude Law has partnered with Jonny Lee Miller and Ewan McGregor in the formation of a production company, Natural Nylon, and their first project will be a film for the two couples – Jude and Sienna and Angelina and Jonny Lee. (Remember we’re only reporting what we’ve heard.)

Jude and Sienna
Does this mean that Jolie and Miller are stoking the embers of a past passion, hoping to ignite them again? Angelina once said, “Divorcing Jonny was probably the dumbest thing I’ve ever done.”

The busy beauty spent only a rushed 72 hours in London, but they were packed full of fun things she did with Jonny Lee and Jude and Sienna. Like dinner at the Law-Miller home where Angelina and Sienna prepared pasta primavera for their main men.

Entertaining at home assured their avoidance of the paparazzi which somehow got wind of Jolie’s quickie visit. We’re not sure we buy the conjecture of one friend of the two couples, who says that Angelina and Jonny are altar-bound. But we do believe they are back in a serious relationship.

Ewan McGregor
On Day Two of Angelina’s trip, she and Jonny accompanied her son Maddox to an outing at a park near Jolie’s London home. They were joined there by Jude and Sienna and Jude’s three children, Rafferty, Iris and Ruby, where they enjoyed a picnic lunch that Angelina had prepared and packed ahead of time. Sienna brought chocolate-chip cookies and cupcakes which she’d baked at home.

Before she headed back to the USA, Angelina and Jonny caught the West End revival of Guys and Dolls at the Piccadilly Theatre in which Ewan McGregor is appearing as “Sky Masterson.” Jane Krakowski of Ally McBeal appears as “Adelaide.” Despite a few critics carping about the quality of McGregor’s singing voice, the show is an unqualified hit.

— Robert and Richard DuPont
From Hollywood for NYSD

June 28, 2005, Volume V, Number 113


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