Thursday, February 12, 2015

The attraction

2:00 PM. Photo: JH.
Thursday, February 12, 2015. Sunny day, most of yesterday in New York; but not warm. Snow flurries forecast for the late night hours, but nothing to write home about. Nothing like Boston which is literally snowed under.

The Wednesday lunch

• Star Jones

• George Green
• Chris Meigher
• Ted Hathaway
• Randy Jones
• Dan Lufkin
• Bisila Bokoko
• Dr. Gerry Imber with Jerry Della Femina, Andrew Bergman, & Michael Kramer
• Alice Mayhew
• Chris Hojlo
• Stan Shuman
• Jack Myers with
• John Sykes
• John Hart
• Manuela Hoelterhoff
• Glenn Horowitz with
Gabriel Shank
• Martin Bandier
• Judy Twersky with
Victoria Shaffer
• Neil Lasher with Denise LeFrak Calicchio, Doug Tieman and Todd Whittler
• Larry Spangler
• Cynthia Lewis
It was Wednesday and the Michael’s lunch. In the Garden Room Ron Perelman hosted a luncheon for Rosie O’Donnell to celebrate the documentary she made for HBO about women’s health.

Tuesday lunch

• Ron Dozoretz
• Beverly Camhe
• James Hedges
• Joan Jakobson with
Betsy Gotbaum
• Liz Kaplow
• Ron Insana
• Michel Braun
• Diane Coffey
• Jim Casella
• George Ledes
• Shelly Palmer
• David Poltrack
• Glenn Horowitz
• Tracey Jackson with
Beth Dozoretz
• Liz Smith with
Richard Kirschenbaum
• Andrew Stein
• Neil Rudenstine
• Jesse Kornbluth with Wendy Goldberg and Marshall Cohen
• Ed Adler
• Norah Lawlor
• Kevin Huvane
• Richard LeFrak with sons
Harrison LeFrak and
Jamie LeFrak
• Steven Rubenstein
• Delphine Arnault
• Michael Keaton
There were about fifty guests, mainly women including Desiree Gruber, Daryl Roth, Trudie Styler, Marlo Thomas, Marie Brenner, Arianna Huffington, Joanna Coles, Joan Kron, Alina Cho, Sheila Nevins, Elaine Irwin, Katherine Farley, Dr. Allison Spatz, Debra Lee, Chris Taylor, Claire Atkinson, Dr. Jonathan LaPook, Fran Townsend, Roberta Karp, Cindi Berger, Ashleigh Banfield, Jean Doumanian, Liz Smith, Ellen Levine, Cecile Richards, Barbara Walters, Dr. Holly Anderson, Linda Stasi, to name just a handful. Mr. Perelman was present as was Richard Johnson of the NY Post and PR guru Ken Sunshine. I was not present so I don’t know what went on but there surely was a lot of talk.

What’s the attraction?
For a New York restaurant luncheon, (or luncheons), on a single day (or days in this case), all in one room and on the same day, you have movie stars, real estate tycoons, university presidents (Neil Rudenstine was president of Harvard from 1991 to 2001), retailing executives (Delphine Arnault is a VP of LVMH, her father’s company) writers, playwrights, columnists, theatre producers, television producers, film producers, politicos, advertising executives, public relations executives, talent agents (Kevin Huvane is head of Creative Artists Agency), television commentators, music industry executives, philanthropists, book publishers and editors, magazine publishers and editors, investment bankers, celebrities, media marketing executives, socialites, doctors, lawyers, Indian chiefs. It’s the heat of the Big Town.

It’s not a club although there’s a clubbiness to it for those of us who partake regularly. Yet nevertheless, all guests at Michael’s are greeted with same warmth, good cheer and efficiency and the waitstaff is patient, accommodating and eager to please. Plus there’s the tasty menu. Meanwhile in the Garden Room ...
Rosie and Ronald.
Vanessa Smith and Rosie O'Donnell.
Ronald Perelman, Sheila Nevins, and Rosie O'Donnell.
British Robinson, Rosie O'Donnell, Dr. Noel Bairey Merz, and Dr. Holly Andersen.
Ronald Perelman, Trudie Styler, Ceci Kurzman, Alina Cho, Celine Rattray
Dr. Laurie Glimcher, Ronald Perelman, and Elaine Irwin.
The Garden Room at Michael's.
Meanwhile this past Tuesday in another part of the forest, over at Lincoln Center, the New York City Ballet held its Annual Luncheon Benefit to celebrate the Company’s highly esteemed and much loved former Principal Dancer Wendy Whelan, who retired last fall after a thirty year career dancing with the company.

The onstage program was hosted by NYCB Board Member and event co-chair Donya Bommer and featured the honoree as a guest speaker along with choreographer Christopher Wheeldon as well as Whelan’s former onstage partners, Jock Soto, Craig Hall, and Tyler Angle.
Donya Bommer, Wendy Whelan, and Christopher Wheeldon.
Wendy Whelan and Brian Brooks performing an excerpt for Restless Creature.
The program also featured performances by current NYCB dancers, of excerpts from Balanchine’s Agon and Wheeldon’s Liturgy, as well as a performance by Whelan herself – an excerpt from her new project Restless Creature with contemporary dancer Brian Brooks.

There were 625 attending on the Promenade of the David H. Koch Theater which began with a champagne reception by Ruinart, and a luncheon of tomatoes served four ways, chestnut filled chicken over parsnip and beet puree, and an assortment of miniature pastries, all catered by Acquolina Catering.
The Promenade of the David H. Koch Theater featuring artwork by Dustin Yellin.
Each year there is a recipient of the Janice Levin Dancer Award named for the late Mrs. Levin, who was a great fan and supporter of the ballet and of the dancers. It is bestowed upon one of the Company’s most promising corps de ballet dancers. This year’s awardee was Ashly Isaacs.

This year’s Benefit Chairmen were Allison Aston, Donya Bommer, Kristin Kennedy Clark, Darren Henault and Jill Kargman. Benefit Honorary Chairs were Diana DiMenna, Jock Soto, and Christopher Wheeldon.
Event Chairmen: Donya Bommer, Jill Karman, Darren Henault, Kristin Kennedy Clark, and Allison Aston with Wendy Whelan (center).
NYCB Ballet Master in Chief Peter Martins with Agnes Gund and artist Dustin Yellin.
Event Co-Chair Allison Aston and Kilian Hennessy.
Event Co-Chair Jill Kargman and her husband and Harry Kargman.
Wendy Whelan, event co-chair Donya Bommer and Brian Brooks.
Julia and David Koch with event Co-Chair Kristin Kennedy Clark.
A guest with NYCB Principal Dancer Jared Angle and event Co-Chair Darren Henault.
Arielle Tepper Madover and NYCB Executive Director Kathy Brown.
Blair Voltz Clarke, Diana DiMenna, and Wendy Whelan.
Wendy Belzberg, Anne Reingold, Lesley Stahl, and Wednesday Martin.
Anne-Marie Embiricos, Fe Fendi, and Patricia Shiah.
NYCB Ballet Master in Chief Peter Martins and Jock Soto.
Muffie Potter Aston and Caryn Zucker.
Bonnie Strauss and Debra Martin Chase.
Nina Griscom and Amy Astley.
Handbags by event sponsor Eponymous.

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