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Stars Come Out for Adler Benefit

Originally Posted: July 22, 2004

Debbie Tuma

Since it was a benefit for the Stella Adler School in Manhattan, a bevy of well-known actors and entertainers came out to support this famous school last Friday night, at the secluded, wooded Bridgehampton home of Barbara Hearst. Her husband was the nephew of William Randolph Hearst.

During this cocktail party, Barbara Hearst and Ellen Adler, daughter of the famous Stella Adler, gave a moving tribute to the late, great Marlon Brando, one of many former students of this acting school. Some young students at this school also performed a skit from an off-Broadway play. Also attending this event were: Mercedes Ruehl, Roy Scheider and his wife, Brenda Siemer, Kitty Carlisle, Anne Jackson and Eli Wallach, Sidney Lumet, Liz Derringer, former publicist for artist Peter Max, and theatrical producer Patty Watt, whose father, Douglas Watt, was a 40-year drama critic for the Daily News.

"The Stella Adler School has had a great influence in the world of theatre, and so many
great actors have come out of this school," said Roy Scheider. Mercedes Ruehl, who recently did a reading at Guild Hall this summer, said, "I only come out to support the causes I care about, and this is one of them."

Kitty Carlisle and John Wegorzewski

Kitty Carlisle said she was out in the Hamptons visiting the Nederlander family, and that she is involved with her new book, about her life story. "I'm still keeping busy with my new book, and all my causes and charities," she said. "I like to stay busy."

People were calling it the "best display of fireworks" they've ever seen, last Saturday night at Boys and Girls Harbor in the Three Mile Harbor area of Springs. In a tribute to the great fireworks expert and Commissioner of NYC, George Plimpton, who died over the past year, the skies were bursting with vibrant colors and powerful music. Last year was Plimpton's 23rd
and last year emceeing these fireworks, at this summer camp for inner city boys and girls. This year, one of his closest friends, James Lipton, creator of "Inside the Actor's Studio" at the New School for Social Research in Manhattan, emceed the fireworks in his place.

Tony Duke (third from left) wit former campers

"This one is for you, George," he said, as he played some of the late author and publisher's favorite songs, as a background to the pyrotechnics. About a thousand people attended this annual Boys and Girls Harbor event, which has been put on each year by Tony Duke, who founded this camp 67 years ago, and celebrated his 86th birthday last year at the fireworks. "I always wanted to have a camp for these city kids to escape to, out here in the beautiful woods of East Hampton," he said. "Each year, we take about 600 kids out here to enjoy nature and the country. They learn about the environment and how to get along with others."

James Lipton

James Lipton called it a "bittersweet experience," doing the fireworks in Plimpton's
memory. "We all miss him at this event, since he was central to the core of it. We hope this
event will go on in his name."

Felix Grucci, of the famous Long Island fireworks family, said, "All these years we have been doing the fireworks with George, and it is really hard not to see him here this year. He
was such a rare and special person, and he loved fireworks almost as much as we do."

At this year's event, an East Hampton/Manhattan artist, Terry Lewis, designed a special poster commemorating the fireworks over the harbor, which is being sold to raise funds for the camp. "I was thrilled to be selected for this honor, and to give people a remembrance of this
beautiful night," she said.

Last Saturday night, the Parrish Art Museum of Southampton also held their summer bash,
attended as usual by several hundred people.

New restaurants are still cropping up all over the Hamptons, and Jean Luc's new Sag
Harbor edition has been attracting several celebs lately. Spotted there were actor Tony Roberts, who recently appeared in Bay Street's play, "Rough Crossing," and well known artists Eric Fischl and his wife, April Gornick, who live in North Haven. Kathy Russo, widow of the late great Spalding Gray, was also spotted walking down Sag Harbor's Main Street with Janet O'Brien, a well-known local caterer.

One place worth checking out—every other Thursday night, in Water Mill, is the live music
and different performers at Hampton Coffee Company, which has a charming, cozy separate room. At night, this place is equal to any great coffeehouse, reminiscent of the 1960's. A great way to spend a non-alcoholic, and free, fun evening this summer, and into the off-season as well.

This weekend, there are many more great events to attend, including a really hot comedy
night at Gurney's Inn Resort & Spa in Montauk, on Friday. Gurney's is offering a series of
dinner/comedy nights on Fridays this summer, preceded by a filling Italian pasta night buffet,
followed by great comedians coming all the way to Montauk! We hear these comics are as good as any professional stand-ups in Manhattan.

Mojitos will be flowing this Friday night, at a great benefit party for "VH-1 Save The
Music Foundation," called (what else?), "Music & Mojitos." It is being held at the East Hampton home of Jaci and Morris Reid, with guest star, singer "Ashanti." Hosts on the committee include Ron Perelman, Russell and Kimora Lee Simmons, and Star Jones and Al Reynolds.

On Saturday night, many choice parties and benefits are available, between a benefit for
the beautiful, scenic Long House Foundation, managed by well-known textile designer Jack Lenor Larsen, and a big bash for Sag Harbor's Bay Street Theatre, at the Nova's Ark Project in Bridgehampton. There is also a benefit for the Child Development Center of the Hamptons, held at the Siena Spirituality Center in Water Mill.





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