Love and Drama

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Celebrating the 88th annual Drama League Awards at the Ziegfeld Ballroom.

The 88th annual Drama League Awards, the oldest theatrical honors in the United States, were held at the Ziegfeld Ballroom on Friday, May 20th. While the Drama League Distinguished Performance nominees were lining up for the dais, theater industry VIPs mingled in a celebration hosted by Drama League Board President, Bonnie Comley, Awards Co-chairs, Kirk Iwanowski, and Mary Jain.

It was a Who’s Who of award-winning producers including; James L. Nederlander, John Gore, Stewart F. Lane, Nelle Nugent, Fran Weissler, Nick Scandalios, Andre Bishop, Oskar Eustis, Kevin McCollum, Jill Furman, Chris Harper, Lia Vollack, Barry Grove, Carole Rothman, Sydney Beers, Luigi Caiola, Riki Kane Larimer, Wendy Federman, Stephen Byrd, Doug Denoff, Alia Jones Harvey, Tom Kirdahy, Ken Davenport, Jenna Segal, Jane Bergere, Gabrielle Palitz, Judy Abrams, Kenneth Keaton, Kate Horton, Mara Isaac, Catherine Schreiber, Travis Lemont Ballenger, Margot Astrachan, and Hunter Arnold.

Bonnie Comley speaks at the Drama League Awards.

The VIP reception was followed by the award ceremony hosted by Frank DiLella and honoring Willette Murphy Klausner, Lilieana Blain-Cruz, Hugh Jackman, and Billy Crystal. The ceremony opened with remarks from Bonnie Comley, Executive Director, Bevin Ross, and Artistic Director Gabriel Stelian-Shanks. The awards were a celebration of the return of live theater and the power of the arts to heal and unite. Proceeds from the Drama League Awards go to funding Drama League’s Directors Project. The Directors Project is a mentoring program for early-career stage directors.

To learn more about The Drama League go to

Cece Black, Greg Rohan, and Bonnie Comley.
Brian Curran and Susan Lee.
John Alan Turner, Irene Gandy, Townsend Teague, Bonnie Comley, Mary Jain, Bevin Ross, Paula Kaminsky Davis, Donna Daniels, and Kirk Iwanowski.
L. to r.: Paula Kaminsky Davis; Kirk Owanowski.
Kendra Ware, Ibi Owolabi, Andrew Coopman, Jessica Natalie Smith, Susanna Jaramillo, Emily Hartford, and Nilan Johnson.
Matt K. Schechter and Amy Herman Schechter.
L. to r.: James Blinken and Nicole Rosky; Frank DiLella and Bonnie Comley.
Stewart F. Lane and James L. Nederlander.
Stewart F. Lane, Bonnie Comley, and John Gore.
Susan Lang, Stan Ponte, and Fran Weissler.
L. to r.: Stan Ponte; Nilan Johnson.
Travis Ballenger, Irene Gandy, Judith Abrams, Gabrielle Palitz, and Bonnie Comley.
Willette Murphy Klausner and Manny Klausner.

Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic (PPHP) held its 35th annual East End Benefit this past Saturday night at the oceanfront Bridgehampton Tennis and Surf Club. More than $300,000 was raised in support of PPHP’s health care services, education programs, and advocacy efforts in Suffolk County. Alexis McGill Johnson, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, spoke to the 175 supporters at the event about the threat to safe and legal abortion care and what the national landscape will look like if the leaked Supreme Court draft decision does indeed overturn Roe v. Wade.

Alexis McGill Johnson, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Sandy Perlbinder was awarded the Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic Legacy Award in recognition of her more than 30 years of commitment to helping guarantee access to reproductive care and empowering individuals to determine their own sexual health and reproductive futures.

Guests dined on hors d’oeuvres provided by Robbins Wolfe Eventeurs, and danced to tunes spun by DJ Twilo.

Jeanette Jones, Louise Bergerson (rear), Steven Bergerson, Kyle Bergerson, Claire Bergerson, Janine Buss, and Eric Bergerson.
Idoline Duke, Biddle Duke, and Vincent Russell, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic.
Stephen and Sandy Perlbinder.
Pat and Valerie McCarthy.
Laura Saver and Larry Appel.
Carla Charles, Myra Matos, and Leticia John.
Carol Roaman and Trudy Schlachter.
Vincent Russell and Jacqueline Routh.
Toni Ross and Carol Roaman.
Florence and Richard Fabricant.
Vincent Russell, Sandy Perlbinder, and Alexis McGill Johnson.

Out east at the Southampton History Museum they held a kickoff party in honor of The Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation’s 13th Annual Unconditional Love Gala. Approximately 200 attended The kickoff party which took place. Event chair Jean Shafiroff hosted.

Jean and Martin Shafiroff.

Notable attendees included Chair Jean Shafiroff, Martin Shafiroff, Patricia Deshong, Susan Allen, New York State Assemblywoman Rebecca Seawright, Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman, Southampton Mayor Jess Warren, Henry Buhl, Anthony Buhl, Ava Roosevelt, Pamela Wright, Meg McCartney, James McCartney, Randi Schatz, Robin Leacock, John Barman, Liliana Cavendish, Lucia Hwong Gordon, Tom Edmonds, Mariebelle Lieberman, Margaret Watson, Cathy Comelli, Janna Bullock, Leiba Nesis, Tony Bowles, Paola Bacchini, Ramona Singer, Arnie Rosenshein, Elena Gibbs, Missy Hargraves, T.R. Pescod, Alison Mitchell, Jessica Malkin, Rolise Rachel, Aisha Christian, Fred De’Vito, Elisabeth Halfpapp, Lee Fryd and Beau Hulse. Catering was provided by Claude’s Restaurant at the Southampton Inn.

The Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation’s 13th Annual Unconditional Love Gala will take place on Saturday, July 16th, at an exclusive Gin Lane location in Southampton, NY. The grand soiree aims to be the highlight of this summer season out East. Chaired by Jean Shafiroff, the event will honor William Bratton, former Police Commissioner of New York City and Jonathan McCann, founding President of SASF. The Honorary Chair will be Georgina Bloomberg. The annual event has been the most important fundraiser for the shelter for over a decade.

The fun-filled gala will feature cocktails and a delicious, seated dinner, as well as dancing. In addition, a live and silent auction will help raise much-needed funds for the animals.

Proceeds from this event directly support the more than 5,000 animals who enter our doors each year. The Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is supported exclusively by donations and grants from the community. From caring and finding homes for stray and abandoned animals to providing low-cost veterinary care and dog training so that animals can remain in their homes, the shelter has become a vital resource in our community.

For more information on the 13th Annual Unconditional Love Gala, visit

Lucia Hwong Gordon, Jean Shafiroff, Fred DeVito, and Elizabeth Halfpapp.
Jay Schneiderman and Julie Stone; Meg and James McCartney.
Aisha Christian.
Henry Buhl and Missy Hargraves; Marina Berges and Sofie Gaffino.
Pamela Wright, Luisa Diaz, Ramona Singer, and Patricia Silverstein.
Kelly Graham, John Barman, Liliana Cavendish, Chase Landow, and Richard Swanson.
Gretchen Maull and Alli Mitchell; Janna Bullock.
Patricia Deshong and Beau Hulse.
T.R. Pescod, Suzanne Caldwell, and Bruce Holly.
Julia Nikonopait, Nitin Gambhir, and Elena Ulansky.

Photographs by Richard Lewin (PPHP); Patrick McMullan & Rob Rich (SASF).

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