Night at the ballet
Post-performance at New York City Ballet's opening night at the New York State Theater. Photo: JH.

Sunny cold November day. With Thanksgiving just a day away, the city’s beginning to feel the exodus that occurs on every major holiday. The result: streets without gridlock.  Then long lines for the afternoon movies.

Wednesdays at Michael’s was on Tuesday this week. A media madhouse and then some. The place was so busy that had to set up new tables. Lynn Nesbit with Catie Marron. Denise Brown (Nicole Simpson’s sister) with Marc Victor. Ron Perelman with Howard Gittis; around and about the room: Lynn Sherr, Esther Newberg, Dorothy Kalins, Nikki Haskell, Michael Fuchs, Larry Ashmead with Leila Hadley and Amy Fine Collins, John Tishman, Pat Schoenfeld, Rose Marie Bravo with Jaqui Lividini, Jim Mitchell with Kay Pick, Nancy Peretsman with Pat Mitchell, Steven Rubenstein with Jared Kushner, the new owner/publisher of The New York Observer, Henry Schlieff with Bob Balaban, Myrna Blyth, Kathy Lacey, Fernanda Kellogg, Tom Kranz, Hugh Freund, Larry Kirshbaum, Andrew Stein and on and on. Oh to be the fly on those walls. The clatter and verbal pandemonium, however, prevents eavesdropping and sometimes even eavesdropping on your own table.

Checking in at the ballet

Last night was the ballet, the New York City Ballet opening night benefit. Chaired by Kathryn Moore and David Heleniak, Barbara Cirvka Schumacher, and Patricia and Tom Shiah. Corporate chairmen were Melody and Samuel DiPiazza. Mr. DiPiazza is the CEO of PriceWaterhouseCoopers which provided generous sponsorship of the evening. 

Mary Sharp Cronson and Ron Gold

There were eight pieces performed. “Carousel (A Dance)” with music by Richard Rodgers and choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon; “Slice to Sharp,” music by Vivaldi, choreography by Jarma Elo; “Purple” (from the ballet Ecstatic Orange), music by Michael Torke, choreography by Peter Martins;  “Friandises,” music by Christopher Rouse and choreography by Pater Martins;  “Walpurgisnacht Ballet” with music by Gounod and choreography by George Balanchine (first produced May 15, 1980 at the New York State Theater); “Middle Duet” (American premiere) with music by Yuri Khanon and choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky. It was first performed at the Maryinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg in 1998. During the dinner, after the performance, Peter Martins told us that he’d had a call that afternoon from Mr. Ratmansky in Moscow where he works with the Bolshoi. “He was very nervous,” Martins reported. He needn’t have been, however; “Middle Duet” was a huge hit with the audience and beautifully danced by Maria Kowroski and Albert Evans. Then came “NY Export: Opus Jazz” with music by Robert Prince and choreography by Jerome Robbins; with “Stars and Stripes” (excerpts) with music adapted and orchestrated by Hershy Kay after music by John Philip Sousa with Ashley Bouder and Damiam Woetzel principal dancers, making star turns to marching music.

From the performance, the black tie crowd moved up the steps to the Promenade where Tom Finn (Topspin Entertainment) was spinning his magic so that the music (and the dancing) would never stop.  Several hundred attending including Merrill Ashley and Kibbe Fitzpatrick, Gillian Attfield, Sara and Charles Ayres, Debie Bancroft, Maria Bartiromo and Jonathan Steinberg, Anson and Deborah Beard, Randy Bourscheidt, Candace Bushnell and Charles Askegard, Nina Griscom and Leonel Piraino, Helen Christensen, Donna Delaney, Anne Hathaway, Lois Chiles,  Barbara Cirvka Schumacher and John Schumacher, Jamee and Peter Gregory, Gretchen and Gene Grisanti, Barbara and Donald Tober, Larry and Michele Herbert, Rose Marie Bravo, Valentino and his partner Giancarlo Giammetti, Lisa and Dick Cashin, Mary Sharp Cronson, Jacques D’Amboise, Soledad and Bob Hurst, Steve and Christine Schwarzman, Arie and Coco Kopelman, Patricia and Tom Shiah, Fe and Alessandro Fendi, Jamie Figg and Margot Langenburg, Barry Friedberg and Charlotte Moss, Sarah and Geoffrey Gund,  Tom Gold, Floria Lasky, Sir Derek and Lady Maughan, Anka Palitz and Michel Collin, Liz and Jeff Peek, Rita Schrager, Lesley Stahl and Aaron Latham, and well, you get the picture. Glorious menu by Glorious Food. By dessert they were boogying at the ballet, thanks to Tom Finn.

Fe and Alessandro Fendi

Gretchen and Gene Grisanti

Susan Hess

Jeff and Liz Peek

Lyn Paulsin

Patricia Shiah and Anka Palitz

Helen Christensen and an NYC Ballet dancer

Tom Finn

Debbie Bancroft, Leonel Piraino, Nina Griscom, and Michele Herbert

Steve Schwarzman and Jamee Gregory

Trotting along ...

Dancing along ...



Elizabeth de Cuevas and Federico Manzano

Mary Sharp Cronson

Anne Hathaway

Jeff and Patsy Tarr

Donald and Barbara Tober

Christine Schwarzman and Kalliope Karella

Patricia Shiah and Fe Fendi

Dinner on the Grand Promenade

Celia Chou

Michel Collin and Anka Palitz

Barbara Cirkva and John Schumacher

Lucia Hwong Gordon

Coco Kopelman

Gillian Miniter

DPC's setting

Judith Hoffman with John and Susan Rotenstreich

Dinner under the orchids


Click here for NYSD Contents

November 22, 2006, Volume VI, Number 181


© 2006 David Patrick Columbia & Jeffrey Hirsch/