Wednesday, June 4, 2014


The dinner scene at New York Restoration Project's 13th Annual Spring Picnic.
New York Restoration Project (NYRP), founded by award-winning singer, entertainer, actress, and green activist Bette Midler, celebrated 19 years of turning forgotten spaces into growing places at its 13th Annual Spring Picnic on Thursday, May 29th, at the Plaza at General Grant National Memorial in Riverside Park.  Honorary Co-Chairs Cynthia Nixon; Lisa Oz and Dr. Mehmet Oz; and Amy Poehler; and the evening’s Mistress of Ceremonies and Auctioneer, Judy Gold joined Midler in honoring Ron Finley and Liz Smith. John Pizzarelli provided music.
Under the tent for dinner
General Grant National Memorial in Riverside Park lit up for the occasion
Among the hundreds of green enthusiasts also attending were: Executive Director of NYRP Deborah Marton; Martin von Haselberg, Michael Kors and Lance LePere, Tim Gunn, Melissa Leo, Isaac Mizrahi, Andre Leon Talley, Bernadette Peters, Charles Busch, Marlo Thomas, Josh Charles, Cynthia McFadden, Robert Wuhl and Barbara Koldys, Margo and Jimmy Nederlander, Elizabeth Peabody, Mica Ertegun, Alexandra Cohen, Daryl and Steven Roth, Maureen Case, Ellen and Steve Corwin, Ellen and Richard Levine, Enid Nemy, Paul Cavaco, Lee Mindel, Todd DeGarmo, Bernie Telsey, Pam and Allen Swerdlick, Bill Zabel, John Studzinski, Dottie Herman, Kathy and Ben Needell, Nancy and Fred Poses and Ed Hollander, Ronnie Heyman, Karen and Richard LeFrak, and others.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, Michael Kors, Bette Midler, Marlo Thomas, Chirlane McCray, and Bill de Blasio
Approaching its twentieth anniversary, NYRP launched the “Gardens for Great New Yorkers” garden adoption campaign. With 23 of the organization’s 52 community gardens up for adoption, individuals have the opportunity to support public green spaces and foster social and environmental resilience in the most densely populated and least green neighborhoods of New York City. Over one million New Yorkers live within half a mile of an NYRP garden, which is frequented for urban agriculture, community gatherings and celebrations, school trips, art and performance venues, and more.

Also on the Plaza was a casita, a modular outdoor shed structure that can be built at each of NYRP’s 52 community gardens.  NYRP partnered with Urban Air Foundation, TEN Arquitectos, and Buro Happold to create a modular garden structure that is built like a little Lego house.  NYRP is the only organization in the country pioneering this kind of radical garden architecture.  It can be taken apart and made into a gazebo, or a storage shed, or a pergola.  Eventually outfitted with solar panels on the roof, people in under-resourced communities can use it to enjoy a beautiful summer day with their children or charge their phones during a power outage like after Sandy.
Bette Midler and Bill de Blasio
Amy Poehler
Judy Gold
David Buskin and Robert Wuhl
Founded in 1995 by Bette Midler, NYRP is a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming underserved communities by creating a greener, more sustainable New York City.  NYRP helps strengthen communities by working in parks, public housing, vacant lots, schools, on sidewalks, rights-of-way, the waterfront, and in our own community gardens.  As the lead partner with NYC Parks on the MillionTreesNYC initiative, they have helped the City plant more than 855,000 trees since 2007.  By cleaning, greening, and beautifying high-need communities, NYRP creates a context for community to happen.
Bette Midler and Bill de Blasio
Cynthia Nixon and Marlo Thomas
Bette Midler, Dr. Richard Levine, Ellen Levine, and Marlo Thomas
Amy Poehler, Bette Midler, and Cynthia Nixon
Chirlane McCray and Bill de Blasio
Tim Gunn, Liz Smith, and Liz Robbins
Martin Von Haselburg and Richard Levine
Jamee and Peter Gregory
Jamee Gregory and Karen LeFrak
Elizabeth Peabody, William Hamilton
Dottie Herman
John Meeks, Margo Nederlander, and Jim Aman
Judy Katz and Bernadette Peters
Benjamin Needell
Lance LePere and Elissa Santisi
Liz Smith, William Hamilton, and Elizabeth Peabody
Margo McNabb Nederlander, James Nederlander Jr., and Bette Midler
Ron Finley and Mehmet Oz
Michael Kors and Lance LePere
Nancy Poses, Nadine Eller-Thorpe, and Fred Poses
Pamela Swerdlick, Judy Gold, and Allen Swerdlick
Robert Wuhl, Sophie Von Haselburg, Tim Gunn, Cynthia Nixon, Bill de Blasio, and Brian Sawyer
Sophie Von Haselburg, Tim Gunn, Brian Sawyer, and Martin Von Haselburg
This past Monday night, Chef Daniel Boulud presented the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF)'s inaugural Art de Vivre Award to Elisabeth Holder Raberin and Pierre-Antoine Raberin, co-presidents of Ladurée USA at FIAF's first annual Art de Vivre Award Dinner.

The evening began with a cocktail reception in the FIAF Gallery, 22 East 60th Street, and continued with a dinner at the French restaurant Le Bilboquet featuring desserts by Ladurée.
Elisabeth Holder Raberin, Pierre-Antoine Raberin, and Daniel Boulud
Pierre-Antoine Raberin, Daniel Boulud, and Elisabeth Holder Raberin
Marie-Monique Steckel, President of FIAF, said, "We are thrilled to announce this exciting new event, and we could not have asked for more perfect honorees. The Ladurée experience exemplifies everything we Francophiles love about French elegance and sophistication. By bringing this experience to New York, Elisabeth [Holder Raberin] and Pierre-Antoine [Raberin] have made their mark on the New York gastronomical landscape."
Philippe Delgrange and Marie-Monique Steckel
FIAF's first Art de Vivre Award Dinner will help raise funds in support of the organization's mission to teach French, promote Francophone culture, and strengthen the relationship between French and American peoples.

The 2014 Art de Vivre Award Event Committee includes Stephanie Binder-Elbaz, Mélanie Bouvard and Matthew Bird, James G. Brooks, Jr., Hélène Comfort, Emmanuel and Christina di Donna, Sasha Leviant, Eric Mourlot and Dovile Drizyte, Marie-Noëlle and John Pierce, Lauren and Andres Santo Domingo, Amelia and Mortimer Singer, and Clémence and William von Mueffling.
Philippe Delgrange, Pierre-Antoine Raberin, Marie-Monique Steckel, Elisabeth Holder Raberin, and Daniel Boulud
Pierre-Antoine Raberin, Jimmy Leclerc, Elisabeth Holder Raberin, and Fabien Brunet
Matthew Bird, Mélanie Bouvard, Stephanie Binder-Elbaz, and Benjamin Elbaz
Jean-Claude Gruffat, Marie-Monique Steckel, Nabil Chartouni, Patrick Baugier de Chevestre, and Benjamin Elbaz
Nathalie Sann Regnault and James G. Brooks Jr.
Marie-Noëlle Pierce, John Pierce, and friend
Cecilia Pelloux and Clémence von Mueffling
Dovile Drizyte and Eric Mourlot
Patrick Baugier de Chevestre, Nefissa Attard, and Cacho Falcon
Claire Gudefin
This past Monday night at Gotham Hall on 1356 Broadway, Lapham’s Quarterly celebrated their annual DECADES BALL: The 1870s. The 1870s saw the birth of street lamps in New York City, and also The Kentucky Derby, The Brooklyn Bridge, phonographs, the telephone, the first Harvard/Yale game, and P.T. Barnum’s “Greatest Show on Earth.”

The themed evening was sponsored by Encylopaedia Britannica and also celebrated Lapham’s Quarterly’s seventh year of publication. Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director of The Public Theater, emceed the evening. The Folio Society presented the Janus Prize to historian Simon Schama. The evening’s entertainment included lively readings and performances, which highlighted voices from the stage, music, and literature of that era.
Simon Schama and Lewis Lapham
Lewis Lapham and Glenn Close
This year’s line-up included actors Glenn Close and Jonathan Groff singing Gilbert & Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance; Maggie Gyllenhaal reading excerpts from Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina; Rachel Dratch reading Lewis Carroll’s poem The Walrus and the Carpenter; Brian d’Arcy James and Leslie Odom Jr. reading excerpts from Mark Twain; Michael Cerveris reading excerpts from Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days; and Taylor Mac singing “In the Gloaming.”

The Benefit Committee included Adrienne Arsht, the Alec Baldwin Foundation, George and Wendy David, Clare and Vartan Gregorian, and Paul Volcker. Lapham’s Quarterly was founded by writer/editor Lewis Lapham, editor emeritus of Harper’s Magazine. Lapham in 2007 was inducted into the American Society of Magazine Editors Hall of Fame. Mr. Lapham is the author of thirteen books, among them Money and Class in America, The Wish for Kings, Waiting for the Barbarians and Theater of War. His documentary film, The American Ruling Class has become part of the curriculum in many of the nation’s schools and colleges. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Lapham has lectured at many of the nation’s leading universities, including Yale, Princeton, Dartmouth, and Stanford, and the Universities of Michigan, Virginia, and Oregon.
Maggie Gyllenhaal reading Anna Karenina
Historian Simon Schama and the Janus Prize, presented by The Folio Society
The Janus awardee, Simon Schama, is a British historian specializing in art history, Dutch history, and French history. His many publications include Patriots and Liberators; Two Rothschilds and the Land of Israel; Embarrassment of Riches; Citizens; Dead Certainties (Unwarranted Speculation), and have won several awards including the Wolfson Award, the W.H. Smith Prize, the National Academy of Arts and Letters Award, and the National Book Critics’ Circle Award.  BBC Documentaries include: Landscape and Memory;  A History of Britain; Rough Crossings: Britain, the Slaves and the American Revolution; Simon Schama’s Power of Art; and The American Future: A History, as well as numerous talks for the BBC Radio 4 series A Point of View. His most recent broadcast, The Story of the Jews, aired in September 2013. He has been a lecturer in history at both Cambridge and Oxford Universities and in art history and history at Harvard University. He has been an essayist and critic for The New Yorker since 1994 and is currently University Professor of Art History and History at Columbia University.
Taylor Mac and Chris Giarmo performing "In the Gloaming"
LAPHAM’S QUARTERLY is an award-winning and critically-acclaimed journal of history, literature, and ideas that brings the finest writings of the past to topics current in the headlines. It is praised by the historian David McCullough as “a godsend and a genuine treasure,” and by the novelist Dave Eggers as “brilliant and much needed."
Laurie Eustis and Lewis Lapham
David Rose and Nina Stegeman
George and Kristen Lund
Paul Muldoon
Glenn Close and Jonathan Groff
Brian d'Arcy James
Doug Knight and Shelley Ambrose
Carmella Kletjian, Hansel Tookes, and Tessa Hadlock
Georgia Shreve and Donald Hannan
Brian d’Arcy James, Laurie Eustis, and Leslie Odom Jr.
Frank Flynn and Gail Harper
Alec Baldwin, Georgia Shreve, Lewis Lapham, and Ralph Nader
Jonathan Groff, Glenn Close, and Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar Eustis
Debby Landesman and Marsha Gordon
Mark Fabry and Gail Harper
Jake Fox, Nellie McKay, and Rachel Dratch
Raymond Lamontagne and Nicole Seidel
On Tuesday, May 27th, the Theatre Museum awarded its 2014 Theatre Museum Awards for Excellence at the Players Club. The mission of the Theatre Museum is to preserve, protect, and perpetuate the legacy of the theatre. It is the first and only chartered non profit museum dedicated to the history of Theatre. Since 1995 The Awards for Excellence have recognized individuals and organizations for their contribution to theater arts, education, theater history and preservation.

The 2014 Award for Excellence in Theatre History Preservation was presented to Fathom Event's CEO John Rubey by Peter Gelb of The Metropolitan Opera.
Alyssa Renzi, Peter Gelb, John Rubey, and Leah Lane
Fathom Events is the recognized leader in the alternative entertainment industry, offering a variety of one-of-a-kind entertainment events in movie theaters including performances of the Metropolitan Opera, The National Theatre, Broadway shows and more. Co-owned by the three largest movie theater circuits in the United States, AMC Entertainment Inc., Cinemark Holdings, Inc. and Regal Entertainment Group, Fathom's live digital broadcast network is the largest cinema broadcast network in North America, bringing live events to more than 750 locations across the United States. By providing an outlet for alternative content in the movie theaters, Fathom has been able to preserve countless productions for future generations.
John Rubey
Peter Gelb
Joe Benincasa
Leah Lane
Alyssa Renzi
This year, BroadwayWorld was honored with the 2014 Award for Excellence in Theatre Arts Education. Richard Jay Alexander presented the award to BroadwayWorld founder, Robert Diamond. BroadwayWorld is the largest theatre site on the Internet covering Broadway, the West End and beyond to 100 US cities, and 35 countries worldwide. One of's strongest passion points since the sites inception has been a commitment to supporting theater education, which it has done via the site's popular Student Centers that shine a spotlight on schools at all levels (from Elementary through College) and through numerous online resources and editorial content. " is a staple in the theater community," said Theatre Museum Chairman, Stewart F. Lane.

The 2014 TTM Awards were co-chaired by Stewart F. Lane, Bonnie Comley, Joe Benincasa and Jim Heinze and were produced by Alyssa Renzi and Trav S. D. Board member Joe Benincasa, who was recently recognized by The Actors Fund with a medal of honor, will be honored at the 2014 Tony Awards with a special Tony Award.
Robert Pinnock, Bob Homeyer.Joshua Tannis, and Noah Diamond
Matt Curiano, Joshua Tannis, Robert Pinnock, Noah Diamond, and Bob Homeyer
Matt Curiano and Melody Jane
Ariela Pizza
Michael Goldfried
Abe Goldfarb aka Bastard Keith
Lady Rizo
Previous Theatre Museum Award recipients include Jujamcym Theaters, The American Theater Wing, Manhattan Theatre Club, Carmen de Lavallade, Bonnie Comley, Ellen Burstyn, Ben Brantley, Richard M. Sherman, Robert B. Sherman, and Sheldon Harnick.

The Theatre Museum currently functions as a museum-at-large until a permanent gallery is located. The Theatre Museum produces exhibitions in collaboration with other cultural institutions in NYC and across the country. For more information see:
Richard Jay-Alexander and Robert Diamond
Rene and James J. Heinze
Leah Lane, Stewart F.Lane, Bonnie Comley, Lenny Lane, and Frankie Lane
Jennifer and Robert Diamond
Joe and Lauren Pizza
Eric Duke, John Rubey, and Lenny Laxer
Andrew Leynse and Stewart F.Lane
Alyssa Renzi and Chris Schembra
Eric Duke, Peter Gelb, John Rubey, and Lenny Laxer
Matt Curiano and Melody Jane
Claudine Liss and Lauren Pizza
Tony LoBianco
Marilyn Sokol
David Klein
Photographs by Mia McDonald (NYRP); Rob Rich (The Theatre Museum); Lucas Stoffel (Lapham's Quarterly); Michael George (FIAF).