Peggy Siegal produces her 75th!

Featured image
Cristina Cuomo, Sara Ayres, Kitty Sherrill, Peggy Siegal, Ariadne Platero, and Renee Rockefeller at Peggy's 75th birthday lunch at Bamboo Southampton.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022. After occasional heavy rains and returning sunshine, yesterday was a muggy day in Manhattan in the middle of the good ole summertime: heat for free.

Peggy Siegal’s birthday parties. For those unfamiliar with the name, Peggy Siegal is famous in New York in prominent social circles as well as the entertainment business, and she’s famous out there in Hollywood in film production circles. She’s a longtime film publicist, well-known to many non-pros also because she stages screenings for new films here in New York. A Peggy Siegal film screening also might come with a dinner invitation post-screening, as a kind of celebration of the finished product. By invitation only, of course.

I’ve known Peggy for about 35 years. Never close or well, but between my curiosity, and her reputation with others, and my own experience of her, I see we have a literary character on our hands. There’s a better word for it because she is very talented, and has been very successful in her now long career.

She’s a real pro in terms of getting things done and right for the client — which in her case for years has been the motion picture industry. For decades she’s been Hollywood’s go-to in New York for getting the word out. She is also a woman whose career has always been marked with controversy — usually related to her personality on the job. I mean “on the job” because “off” the job, on the day to day she’s a great, accomplished hostess well aware of the ins and outs to creating a successful dinner, or in this case a luncheon, and with a wide variety of devoted friends.

Peggy at her 60th birthday bash where she handed out a booklet which contained a list of all her medical secrets.

Originally, her 75th birthday gathering was to be this past Sunday. She’s one of those girls/women who loves her work. Her work is her life and this birthday luncheon that she organized and staged for herself is another example. This is not the first time she’s “staged” a birthday luncheon. She’s staged dinners honoring her age — at 50, at 60, at 70 and now at 75. I remember the 60th. I remember first thinking she didn’t look 60. She’s also got a lot of the indefatigable in her but her adult/youth quality was there and still is.

There were two parties; lunch and dinner, different lists.

Originally the luncheon was to be held at the home of Shahrzad Khayami in Southampton with nine other hostesses: Sara Ayres, Tory Burch, Cristina Cuomo, Jeanne Greenberg, Gigi Mortimer, Perri Peltz, Ariadne Platero, Rene Rockefeller and Kitty Sherrill.

The hosts were The Tennis Girls who have been playing every Sunday in the summer in Southampton for the past 20 years. Peggy is the oldest (she said) and the organizer. They have “two rules” — you have to wear white on the court (it’s a fashion thing) and you CANNOT SAY UNKIND WORDS ABOUT ANYONE. That, Peggy said, is what has kept them together for 20 years.

The original birthday invite.

They have a pro — Marko the “Croatian Sensation” who gives them playing lessons every week, and as a result the girls are beautiful players. Or so I’ve been told. The rule is if you hit an uncontrollable ball at the net and accidentally smash any part of your opponent’s face, especially if the ball lands on a body part that has already been fixed, you have to pay to replace that body part. It is called “You Break It, You Buy” rule.

Their spiritual leader is Billie Jean King whose birthday present to Peggy is a dinner in New York with the TENNIS GIRLS.

Bamboo Southampton to the rescue!

Back to the original luncheon plans: After the plans were set, Mrs. Khayami took a trip to Paris where she got Covid. When she returned, she had to drop out for obvious reasons.

However, the cancellation for the first lunch required a replacement in the birthday girl’s eyes. She’d hoped to invite 50 or 60 to a luncheon at a popular restaurant in the area. When she inquired about the possibility with the number, she got a quote from one restaurant of $50,000!

That was far, far beyond her checkbook. She tried to bargain; they came down to $35,000. But. Reality set in. Starting over she found most of the restaurants out there are full to the brim with reservations on any weekend. No room for birthday parties of 50 or 60.

So Peggy decided to walk the streets of the business section of Southampton where she came upon Bamboo, a Japanese restaurant on Job’s Lane. It was dark, but inside she learned that was because they just weren’t open for lunch. But … Could they? Would they? Yes, for $35 a head. Sold!

Bamboo ready to receive guests.
Guests settling in …That is Euan Reillie with his arm around Peggy who is talking to Jackie Williams.
The birthday lunch in motion.

This past Saturday. She invited 75 women and three or four men friends. The guest list defined the quality of the occasion. The Who’s-Who, as it were, of the Hamptons women, as well as some weekend visitors. The hostess with the mostest was in awe of the turnout; all happy to be a part of it. A great gift for the birthday girl.

L. to r.: Sophie Elgort; Jennifer Maguire Isham and Kitty Sherrill.
Perri Peltz, Anjali Melwani, and Kitty Sherrill.
L. to r.: Bettina Zilkha; Jackie Williams.
Kara Ross and Paula Zahn.
Anjali Melwani, Peggy, and Ariadne Platero.
L. to r.: Caroline Dean; Clelia Zacharias and Caryn Zucker.
Kitty Sherrill.
L. to r.: Liz Lange; Elizabeth Callender.
Amanda Taylor.
L. to r.:  Patricia Duff; Tiffany Dubin, Jim Coleman, and Gabrielle Bacon.
Alex Kuczynski.
Audrey Gruss, Gale Hayman, and Duane Hampton.
Lorinda Ash and Tiffany Dubin.
Jackie Williams, Mario Platero, and Peggy.
L. to r.:  Marci Warren; Scott Currie.
Lorinda Ash and Jim Coleman.
Patricia Duff, Gale Hayman, Ilyse Wilpon, Bettina Zilkha, and Lorinda Ash.
Peggy with Anne Chaisson.
Amanda Taylor and Jennifer Maguire Isham.
L. to r.: Dayssi Kanavos; Cristina Cuomo and Alina Cho.
Ros L’Esperance and Sara Ayres.
Peggy, Gigi Grimstad, Marci Warren, and Alexia Hamm.
L. to r.: Lisa Jackson, Caryn Zucker, and Tracy Snyder; Vicky Ward.
Lisa Jackson, Amanda Taylor, and Daisy Prince.
Peggy giving her birthday speech and thanking her co-hosts and dear friends.
Peggy with Michael Gluckman, owner of BAMBOO.
Cristina Cuomo, Ann Chaisson, and Alina Cho.
Euan Rellie.
Cristina Cuomo.
Gabrielle Bacon.
The cake.

Peggy Siegal’s 75th Birthday Party
Bamboo Restaurant, 76C Jobs Lane, Southampton
Saturday, July 16, 2022Lorinda Ash
Sara Ayres
Gabrielle Bacon
Elizabeth Callender
Anne Chaisson
Alina Cho
Jim Coleman
Joanna Coles
Jennifer Creel
Cristina Cuomo
Scott Curie
Caroline Dean
Tiffany Dubin
Patricia Duff
Sophie Elgort
Lise Evans
Gigi Grimstad
Karen Groos
Audrey Gruss
Duane Hampton
Gale Hayman
Lisa Jackson
Dayssi Kanavos
Paul Kanavos
Tena Kavanaugh
Alex Kuczynski
Ros L’Esperance
Jennifer Maguire
Anjali Melwani
Gigi Mortimer
Kelly O’Connor
Ariadne Platero
Daisy Prince
Renee Rockefeller
Kara Ross
Kitty Sherrill
Peggy Siegal
Tracy Snyder
Lucy Sykes
Euan Rellie
Amanda Taylor
Nina Train
Vicky Ward
Marcy Warren
Jackie Williams III
Ilyse Wilpon
Clelia Zacharias
Paula Zahn
Caryn ZuckerDrop By:Derek Blasberg
Liz Lange
Vincent Minuto
Margo Nederlander
Mario Platero
Perri Peltz
John Radziwill
David Schiffman
Bettina Zilkha

Then on Sunday evening, there was the party on the original list which hosted by a longtime friend at her house on the beach. The line on the invitation: “A Lifetime of Survival, Stamina, Longevity and a Lot of Laughs.”

There were 50 guests. The hostess of the dinner is also brilliant at the task of entertaining, and it was a beautiful evening in a tent by the water a great tribute to the birthday girl. Peggy was in awe.

“75” candles.

Most of the guests on this list consisted of people she’s known for decades.  She met Blyth Danner 40 years ago while she was working on Danner husband Bruce’s directorial debut in 1982, A Little Sex). John Alexander, the artists  and his wife Fiona (30 years); Annette Tapert Allen (40 years) and Joe Allen; Martha Stewart (30 years); Bob Balaban and wife Lyn Grossman (40 years); Bob Colacello (going back 40 years to when he was editor of Interview); Ross Bleckner (30 years) who gave her a painting for a birthday present (she had to promise not to sell it); Adam Lindemann (30 years) and Amalia Dayan; Stefano Tonchi (30 years) and David Maupin; Chuck Scarborough (40 years) and Ellen Ward; Wendy Stark (40 years); Kathryn Bryan; Ariadne and Marion Platero (20 years). She is a Tennis girl and the best player according to Peggy; Sara Ayres, Tennis Girl; Chris Isham and wife Jennifer Maguire (40 years); Nan BushBruce Weber was on a shoot (30-40 years); Gillian Tett, Managing Editor of FT; Clifford Ross (40 years); Catie Marron (25 years); Ingrid and Tom Edelman; Andre Bishop and Robert Gerber; Frank DiLella on NY1 who  reports about theater; Tom Hill and Janine; Jeffrey Seller — producer of Hamilton, RENT, In the Heights, and AVENUE Q (20 years); Peter Smith and his wife Maily Smith (he was Peg’s friend since her Freshman year at Syracuse when she was 18 and he was a first year law student!); Fran and Ros L’Esperance (30 years) — his father was Peggy’s eye doctor.

Photographs by Richard Lewin.

Recent Posts