Thursday, November 1, 2007

Inside Broadway and Beyond

Students from Brooklyn’s PS 97 opened the ceremonies performing “Give My Regards to Broadway.”
Over at the auditorium of the McGraw Building on Sixth Avenue and West 49th, Bebe Neuwirth (Chicago) Karen Ziemba (Curtains), Roger Bart (Young Frankenstein), Rebecca Luker (Mary Poppins), Danny Burstein (The Drowsy Chaperone), A. R. Gurney (playwright, Love Letters), Shannon O’Bryan (recent Encores production of Follies) cast of Three MoTenors, and Pia Lindstrom were all there for Inside Broadway’s 25th Gala Concert. Inside Broadway is the and acclaimed children’s theater organization founded in 1982 by Michael Presser to create the audiences of tomorrow.

The evening was preceded by a 6 PM cocktail reception, which featured Pia Lindstrom as Master of Ceremonies, casts of several Broadway shows in performance (TBA), and the organization’s annual Broadway Beacon Awards. These are given to individuals in the theatre industry who have been advocates for increasing the audience for live theatre in New York City, particularly in helping to develop new young audiences for Broadway.
John and Angela Diaz
New York City Deputy Mayor Dennis Wolcott and Mrs. Wolcott
This year’s honorees included such Tony Award-winning and nominated performers as Bebe Neuwirth star of stage and screen, Roger Bart, star of Broadway’s upcoming Young Frankenstein, and Broadway couple Rebecca Luker of Mary Poppins and Danny Burstein of The Drowsy Chaperone. Previous Broadway Beacon winners, many of whom have participated in Inside Broadway productions and events, have included Carol Channing, Joel Grey, Tovah Feldshuh, Karen Ziemba, Sutton Foster, and Karen Mason.

In addition, special Beacon awards were presented by the Board of Directors of Inside Broadway to Michael Presser, the Founder & Executive Director of the organization, for 25 Years of Distinguished Service, and to William G. Tung, a member of the Board of Directors, and a Managing Director of the Rockefeller Group Development Corporation, who has also served Inside Broadway for almost 7 years

Benefit Chairs for the event were Harry Coghlan, President and General Manager, Clear Channel Spectacolor; Joseph Coppotelli, Vice-Chairman, Structuretone; L.  Bradford Perkins, Founder, Perkins-Eastman; Catherine Michaelson, Principal, Michaelson Associates and Student Advisor, Harvard Law School;  George Stonbely, President, Spectacular Ventures; Joseph Cabrera, Executive Vice-President, Cushman & Wakefield; and David Jaffe, President, HighRise Systems, Inc.
Cast members of Broadway’s “Three Mo’ Tenors” performed highlights from the show: Kenneth D. Alston, Jr. Phumzile Sojola, and Ramone Diggs
The company celebrated its 25th anniversary with a Broadway performance last November at the Winter Garden Theatre, for both school groups and the public, with excerpts from Broadway shows. Guest speakers at the event included Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer, New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, Shubert Organization Chairman Gerald Schoenfeld and many other officials and theatre artists. The 25th Anniversary Season will continue in the fall with school workshops, a special Creating the Magic, a behind-the-scenes look at a Broadway show and the various careers in theater, and the spring production of the hit You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown.

Inside Broadway began its unique programs in 1982, at the request of Shubert Organization President Bernard Jacobs, by creating the first Broadway student ticket program, for the musical Cats. The organization also created the first educational video showing the behind the scenes at the Winter Garden Theater and created 50 minute versions of hit Broadway shows that travel to schools to introduce young people to musical theatre. 
Roger Bart, Michael Presser, and Shannon O’Bryan
Joseph Cozza, Michael Presser, and Joseph Benincasa
Molly Hart, David Jaffe, Cathy Michaelson, Michael Griffin, and Georgeanne Jaffe
Corine Shane, Gloria Shafer, Irwin Fingerit, and Ted Sayers
Pia Lindstrom
Jonathan Green and Joseph Cabrera
Karen Ziemba presenting a Broadway Beacon award to Bebe Neuwirth
Bebe Neuwirth accepting the award
A.R. Gurney presented the Broadway Beacon award to Rebecca Luker and Danny Burstein
Peter L. Malkin and Howard Zipser
Danny Burstein and his wife Rebecca Luker accepting the award
New York City Council member David Weprin
Anthony W. Guido
Joseph Coppotelli
The Tung family: William Tung with his son William Jr., and wife Ellen
Rosa Abreu, Lisa Lichtenstein, and Mark Irgang
Last Tuesday, October 23rd, American Ballet Theatre kicked off their upcoming season at City Center with their annual Fall Gala. Guests enjoyed highlights from the fall season performed by ABT's world renowned dancers at New York City Center and then traveled to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel for a black tie dinner. The evening raised a record breaking $1.2 Million for ABT.
Somers Farkas and Adrienne Vittadini
Susan Fales Hill and Rachel Moore
Jean and Larry Shaw
Keith and Barbara Gollust
Lewis Ranieri and Adrienne Arsht
Jorma Elo and Bruce Levingston
Kevin McKenzie with Frederica and Stephen Friedman
Peter Lyden, Barbara Gollust, and Bruce Levingston
Jamee and Peter Gregory
Grace Hightower DeNiro and Robert DeNiro
Anna Benton and Pamela Fielder
Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia
Gillian and Sylvester Miniter
Susan Fosset Sosin and Patricia Shaw
David Koch, Lewis Ranieri, and Julia Koch
Karen LeFrak, John Banta, and Anne Grauso
Xiomara Reyes
Fe Fendi
Anka Palitz
David Ford, Pamela Fielder, Steve Alpirin, and Anna Benton
Karin Schwalb
Jackie Weld Drake
Karen LeFrak, Paul Wilmot, and Rachel Moore
Jill and Andrew Roosevelt
Martine van Hamel, Kevin McKenzie, and Frederica Friedman
Muffie Potter Aston and Dr. Sherrell Aston
Judy and Sam Peabody
Barbara and Donald Tober
House & Garden’s editor-in-chief Dominique Browning hosted the Design Happening Leadership Breakfast at The Four Seasons to kick off her magazine’s new design. I first saw it sitting in the tea room of the Madinat Jumeirah hotel in Dubai while waiting for my lunch. I thought I was looking at (I knew I was looking at) the magazine’s “International” edition. It said so on the cover. It looked so fresh and clean that I wondered why they didn’t do the same for the national edition. Well, they had, they did. And it looks great, like its brainy editor. 

The breakfast was attended by leading architecture and design-firm principals for a panel discussion on the business of being creative and the changing parameters of design in the city. Moderated by Peter Sallick, the panel of experts included Linda Fargo, Tim Haynes, Kevin Roberts, Reed Krakoff, Murray Moss, Edwin Schlossberg and Annabelle Selldorf.  Among those attending were Tiffany’s design director Robert Ruffino, interior designer/now retailer Charlotte Moss; PR executive Jim Brodsky, and interior designers Susan Zises Green and Richard Mishaan.
Jeffrey Riedel and David Taylor for Agostino Antiques.
Thomas Burak for Scandia Down.
Thom Filicia for The Urban Electric Co.
Later that evening Ms. Browning welcomed more than 200 designers, city officials and guests to 583 Park Avenue to toast New York City's design excellence. Tables at the Design Happening Kickoff Dinner were individually sponsored and designed by several creative designers including  DeJuan Stroud, Thom Filicia, David Rockwell, Eileen Kathryn Boyd, James Rixner and Harry Heissmann.

Among those attending: Commissioner Adrian Benepe, Jamie Drake, Charles and Clo Cohen, Randy Kemper, Tony Ingrao, Andrea and John Stark, Emma Pilkington, Alex Papachristidis, John Barman, Kelly Graham, Barclay Buttera, Christopher Spitzmiller, Steven Gambrel and  NYC & Co. CEO George Fretitta.  

The dinner served as the official thank you to House & Garden's advisory board, partners and talent associated with Design Week, which will raise money for a gift to the city in the form of a green rooftop.   A portion of the Design Happening ticket proceeds will benefit the House & Garden Green Roof Project - a gift to the city of New York as part of the magazine’s mission to support sustainable and affordable housing.
The panel headed by Dominique Browning
Adrian Benepe, Dominique Browning, and Jennifer Hicks
Emma Pilkington and her mother
Lisa and Philip Gorrivan
Clo Cohen and Jamie Drake
Kevin Roberts, Cynthia Frank, and Tim Haynes
George Frittite and Dominique Browning
Charlotte Moss, Jim Brodsky, and Susan Zises Green
Scott Nelson and Alexa Papachristidis
Tony Ingrao and Mayer Russ
Richard Mishaan and Dominique Browing
The New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) honored artist Chuck Close at its annual benefit dinner two weeks ago on October 15 at The Rockefeller University.  Composer Philip Glass, a long-time friend, presented him with the inaugural NYSCF Humanitarian Award.  The award recognizes Close’s many years as a dedicated patient advocate and a prominent voice for the advancement of leading-edge scientific research.  Close is a member of NYSCF’s Leadership Council.

Among the 275 guests on hand to salute Close were NYSCF Co-founder and CEO Susan L. Solomon and the evening’s master of ceremonies, WNYC Radio Host Leonard Lopate.

The gala kicked off NYSCF’s second annual Translational Stem Cell Research Conference, a two-day event which brought together more than 400 of the world’s leading researchers in the field of human embryonic stem cell research for discussions about how this science is leading to improved understanding of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s and other diseases and disorders that afflict millions.
Loretta Dives, Susan Solomon, Leonard Dobbs, and Linda Steinberg
The New York Stem Cell Foundation wasounded in 2005, the New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) is a privately funded foundation dedicated to furthering human embryonic stem cell research to advance the search for cures of the major diseases of our time.  The foundation opened the first privately funded human embryonic stem cell laboratory in New York in March 2006 to serve as a “safe haven” where scientists from academic medical centers in the New York area and throughout the East Coast can conduct advanced human embryonic stem cell research free of the federal restrictions that limit the scope of government-supported work. 

The organization’s mission is to support scientists engaged in human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research and somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), through grants, fellowships and symposia; to educate the public about the importance and potential benefits of hESC research and SCNT; and to establish new collaborative, state-of-the-art research facilities supported entirely with private funds and directly focused on curing disease.  
Kevin Eggan, Steve Tanger, Nini Fergson, and Allen Adler
Mary Elizabeth Bunzel and David Carmel
Barbara and Keith Gollust with Pam Flagherty and Jay Schwamm
Susan L. Solomon and Fred Shurman
Lisa Cashin and Ann Pleshette Murphy
Jodie Eastman, Fiona Waterstreet, Wendy Benchley, and Tracy Benchley Turner
John Philips, Didier Malaquin, Paul Healy, and Paul Goldberger
Philip Glass, John Guare, and Chuck Close
Rick Friedberg, Francine LeFrak, Zoe Baird, and Bill Haseltine
Jane Bryant-Quinn, Carl Tucker, Nancy Seltzer, and Richard Feigen
American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic, Young Forum held its 2007-2008 Season Kickoff this past Monday night. This reception was hosted by Paul Epstein and Garry Parton at their home in the Dakota. Young professionals and AFIPO Board Members joined together to “kick off” the 2007-2008 Season. The guests were treated to a short recital by up and coming Israeli pianist Eliran Avni.

Paul Epstein
The Young Forum is the membership program of the Associates Program, the young leadership division of AFIPO. Each year, Associates (ages 21 to 40) participate in events ranging from private musicales to a variety of social activities to the Gala concert at the Waldorf=Astoria.

This year’s annual benefit concert and dinner, a Tribute to Leonard Bernstein, will take place on Wednesday, February 6th, 2008, at the Waldorf=Astoria. Gala Co-Chairmen are Ophira and Joram Cukierman, Rachel L. Posner and W. Michael Weinstein.

Michael Barrett, a protégé of Maestro Bernstein’s will conduct, fifty members of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra along with four vocalists will perform Bernstein’s Broadway music including Candide, On the Town, Wonderful Town and West Side Story! Jamie Bernstein, daughter of Leonard Bernstein, will share insights about her father as she hosts the musical event.

For more information about the Associates or Young Forum, please contact Marissa A. Schoenfeld at (212) 697-2949 or To learn more about the American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, please visit
Jillian Merns, Lynn Syms, and Ron Prasker
Jill Keiser and Lesley Arlein
Marissa Schoenfeld, Marjorie Aaron, and Ophira Cukierman
Wendy Rockman and Betsy Eisenberg
Shawn Simpson, Victoria Stein, Joe Weilgus, and Lauren Lipson
Joram Cukierman
Alex Friedman and Alon Hoshmand
Jill Helene, Julia Alexander, and Daniel Pincus
Michael Doft and friend
Juliet Kalib and Jill Keiser
Ophira Cukierman and Noami Rudich
Ray Javdan and Beverly Bloom


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