Thursday, January 13, 2011

History buffs

2010 Cotillion Participants at the Philadelphia Charity Ball.
If you are a New York City history buff, then a visit to the venerable Players Club is mandatory.

Founded in 1888 by the pre-eminent Shakespearean actor Edwin Booth (Yes. The brother of Lincoln’s assassin) and fifteen other notables, including Mark Twain, this was the first “American gentleman’s clubs modeled after London’s famous Garrick Club ... dedicated to the promotion of social intercourse between members of the dramatic profession...” The founders occupied the historic, dark wood paneled, Greek Revival townhouse, located on Gramercy Park.

Honoree & Recipient of the Edwin Booth Lifetime Achievement Award, actor and educator, Kevin Spacey.
Today the Club’s walls are anointed with sconces illuminating oil paintings of celebrated dramatic figures, and theatrical memorabilia. It is peopled with a lively group dedicated to the acting arts.

This past Tuesday eve the renowned actor, director, screenwriter, producer Kevin Spacey, was awarded with the prestigious Edwin Booth Lifetime Achievement Award. Past luminaries include Edward Albee, Angela Lansbury, Helen Hayes, Jose Ferrer, Marianne Seldes and Jason Robards.

Kevin is best known for his Academy Awards for The Usual Suspects and American Beauty, multiple Golden Globes and significant roles in L.A. Confidential, Seven, and Pay It Forward.

He is lesser know as the artistic Director of the Old Vic theater, London (since 2003). There, and with his educational foundations and mentoring, he is indeed “Paying it forward." A firm believer in the importance of the arts as a critical part of education – his teary heart-felt comments brought rounds of applause.

He recounted how as an adolescent, acting in a school play, an encouraging word from Walter Matthau led him onto success. He noted how synchronistically, a decade later, he was to audition for Walter, and through his influence (and talent), to gain the part.
Kevin greeted by Tony Bennett.
He ended his dignified address with an anecdote ...

“Booth Saves Lincoln!” he said, quoting a historical headline. Perplexing! The audience wondered ... Spacey then continued .... "It seems that a few years before the devastating assassination of wonderful President Abraham Lincoln, the actor Edwin Booth had pulled a young relative of Lincoln’s to safety, from the railroad tracks and an oncoming train."

Beware the overly simplistic and learn to live with seeming contradictions – appeared to be the advice.

— Jill Lynne for NYSD
Kevin in conversation with actor Richard Thomas.
Tony Bennett with wife, Susan Benedetto, and Miss USA Rima Fakih.
Agent and President of the Players Club, Jonny Planko. Music Legend Phil Ramone.
First Vice President Players, James Fenniman, Anita Jaffe, Richard and Georganne, and David Stales.
Cabaret performer Steve Ross. Actor Joe Sirola and pal.
Gregory Moore, Lee Mars, Teresa Budd, Oliver Marriott, and Enis Ucer.
William Bodine, Linda Rizio, Victoria Bodine, and Ray Rizio.
Denis Leary, Stephen Baldwin, and Kevin Spacey.
Steve Ross at the grand piano with the Edwin Booth Award in the foreground.
Denis Leary and Kevin Spacey with his award. Kevin Spacey with Stephen Baldwin.
Isabel Gillies, Frank Selvaggi, and Adam Zelasko.
The walls of the venerable 1888 Gramercy Park The Players Club.
Six Debutantes were presented to the Board of Directors at this year’s Philadelphia Charity Ball held at The Union League of Philadelphia. This 131-year-old Philadelphia tradition brings Young Ladies and Gentlemen from the Philadelphia area, along with their friends and families, together to raise proceeds toward improving and funding various local institutions.

A wonderful philanthropic and cultural tradition in Philadelphia, the Ball was founded in 1881.
The Union League of Philadelphia, South Broad Street
Past beneficiaries include Friends' Hospital and Thomas Jefferson Medical Center. In recent years, the ball has benefitted non-profit organizations suggested and selected by our Young Men's and Young Ladies' Committees and Debutantes.

The 2010 Charity Ball Beneficiary was Gesu School, a national model for inner city schooling.
Managing Director Alix Rockwell Jacobs and the debutantes with Philadelphia's City Hall in the background
The 2010 Bryn Mawr Trust & Philadelphia Charity Ball Scholarship Award was presented to this year’s Gesu School scholar. Students from the Gesu School presented a Ballroom Dance exhibition, and music throughout the evening was provided by Peter Duchin and his Orchestra.

Debutantes were joined in the Cotillion by their Fathers, Escorts, and the 2010 Young Ladies’ and Young Men’s Committees.
Debutantes and Members of the Young Ladies’ Committee
Members of the Board of Directors line up in front of the Union League
The Cotillion is danced at the midnight presentation
Former debutantes Katherine Del Raso and Marianna Del Raso
Gretchen Burke and Susan Burch, both mothers of Young Ladies’ Committee members
Miss Lucille Mahoney and Miss Chloe Carabasi with fellow graduates of the Agnes Irwin School
Bouquets for the Young Ladies’ Committee
Debutantes and Young Ladies’ Committee pose on the Stair Hall
Members of the Young Friends of the Charity Ball
Director Michael Tierney and wife Margaret
Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Glass and their daughter, debutante Murphy Olivia Glass
Mr. and Mrs. Richard K. Barnhart, debutante daughter Carter Leighton Barnhart, and escort Michael Maisel
Miss Hannah Burch
Director Carter Caldwell and his wife Constance
Former deb Alexandra Meigs Noll and Young Friends Committee member Justin Jeffers, both of New York
Peter Duchin
Debutante Ashley Catalano-Leckerman with her Father, Albert A. Leckerman
Debutante Helaine Milne Justi and her father, Henry Milne Justi
Young Friends Ashley Humphries, Olin Scott Livingston III, Holly Von Doering Hartman
Miss Sean Margaret Burke
Debutante Jesicca Stokes with her mother Patti and Liz Zelov, who is the wife of Director Scott Zelov
Miss Alexa Roberts Buckley
2009 deb Virginia Grey Le Vine dances with her father, Director and past Board President D. Christopher Le Vine
Miss Frances Byrne Hall and Miss Hannah Manogue Burch
R.C. Atlee Hodgson
Director Warren Claytor
Former deb and Young Friends Committee member Katie Bonner
Creighton Soukup, a Chairman of the Junior Committee, poses with Carloyn Kraeutler
Miss Caroline Cannon and former deb Miss Alexa S. G. Marymor
RIchard and Pia Halloran
Young Men’s Committee Member Pearce Melikian Lockwood
The 45th Annual YMA FSF Geoffrey Beene National Scholarship Awards Dinner was held this past Tuesday night at the Waldorf-Astoria. They honored Visionaire’s founders Manny Chirico, Jeff Kantor, as well as Cecelia Dean, Stephan Gan and James Kaiardos.

Mary Alice Stephenson was emcee. Among those attending were Diane von Furstenberg, John Demsey, Tom and Mara Hutton of the Geoffrey Beene Foundation, Italo Zucchelli. Ken Wyse, YMA FSF President, announced the four recipients of the coveted $25,000 Geoffrey Beene National Scholarship.
Scholarship Finalists
Scholarship Finalists
Peter Sachse, U of Arizona students
Peter Sachse with University of Arizona students
Funding went to: Anna Hart Turner, John Sohn Ruby Gertz and Tony Wang, who developed the most innovative and professional plan for what they consider to be the “store of the future.” Four $10,000 scholarships were also awarded to the finalists, and 100 $5000 scholarships were awarded to YMA FSF Scholars to pursue their education and career goals.
Reverend Walter Smith
Reverend Walter Smith
Olivia Moore, Ken Wyse, Betsy Trobough
Olivia Moore, Ken Wyse, and Betsy Trobough
Glenda Bailey
Glenda Bailey
Manny Chirico, Mary Alice Stephenson, Tom Hutton
Tom and Mara Hutton
Anna Turner, Diane Sheehan, Ariel Arnson
Anna Turner, Diane Sheehan, and Ariel Arnson
Dani Stahl, Annabel Tollmal
Dani Stahl and Annabel Tollmal
Zanna Roberts
Zanna Roberts
Dian von Furstenberg
Dian von Furstenberg
Isabel Toledo, Cecilia Dean
Isabel Toledo and Cecilia Dean
Ken Wyse, Malcom Carfae
Ken Wyse and Malcom Carfae
Paul Rosengard
Paul Rosengard
Jimmy Rosenfeld, Sheri Rosenfeld, Mark Fishman
Jimmy Rosenfeld, Sheri Rosenfeld, and Mark Fishman
Italo Zucchelli, Tom Murry
Italo Zucchelli and Tom Murry
Kristian Laliberte, Dani Stahl
Kristian Laliberte and Dani Stahl
George Huang, Tony Wang
George Huang and Tony Wang

Jill Lynne (Kevin Spacey); Patrick McMullan (Geoffrey Beene)
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