Thursday, March 20, 2008

Celebrating Stella Adler and St. Patrick's with Patrick

Holland Taylor, Tom Oppenheim, Ellen Adler, and Kathleen Turner
Dina Merrill
Stella Adler, born 1901, in New York City was the most famous female acting teacher in America. She was the daughter of two great stars of the Yiddish theater Sara and Jacob Adler, who flourished over a great institution that has all but disappeared from people’s consciousness by the 21st century. The Yiddish theater gave birth to much famous theater talent. Miss Adler was also the only American actor have actually been instructed by the great Constantin Stanislavski. She was a prominent member of the Group Theatre during the 1930s. One of its main components Harold Clurman, later became her second husband. And she had a roster of students who were or became some of the biggest theatre and film stars in the world. Brando, they say, she loved. And Warren (Beatty) was another. But the list is long and lustrous.

Stella Adler from the trailer for Shadow of the Thin Man, 1941.
She was also a great beauty, and with a personality and acting technique that was legendary. She also performed a great deal too. She died in Los Angeles in 1992 at the age of 91 (although there were rumors that she was five or six years older).

There are two Stella Adler Acting Studios operating now in this country – in New York and in Los Angeles. This past Monday night, the Stella Adler Studio of Acting held is 4th annual benefit “Stella By Starlight” at the 23rd Street Cipriani. Part of what supports this event is the force of personality that though having left the planet sixteen years ago, remains rich and full in the memories of so many people in and around the theatre.

They honored Martin Sheen, Liz Smith, Pamela Newman and posthumously Roy Scheider. Liz received the Harold Clurman Lifetime Achievement Award for a lifelong commitment to the ennoblement of humanity through culture. I couldn’t have articulated it more concisely.

The Stella Adler School of Acting today is administered by her grandson, Tom Oppenheim. It is his dream to his see his grandmother’s idea become actualized as a center – the Adler Center of the Arts, encouraging and inspiring actors, teachers, directors, writers, dancers and musicians to work together.

Elaine Stritch, an Adler student herself at one time, chaired the evening.
Anthony and Arnette Zerbe
Christine Ebersole
Dr. Christiane Northrup, Christian Scheider, and Brenda Siemer Scheider
Casey Wilson
Martin Sheen and Stockard Channing
David Amram
Pamela J. Newman and Ted Hartley
Sidney Lumet, Liz Smith, and Sheila Nevins
Tommy Tune
Ellen Adler and Marian Seldes
Jack O'Brien, Liz Smith, and Laura Linney
The annual Patrick McMullan’s St. Patrick’s Day party took place on ... St. Patrick’s Day at Home on West 23rd Street. For the three or four of you who don’t know, Patrick McMullan is the most famous photographer in New York. The mere mention of his first name and everyone knows who you mean. Furthermore he knows everybody, gives lots of parties (many of which promote and sell his several volumes of photographs of New York and even global events and parties). He serves as an ambassador of good introduction to thousands of people and manages to take pictures of all of them all the time. Patrick’s World is many worlds but the St. Patrick’s Day party is a special one because, after all, it’s named in his honor; and it serves to do what every good St. Patrick’s Day party does. And what is that? Oh, if you don’t know already, you’ve no need to know. Patrick will forgive you anyway; he’s very open-minded. And he might get a shot of you too.
Anne Saint James and David Romeo
Alexander Shoong and Elisa Wilsey
Ben Gabbe and Ben Wexler
Amanda Ackermann, Carol Ferman, and Astrid Jillenius
Adesh Deosaran and Lara Deosaran
Brian Antoni and Nick Newhart
Carlton DeWoody and Billy Farrell
Cary Thompson and Caroline Cameron
Ellen Nhirazi and Vincent Maggio
Eddie Cruz and Tzirel Kaminetzky
Christina Oxenberg and John Ryanhold
Caleb Lane and Tom Baer
Christian Schmidt, Amber Arbucci, and Shoako Chang
David Heinrichs and Tatiana Vidos
David Hart, Daniella Bailes Hart, Jeremy Nelson, and Allison Showalter
Dr. Mark Warfel and Baby Chic
Essan Laurent and Omar Siarra
Elizabeth Brown, Jerry Papadatos, Jill Lynne, and David Napolitan
Basia Tlewinska
Cecilia Albertini and Carmela Corbett
Chicklet, Mary Falkner, and Juicy

Photographs by ©

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