Thursday, April 7, 2016

Better pass boldly into that other world

Foraging in Central Park. 3:00 PM. Photo: JH.
Thursday, April 7, 2016. Sunshine, chilly, in the mid-forties.

We had an outpouring of condolences yesterday about John Foreman, author of our weekly “Big Old Houses,” who died on Monday night. All of them have been forwarded on to his daughter Jasmine (Jazzy) Foreman Kozero. John’s style and knowledge made a lot of friends for him – some of whom he met and others whom he never heard from. We’re hearing from them now.

John wasn’t ego-ridden unlike many of us in the creative/self-expressive trades. He cared deeply about his work because it was his passion. His self-respect reflected it. Reading the messages coming in expressing sadness, regret and disappointment (that he will not be writing more of his wonderful pieces), I could only think how humbled he would have felt knowing those thoughts about him. That is the ultimate prize for any writer; the greatest honor is the reader’s interest, pleasure and satisfaction that he or she has provided. John achieved that.
The calendar is chockfull now. Monday night we missed the reading at the American Irish Historical Society on Fifth Avenue and 80th Street of an adaptation of James Joyce’s story, "The Dead, 1904," with a reading by Kate Burton and John Slattery.

Jesse Kornbluth attended and filed this report:

John Slattery and Kate Burton.
When the “The Dead, 1904” opens in November, this might be a harder ticket to get than “Hamilton.” And not because the play is a beloved revival starring a Hollywood god in a limited run. This is a James Joyce story, adapted by the Irish poet and New Yorker poetry editor Paul Muldoon. But only 40 people can see it at a time and it will only be staged for 50 nights — this will be an “immersive” experience, with the American Irish Historical Society on Fifth Avenue standing in for the Dublin house where Joyce set his story. The audience will move from room to room with the actors, and then a Joyce-inspired meal will be served. 

At the preview on Monday night, there wasn’t an empty seat — Muldoon and his wife, Jean Hanff Korelitz, a novelist whose book became the Tina Fey movie “Admission,” are literary A-listers, and the A-list knew this was the place to be. Muldoon had recently led a two-hour seminar on Joyce’s story. For his introduction here, five minutes sufficed: “The Dead” is really a simple story. A long-married man discovers that his wife had a rich romantic experience before she met him, and this epiphany forces him to rethink his marriage.

The scene at the preview began with Ciaran Sheehan singing an old song that reminds the wife of her long dead lover. Kate Burton was the tormented wife, with John Slattery as the husband who hopes for a thrilling night only to find that all his wife wants to do in bed is hide. Left alone, he understands that he is, like all replacements, no improvement on a dead lover. “Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion,” he concludes, “than fade and wither dismally with age.” 

It was just a reading, only briefly rehearsed and lightly directed by Ciaran O’Reilly, but the silence when Slattery finished was like the silence in Dublin on the snowy night of the story. The applause that followed was Hamiltonian. (For more information:
Paul Muldoon, Jean Hanff Korelitz, and Ciaran O'Reilly.
More Catching Up. Two weeks ago on March 24th, Le Cirque’s Marco Maccioni and Florence Academy of Art founder Daniel Graves hosted an intimate Tuscan dinner prepared by new chef Massimo Bebber. Tony Bennett was the evening’s special guest. The occasion was to honor the fine arts tradition of Italy and celebrate the Academy’s new building initiative, a monumental building project bringing together the school’s multiple studio buildings under one roof making a considerable contribution to five hundred years of cultural history to the city that birthed the Renaissance. The school was started in 1991 by the American painter Daniel Graves. Mr. Graves was present as were photographers Sante D'Orazio and Wayne Maser, Margaret Hedberg of the International Debutante Ball, Mario Maccioni of Le Cirque, journaliste Glenn O'Brien, Tarra Bandet and Richard Massey, Yassaa Crooizat-Glazer, Amra and Tamer El-Rayess, Nicolas Foscari, Joshua Glazer, Laura Grenning, Elizabeth and Frank Ingrassia, Lisa Lourie, Sabrina Marccioni, Flavia Masson, Daniel Solari and Helen and Tim Schifter
Elizabeth Ingrassia, Tony Bennett, and Frank Ingrassia.
Flavia Masson and Daniel Solari.
Marco Maccioni, Massimo Bebber, and Tony Bennett.
Wayne Maser, Susan Tintori, and Sciascia Gambaccini.
Tamer and Amra El-Rayess.
Laura Grenning, Susan Benedetto, Tony Bennett, Daniel Graves, and Susan Tintori.
Helen Schifter.
Gregory Hedberg, Margaret Hedberg, Tarra Bandet, and Richard Massey.
Sabrina Maccioni.
Marc Rosen has written a memoir that was published two weeks ago. “Rubbing Shoulders; My Life with Popes, Princes, Moguls, and Movie Stars.” Last week, the end of the Season, Marc was being feted across the island by the Palm Beach Who's Who with book signings, dinners, and an interview at The Four Arts.

On a Sunday, Sharon Sondes and Geoffrey Thomas gave a dinner for Marc and his wife Arlene Dahl at their house. On a Thursday evening Michael James hosted a book signing at The Silver Fund on Worth Avenue. Among the guests: Eles Gillet, Ambassador Ed Elson and Susie Elson, Kit Pannill and Talbott Maxey, Grace Meigher, Mai Harrison, Mark Ackermann, Catherine Saxton. Afterwards there was a dinner for Marc given by Susan Lloyd.
Marc Rosen signing copies of “Rubbing Shoulders; My Life with Popes, Princes, Moguls, and Movie Stars." Click to order.
Lars Bolander, Maria Lutsevring, Hans Hultgren, and Nadine Kalachnikoff.
Susan Lloyd and Catherine Saxton.
Dusty and Johnny Dodge.
Douglas Rae and Sally Ann Howes. Pamela Phillips and Cynthia Maltese.
Gigi Benson and Countess Sharon Sondes.
Sydell Miller and Countess Mona de Sayve. Pamela Fiori.
Cesare Barro, Countess Sharon Sondes, Massimo Leonardelli, Lucia Magnani, Roberta Farinola, Geoffrey Thomas, and Mary Mahoney.
Lucia Magnani and Massimo Leonardelli Regine Traulson and Bill Diamond.
Luc Churchill, Harry Benson, and Kate Khosrovani.
Mai Hallingby Harrison, Count Nicolas de Sayve, and Cornelia Ercklentz . Carla Mann and Nancy Tsai.

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