Love is in the air

Featured image
NYCB Executive Director Kathy Brown and NYCB Corps de Ballet Member Ashley Hod (second from right) with Luncheon Co-Chairs Danielle Taubman, Melissa Vlak, Debra Martin Chase, Lauren Duff, and Pauline Reyniak at New York City Ballet's Annual Luncheon.

On Tuesday, February 4, 2020 New York City Ballet hosted what has become a highlight of the City’s social calendar: The Annual Luncheon. Debra Martin Chase, Lauren Duff, Pauline Reyniak, Danielle Taubman, and Melissa Vlak served as the Event Chairs. The afternoon began with on onstage program moderated by Donya Archer Bommer with lively discussion and performance, and panelists including Principal Dancer Taylor Stanley, Bart Cook, Jean Freebury, and Francesca Harper.

Lunch on the Grand Promenade.
Champagne reception hosted by Ruinart.

Immediately following, guests enjoyed a Ruinart Champagne reception and an elegant luncheon on the Promenade of the David H. Koch Theater. More than 530 guests attended including Jennifer Nettles, Charlotte d’Amboise, Jill and Harry Kargman, Maria-Cristina Anzola, Michele Barakett, Maria Calegari, Heather Hawk, Kristin Kennedy Clark, Lela Rose, Hope Rothschild, Lesley Stahl, Tanya Warren, and Brigitte Wertheimer, among others. The event, which raised over $586,000 is a critical source of support for New York City Ballet and its Dancer Wellness Program.

Luncheon Panelists NYCB Principal Dancer Taylor Stanley, Francesca Harper, former NYCB Principal Dancers Maria Calegari and Bart Cook, Jean Freebury, and Moderator Donya Archer Bommer.
Jennifer Nettles with NYCB Soloist Georgina Pazcoguin; Featured 2020 Art Series artist Lauren Redniss with her husband Jody Rosen.
Harry and Jill Kargman with their daughter Sadie.
Carol Perlberger, NYCB Board Member Lesley Stahl, and Barbara Perlmutter.
Heather Georges, Laura McVey, and Monique Cunningham.
Corinne Keller, Erin Scanlon, Charlotte d’Amboise, and Michele Barakett.
Ilona Quasha, Jennifer Pinkos, and Tiffany Moller.
Former NYCB Dancers Deborah Wingert, Heather Hawk, and Tanya Rivero Warren.

Doubles Club held a bevy of Valentine Celebrations where Wendy Carduner greeted members and families from 2 years old to 92 years young. The week began with a Little People’s Valentine Dancing Party on Wednesday, the “Be My Valentine” Luncheon Buffet on Thursday, and the St. Valentine’s Dinner Dance on Friday. Those enjoying the events included: Jeanne and Sasha Leviant, Ainsley Earhardt, Katherine Boulud, Marisa Rose van Bokhorst, Esra Munnell, Edwina Annicelli, Kate Davis, Jane DiFLorio, Tristina Waltz, Karl and Renee Landegger, Tina Flaherty, Susan Nagel, Carolyn Rowley, Briel Smith, and hundreds more.

Tansa Mermerci, Esra Munnell, Suna Vidinli, Gila Daitz, Celine Gulcelik, and Alia Negrin.
Sheila Heslin, Kathleen Noonan, Suzanne Wong, Joanne Adams, Stephanie Hamburger, Sandra Smith, and Dee Dee Scarborough.
L. to r.: Jeanne and Sasha Leviant; Kelly Silfen, Talene Baroyan, and Nathalie Tirado.
Charlie Sloan, Erin O’Callahan, Shelene Rowe, and Stephanie Hessler.
Marisa Rose van Bokhorst, Juliana Jereissati, Juliana Overmeer, and friend.
Susanna Rose, Lucy Doswell, and Sana Clegg.
Wendy Carduner.
Sandy Santi, John Santi, Tina Flaherty, Regina Milner, and Mackenzie Matsuo.
L. to r.: Katherine Boulud; Kendell Lay and Mimi Crawford.
Mora Ricardo, Kelly Morat, Peter Sotos, and M.R. Sotos.
Laurie Bradbury, Virginia Gallagan, Amy Pack, and Caroline Boggess.
Briell Smith and John Visser.
Ken Cohen, Joy Cohen, and Andrew Reed.
Edwina Early Annicelli, Jill Davis, Kate Davis, Nancy Sipp, Hobby Coudert, Jane DeFlorio, Aryn Lapenta, and Tristana Waltz.
Ainsley Earhardt.
Colleen Tanjeloff and Laura Constantiner.
John McKinney, Kristin McKinney, Tim Buckley, Susan Buckley, Beth Vanderslice, Peter Vanderslice, Kim Murphy, Chris Massaro, Pamela Iacono, and Jim Walsh.
Karl Landegger, Renee Landegger, Katharina Nourry, and Olivier Nourry.
Veronique Bich, Antonia Milonas, Sana Sabbagh, Spiros Milonas, Shayne Doty, and Elbrun Kimmelman.

On January 31, 2020, Theatre Forward presented its 17th Annual Broadway Roundtable at UBS, 1285 Avenue of the Americas, focused on the question, “How Does Theatre Mirror Society?” with Broadway luminaries Blair Underwood, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Jacob G. Padrón, Lois Smith and Jack Viertel and moderated by Theatre Forward Executive Director Bruce E. Whitacre. Special thanks to Gregory S. Hurst, UBS and Theatre Forward Board of Directors, for hosting the panel at UBS.

Panelists shared their perspectives on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion through an open dialogue on opportunity, access, education and social justice.

Gregory S. Hurst.

Theatre Forward’s 17th Annual Broadway Roundtable explored the Broadway landscape with Blair Underwood, Emmy winner and two-time Golden Globe nominee, actor, director and producer of film, television and theatre and star of A Soldier’s Play; Celia Keenan-Bolger, Tony Award-winning actress, most recently in To Kill A MockingbirdJacob G. Padrón, Artistic Director of Long Wharf Theatre, Founder and Artistic Director of The Sol Project; Lois Smith, award-winning actress currently in The Inheritance; and Jack Viertel, senior vice president of Jujamcyn Theaters.

Jacob G. Padrón and Lois Smith.
Bruce E. Whitacre, Celia Keenan-Bolger, and Blair Underwood.
Celia Keenan-Bolger, Blair Underwood, Jacob G. Padrón, and Lois Smith.

Theatre Forward is a non-profit arts organization, based in New York City, that supports a network of 19 prominent regional theatres in an effort to enrich communities and make theatre accessible to all.  Theatre Forward helps drive education and community programs that fuel positive social change and engagement. For more information, visit

Lois Smith.
Blair Underwood.
Jacob G. Padrón.
Celia Keenan-Bolger.
Jack Viertel.
Jack Viertel, Gregory S. Hurst, Blair Underwood, Lois Smith, Celia Keenan-Bolger, and Jacob G. Padrón.

Photography by Erin Baiano (NYC Ballet); Annie Watt (Doubles); Russ Rowland (Theatre Forward).

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