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Dance, Party, Benefit, Relax

Originally Posted: July 12, 2006

Nicole B. Brewer

Albert Maysles, Frances Hayward, and Mike Sucsy at Grey
Gardens. Photo by PatrickMcMullan.com

Filmmaker Albert Maysles who with his brother David trained their cameras on the lives of Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter Edie for the legendary classic documentary Grey Gardens was the guest of honor at a private pre-screening reception and dinner hosted by noted animal welfare supporter Frances Hayward at the fabled estate, Grey Gardens in East Hampton. The reception preceded the sold-out screening of the film at Guild Hall as the inaugural film in its Red Carpet Film Series at the John Drew Theater which features movies by and with celebrated Hamptonites.

To celebrate the film's 30th Anniversary and Albert's 50 years as a filmmaker, noted animal welfare supporter Frances Hayward opened the magnificently restored home (rescued and retuned to its full glory by Ben Bradlee and Sally Quinn) for a pre-screening buffet dinner created by Leif Hope and reception prior to the screening, kicking off Guild Hall's impressive Red Carpet Film Series featuring movies made by and with our neighbors in celebration of their 75th Anniversary.

Appropriately, the crowd was a lively mix of theatrical and social figures. Big Edie and Little Edie, both of whom had aspirations to perform, would have been thrilled at all the directors, producers, actors and writers strolling through the lavishly appointed rooms and lush gardens. Little Edie, known for her dogged perseverance to be a cabaret star, would have approved of this 30 year later recognition of the cult classic now the basis for an already proven hit musical starring Christine Ebersole and Mary Louise Wilson which will move to Broadway this fall. Director of the film version, Mike Sucsy has already cast Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore as the quarrelsome mother-daughter duo. Aperture Books is also putting the final touches on a new tome.

Eva and Bouvier Beale at Grey Gardens. Photo by PatrickMc-

Hayward in a smashing burnt orange chiffon tea dress greeted guests personally at the front door to the fabled manse. Among the first to arrive were Bouvier Beale and wife Eva who had flown in from San Francisco especially for the fete and Len and Sue Sucsy, whose son Mike is directing the film, Len immediately reunioned with fellow Harvard classmate Melville (Mickey) Straus, Chairman of Guild Hall. Also on hand from the arts center were Ruth Appelhof, executive director, Josh Gladstone, artistic director with his wife Kathy Mueth, and James Lawson the whiz behind the Red carpet Film Series, which showcases stars such as Alec Baldwin, Roy Scheider, Tony Walton, Mercedes Ruehl, and Peter Boyle. Famed artist Don Duga presented Ms. Hayward with a saucy watercolor of Little Edie coyly lifting her skirt in front of the house!

Director Harris Yulin arrived straight from rehearsals with his wife actress / director Kristen Lowman accompanied by two great ladies of the American stage, multi Tony Award winners Judith Ivey and the incomparable Elizabeth Wilson. Director of the film version, Michael Sucsy came with parents Sue and Len and sister, Laurel. Scott Frankel who conceived the idea to transform Maysles' film into a musical arrived solo but wasn't so for long as guests crowded to congratulate the young composer

John Halsey, Jane Galasso, and Edie Landeck at Cocktails in
the Garden. Photo by Katrina Lovett

Also on hand Kathy Rayner, Liz Fondaras James and Ellen Marcus, producers Beverley Camhe, Patricia Watt and Rachel Horovitz, Steven Stolman, Brian Farrell, Robert Long, Judge Bernard Jackson and wife Joyce, Andrew Wargo, R. Couri Hay, publisher Dan Rattiner with son David Lion Rattiner, Amy Kane, designer Penny Lieberman, Jenny Mayer, Dr. Julie Ratner, Arlene Epstein, Patrick McMullan, and George Whipple.

Friday night, The Peconic Land Trust hosted "Cocktails in the Garden" in the Shelter Island Gardens. Recently set aside as protected land, the gardens are destined for a long life under the watchful eye of the Land Trust. The plentiful greenery and open space gave the perfect setting for the late afternoon party, as guests looked at the beautiful potted plants and flowers, inspiring new garden ideas for our own homes.

Gavin Zeigler, Kerry Delrose, and Ron Senkirk at Sylvester & Co.
Home. Photo by Katrina Lovett

Garden managers Sean and Erin McLean mingled with guests including John Halsey and Edie Landeck over cocktails including wine tastings from the folks at Martha Clara, and beer from the Southampton Public House, while nibbling on passed hors d'oeuvres, so popular, we saw a few guests following after the platter of delicious lamb skewers after their first taste. Several local celebrities lent their artistic side to decorating several birdhouses up for silent auction.

Over in Amagansett on Saturday afternoon, Sylvester & Co. at Home hosted a reception for artist Joseph Haske and sculptor Gavin Zeigler. Guests and shoppers alike including Jayne Baum and Elizabeth Dowell flowed through the store in a stream as they viewed the ample wooden sculptures scattered around the showroom, and the colorful paintings helping to round out each display. The furniture and accessories made it so that you could easily see the soft pastel paintings in your own home. Despite their size, the wood helped soften the pieces and bring them down to earth, quite literally.

In from her Aspen home, renowned artist Rita Blitt opened a new show of her paintings, sculptures and mixed media works to a packed Ezair Gallery that spilled out to the porch and onto the lawn at Nello's.

Rita Blitt, Colette, and R. Couri Hay at Ezair Gallery. Photo by
John Wegorzewski

A highlight of the exhibition was the film Blitt made in conjunction with the acclaimed choreographer David Parsons, an old pal from Kansas City days, a stunning piece based on and including Blitt's fluid sculptures and dancers from the Parsons Dance Company. David in Southampton for the show will return with his dynamic company for a special engagement at Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center on August 26. Thanks to R. Couri Hay and his team, the very homey gallery became the first stop for many on their way to the Parrish Art Museum Midsummer Gala.

Spotted in the crowd were fashion designer Jackie Rogers, Liz Derringer, Roberta Von Schlossberg, Leonard Barton and Jeffrey Katz who recently opened Bravura down the street, film choreographer David Parsons, Ralph Destino Jr, interior designer Barclay Butera, artist Wanda Murphy, interior designer Richard Mishaan, noted industrial artist and architect Michael Latham, and socialites Cricket and Richard Burns, Melissa Berkelhammer, Alice and Paul Judelson, and Mark Gilbertson.

Channing Daughters Winery once again opened their doors to host the Children's Museum of the East End's Under the Stars Benefit and Auction. Parking was overflowing onto the street and into the sculpture gardens by the time we arrived, but it gave us a chance to admire Walter Channing's towering works of art, and golf carts helped guests to the tents.

Deon Bray and John Silvitz at CMEE. Photo by Katrina Lovett

Under the reception tent, guests including Adeline Neubert, Connie Landis, Katie Brown, and Doris Meister chatted with old friends and made new ones as the intimate cocktail tent was humming with conversation, which made it difficult to hear at times, but the upbeat mood was contagious and kept everyone in good spirits. Celebrating the opening of the museum in October of 2005, the evening had a full evening including dinner, dancing, and a live auction. At the end of the evening, guests parted ways with a gift bag including Boutique Soaps, a neck or hair scarf, and even some summer reading perfect for the beach.

The 14th Annual Empire State Pride Agenda Foundation Hamptons Tea Dance was so sassy and sizzlin' that even the speakers on the dance floor were smoking. Under the get down and boogie guidance of DJ Lady Bunny, this crowd of over 1,000 supporters put on their best dance moves and positively pulsated the tent at the Ark Project in Bridgehampton. Conversation turned from the serious, which side politicians were on concerning the gay marriage issue, to which side of the tent had the cutest bartenders.

Event Co-Chairs Mark Paviluk and Kim Kakerbeck at the Hamp-
tons Tea Dance. Photo by Heather Buchanan

The Event Co-Chairs Joel Isaacs, Kimberly Kakerbeck, Mitchell W. Karsch, Alfredo Paredes, and Mark Paviluk worked with the staff and board of the Empire State Pride Agenda to make this not only the destination for support of equality and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender New Yorkers and their families, but the best energy all-inclusive fun dance party north of the highway. Guests got smart this year and claimed their fabulous T-Shirts from sponsor Ralph Lauren early and tucked them away in their cars at the outset. The energy was so palpable, even the polo ponies (in the field as well as on the shirts) were dancing.

Always one of the most anticipated galas of the season is the Parrish Art Museum's Midsummer Party. This season the interest was fever hot as the evening honored architects Herzog & De Meuron, who unveiled their plans for the new museum.

The party was perfectly scheduled to coincide with the "Encouraging American Artists" exhibit. The large paintings giving ample fuel for conversation as guests viewed pieces both new and familiar, including portraits by Joshua Johnson and John Singleton Copley, local scenes by Edward Hopper, as well as the large painting "The House of Representatives" by Samuel F. B. Morse, taking up a good portion of one of the museum walls. We spotted a few guests moving back and forth in amusement as the eyes on a few of the pictures seemed to follow them across the room.

As expected, when you have major art lovers and collectors as chairs - Deborah Bancroft, Katherina Otto-Bernstein, and Beth Rudin DeWoody - you could bet that the tables would be filled not only with socialites but with artists. And indeed they were with the likes of Chuck Close, Ross Bleckner, Jane Wilson, Donald Lipski, David Salle, Donald Sultan, and Jack Youngerman to name a few.

Bobby Abid with Kathy and Rick Hilton at Parrish Midsummer
Party. Photo by John Wegorzewski

Following the sumptuous dinner by Glorious Foods and the presentations, the junior set came in for dessert and dancing and set the tents rocking. Known as the destination for a young affluent crowd which will even fly in from Europe for the event, this year's Midsummer soiree didn't disappoint. Todd Barrie kept the crowd sweating on the dance floor with just the right mix of Disco, R & B and light Hip Hop.

While the dinner crowd sported couture cocktail dresses for the ladies and the requisite blue Burberry blazer for the gents, the later crowd came in as brightest peacocks, especially the men. Bon vivant actor Donegal Fitzgerald was a riot of hip Lily Pulitzer with a rakish baby blue fedora. Mad cap artist Kevin Berlin went all white with a black muffler in homage perhaps to his new black & white paintings "Slaves to Fashion". Henry Feldman and David Nadal were also White Knights.

Judged hottest by the glamorous gals was hot Indian actor, Bobby Abid who had been dressed by none other than Donna Karan. Check him out at Polo and other hot spots around the Hamptons as he will be sporting the latest looks from DKNY's new menswear collection PURE inspired by the Hamptons.

More party guests included publisher Ian Shapolsky, Polish photographer Katarzyna Makarewicz, and the writer and wine connoisseur Baroness Sheri De Borchgrave. Handsome investment bankers were cruising the room next to CNN reporters and perfectly Bergdorfed Blonde socialites. Numerous cards were exchanged, for business or perhaps for pleasure.

Rosario Dawson and Cygalle Dias at Cain Estate. Photo by Pat-

Sunday was a day for relaxation and what better place than the Jaguar-Cain Estate in the Southampton Hills. The Cygalle Dias brought her Cygalle Healing Spa and set up shop for the day offering reflexology, hot stone massage, manicures, and pedicures. Guests spent the afternoon relaxing at the pool, sipping elegant cocktails, lunching on lobster, chatting with hosts Rosario Dawson and Patrick McMullan, and being pampered by the girls from Cygalle.

Rosario was spending the weekend at the house introducing us to her new project, the Occult Crimes Taskforce comic. It's not to be missed. Rosario arrived in style with transporation provided by Xebra and the Smart Car Americanized by ZAP. The vehicles will continue to be driven locally at other events until Labor Day. ZAP is a fuel efficient vehicle that is stylishly kind to the environment.

Guests received luxurious gift bags with romance body oils and aromatherapy sprays to enjoy after the party. Who might be using these lovely scented beauty aids? We spotted Marjan Mehrkhast, Michael Lewittes, Tony Prophet, Jamie Mulholland, Steve Kasuba, Kenny Goldie, photographer Rob Rich, Vincent De Paul, Jessica Mullin, John and Natasha Martin, Gina Glickman, Mani and Maya, Dave Dynof, Dr. Mark Warfel, Nancy Pearson, Kelly Hosten, Grace Hwang, Regina Cuciniello, Summer Strauch, Rob McKinley, and Bettina Zilkha who had stopped by to relax after a busy weekend.

See you out and about - stay stylish!

Nicole, an award-winning journalist, is Executive Editor & Publisher of Hamptons.com where she focuses on celebrity interviews, fine living and design, social events, fashion and beauty. She lives on the North Fork with her husband, their two daughters, and Bernese Mountain dog, Cooper. www.hamptons.com HamptonsOnline NicoleBBrewer NicoleBBrewer NicoleBBrewer

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