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Cocktail Parties and Gala Affairs

Originally Posted: August 30, 2007

Nicole B. Brewer

Once again the flags bearing the Hearst family crest were flying from the yardarm in welcome as John Randolph Hearst, Bunky to his pals, hosted a poolside cocktail party to support his dear friends Ellen Adler and her son Tom Oppenheim, President and Artistic Director of the acclaimed Stella Adler Studio of Acting, which his late grandmother founded. As always with any party connected to The Studio, the guest list was top loaded with award winning actors, directors, writers and artists of every stripe. If you lined up all their combined Oscars, Tonys, Emmys, art and literary prizes it would stretch all the way to Montauk.

Debra Wasser and Tom Oppenheim at the Hearst residence for a cocktail party to
support the Stella Adler Studio. Photo by John Wegorzewski

Bunky Hearst, looking relaxed and actually quite tickled to be the affable host despite his recent illnesses, held court in a shaded area overlooking his prized orchards brimming with peaches, apples and pears and offering one of the East End's most bucolic views. A longtime supporter of The Studio, Bunky provided Tom Oppenheim with the perfect platform to speak about The Studio's amazingly successful Teen Outreach Program which provides free actor training to inner city teens and the upcoming Harold Clurman Festival of the Arts September 12 - 14.

Joining him in urging support for the Studio were Brenda Siemer Scheider, filling in for her husband Roy Scheider, vice chairman of the Studio who was in Poland filming, newly elected board member Holland Taylor currently starring in the hit TV series "Two and Men," the brilliant director Sidney Lumet, and most touchingly two young girls from the Outreach Program Alison Pabon and Laura Guzman who brought tears to many eyes with her grateful speech at having the chance to fulfill her dream of an acting career.

Swirling around poolside were Bay Street Theatre co-founder Sybil Christopher, Tony award winner Joanna Gleason, artists Julie Keyes, Howard Kanovitz and Paul Davis with his wife Myrna, Bob Roberts and Lauren Day, British film director Anthony Harvey, playwright Joe Pintauro, Kitty Loving, Elizabeth Fasolino, Rusty Unger, Steve Ernst, Bill Fuhs, Jacquelin Murphy-Stahl, Harris Yulin and wife Kristen Lowman, Jamie de Roy, Debra and Greg Wasser, and Studio board member Donna Soloway.

Saturday dawned hot and bright but as the afternoon came to a close the fog rolled in and the night cooled off considerably. The setting was perfectly staged for Evidence, A Dance Company's annual summer fete, On Our Toes, held at Novak's Ark in Bridgehampton. Chairwoman Joyce Mullins-Jackson looked like a confection in a pink and lavender summer cocktail dress and guest Danny Glover was Caribbean cool in linen.

Danny Glover, Renee Syler, Susan Taylor, Joyce Mullins-Jackson, and Reginald Van
Lee at On Our Toes for Evidence, A Dance Company. Photo by Kurt Leggard

Before the powerful performance began guests including NBC anchor Maurice DuBois, celebrity insider Flo Anthony, Nancy Armand and Reginald Canal of HSBC Premier (the evenings' sponsor), Renee Syler, designer B. Michael, Susan Taylor, and Loida Lewis all had a chance to mingle and sip champagne. Conversation was quickly on the topic of the fabulous gift basket up for raffle that included jewelry and spa products with a price tag of over $8700.

The performance began with Ronald K. Brown's newest composition - Ife. The moving one-man dance was soul searching and dramatic. Guests felt as if he was dancing for them alone and the crowd faded away it was so mesmerizing. After a rousing applause the company began their signature piece - Grace. Each movement of the dance was executed with emotion and great artistry. For those of us who had seen the piece before we noted that it seems somehow more evocative this evening out in the field under a simple tent. Kudos to all of the dancers on their hard works and fabulous performance.

The Southampton Historical Museum and Research Center held its annual Late Summer Cocktail Party on the sprawling lawns of the landmark Rogers Mansion. The Greek revival-style mansion built for whaling Captain Albert Rogers in 1843 sports a special feature that defines it on the village skyline, a belvedere (sometimes called a widow's watch) on the top of the roof which was a popular feature on many whaling Captain's homes and reminds one of the village's seafaring history.

John and Anne Rachel with Congressman Tim Bishop at Southampton Historical
Museum Summer Party. Photo by John Wegorzewski

A favorite event among longtime village residents, the lawn party is always well supported by its trustees and staff who turn out en masse to proudly show off the cultural gem. On hand Saturday evening was Board President Harry Hackett and his wife Barbara, and trustees Anne Bishop Rachel, Gerald Adams, Julia Vance Carter, Pam Jackson Jones, Catherine Milligan, Dennis Schmidt, and Jackie Scerbinski.

The festive party featured dancing on the lawn to jazz band Charles & Company and savory treats donated by local restaurants. Enjoying the late afternoon fete, while helping to support the Museum's school education programs were Anthony and Calla Clay, Joanne and Tom White, Jim McFarlane, Congressman Tim Bishop, Joy Cordery, Janet Macri, Zita Davisson, Gary Lawrance, Don and Maureen Hill, Mary Devers, Suzanne Ramos, Suzanne Obser, and Charlene Maloney.

With over 1700 fans in attendance, the final concert of the Hamptos SOCIAL @ Ross concert series came to a smashing close with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Celebrity chef Tom Colicchio, of Craft and 'Witchcraft in NYC and famously of Bravo's hit show "Top Chef", brought out the big guns for the event. Guests dined on Craftsteak and sandwiches from 'Witchcraft as well as other seasonal delights from event caterer Robbins Wolfe Eventuers.

Tom Petty performed for the celebrity-packed audience at the final Hampton SOCIAL
@ Ross concert. Photo by Rob Rich www.hamptonscene.com

As Tom Petty thrilled the masses with his guitar work we spied Sir Paul McCartney, Jimmy Buffett, Mischa Barton, Kelly Killoren Bensimon, Will Arnett, Amy Poehler, Beth Ostrosky and Howard Stern, Katie Lee Joel, Christie Brinkley, Christy Turlington and Ed Burns, Renee Zellweger, Cary Lowell and Richard Gere, John Legend, Greg Bello, and Ron Perelman in the crowd. The usual white tents were swathed in snakeskin, wire mesh, aluminum sculptures, and red lights complementing the smoky nightclub atmosphere more typical to a Heartbreakers concert.

Up in the North Woods of East Hampton at the Stone Meadow Farm Estate, currently listed for sale with Gary DeParsia of The Corcoran Group, The Suffolk County Chapter of The Red Cross hosted an Evening of Luxury with extraordinary displays of ultra luxe - and ultra desirable - fantasy items such as a gleaming Aston Martin V8 Vantage Roadster which was unveiled at the party. Star Room owner Charles Ferri was unable to pull his eyes away from the elegant automobile - as were most.

Throughout the tent on the beautiful estate there were dozens of tempting offerings from some of the top international and local purveyors of luxury goods. Gorgeous models sported dazzling diamonds from the fabled house of Chopard. And everywhere you looked there were stately Bentleys and elegant sleek Lamborghinis. As well, there were quite a few of our favorite East End shops including London Jewelers, Polo Ralph Lauren, Ananas Spa, and our absolutely best spot for guilty pleasures Blue Duck Bakery - their three berry tarts are sinfully luxurious!

Gary DePersia and Dianne Amaroso at and Evening of Luxury for the Red Cross.
Photo by Rob Rich www.hamptonscene.com

With the help of such wonderful local restaurants as Alison's, Citarella, Almond, The Lodge, and The Golden Pear, there were plenty of small pleasures to nibble on while sipping the latest offerings from Wolffer Estates, Osprey's Dominion, Martha Clara Vineyards, and Laurel Lake.

Soaking up the luxe atmosphere were Joni and Christopher Fischer - the Cashmere Queen and King, publisher Stanley Harris and his lovely wife Alice author of such popular books as "The Wedding Album" and "The Tee Shirt Book", the dynamic Sara Herbert Galloway who's always behind a great cause, Hamptons.com's Gina Glickman, Ricky Sitomer, and Mike Todd.

Then it was off to East Hampton for the 5th Anniversary Celebration Dinner of Fighting Chance. After visiting the new free-of-charge cancer counseling and resource center a few months back when they celebrated the ribbon cutting for their new location in Sag Harbor, we were excited to stop by and lend our support to the cause.

Kevin Salyers, Lannie Cornett and Lisa Reberti at Fighting Chance. Photo by Katrina

Founder Duncan Darrow welcomed guests with the gracious hosts of the evening - Rick and Sue Davies, ushering them through to the sprawling back yard for the summer themed bash. The porch and bar, backlit from the house as the sun set, made for cozy conversation as guests wandered in to check the silent auction items inside. Items included golf packages at The National Golf Links of America in Southampton, a sunset picnic cruise on a 36-foot boat, a gift basket of goodies from Loaves and Fishes, and a bangle from Tiffany & Co. that had the ladies bidding eagerly while wondering what was hiding inside the telltale Tiffany Blue box.

Back in the yard, the stepped lawn provided the perfect space for the event as the first plateau of lawn was decked to the nines with tables for the summer fare including a dessert of strawberry shortcake to reminisce on the fleeting remaining weeks of summer. A few more steps down, and the lawn opened up and provided ample room for another bar and space for guests including Wendy Moonan, Lorraine Dusky, Ed Tirrell, Diane Sjoholm, Cindy Grant, and Cheryl Mercer to chat before settling down for dinner. After our fill of food and conversation, we almost didn't want to leave, and the humidity swollen screen door at the front of the house didn't want to budge tempting us to stay longer, but with the help of some handsome borrowed muscle, we made our way out.

Making the quantum leap from soft jazz to rocking, rip roaring, blow the roof off, big brass sound, we joined the 300+ crowd of young art and music aficionados for The Project's last event of summer, Nightbeat at the Parrish Art Museum.

Jessica Ferrari, Rachel and Michael Collins at The Project at The Parrish Art Museum.
Photo by John Wegorzewski

The scene on the Parrish green was a heady mixture - Studio 54 meets New Orleans Mardi Gras! Jessica Ferrari, Jackie Pizza and their corps of creative volunteers offered an evening that was intoxicating to the senses visually and aurally. Vibrantly colored costumed buskers, baton twirlers, Hula Hoop swingers, Samba dancers, gyrating woodland sprites on pedestals all shaking to the pulsating groove of The Hungry March Band, some 20 plus Brooklyn based musicians and performers that put a capital "P" in Party!

Given the uneven weather patterns, organizers wisely decided to tent the lawn, a great move that allowed participating artists and designers the opportunity to transform the space into an acid trippy mylar and sequined fantasy land. The energy rivaled that of the hottest clubs on the scene with sweating dancers caught up in the infectious frenzy generated by The Hungry March Band.

As always, there were a number of eye popping sculptures and installations by some of our most prolific and talented young artists including a soaring wing like sculpture by Cal Thompson and pieces by Leonardo. The Project, first launched last summer, began a mission to incorporate the younger set into the Museum's life and have done so brilliantly bringing thousands of new friends to The Parrish. Can't wait to see what they have up their sleeves for next year!

Squeezing out the last bit of partying outdoors were Rachel and Michael Collins, Heather Black, Ian Wright, Julie and Alexander Hargrave, Rodney Smith, Breana Fedele, and as the summer Sprites Alissa Smith, Leslie Steiger, and Samantha Malone.

Real estate magnate turned budding super star chef Andrew Borrok opened up his extraordinary Water Mill estate to host a special launch party for his friend Lorraine Bracco's new rose' wine Rosato, from Salento, Italy, the ninth wine under her Bracco Wines label. A very lucky group of invited guests gathered around Borrok's stunning infinity pool with its tranquil waters dyed pink to match the refreshing new summer cooler and hors d'oeuvres prepared by the chef himself who's more likely to be reading Julia Child then the Wall Street Journal these days. In an extra tip of the hat to his Sopranos star pal, Andrew used Bracco's extra virgin olive oil for his dishes. Paging Rachael Ray!

Lorraine Bracco and Andrew Borrok in Water Mill to launch Bracco Wine's new Rose.
Photo by Rob Rich www.hamptonscene.com

Lorraine developed her taste for fine wines during 10 years spent as a fashion model living in France and traveling throughout Europe. In 2005, she founded Bracco Wines, partnering with Paul Davis of Maison Jomere to import a hand selected group of Italian wines to the United States

Borrok's home a 20,000-square-foot stately, neoclassical dwelling with three kitchens was built in 2005. While he made his fortune in real estate, recently selling 14 Penn Plaza in Manhattan for a cool $350 million, Borrok is an accomplished chef who now hopes to focus on his culinary career.

His co-hosts for the afternoon tasting included several real estate power players from the Corcoran Group, including Corcoran's president and chief executive officer Pamela Liebman, marketing strategist Neal Sroka, who heads Corcoran's Sroka Group, and Robby Browne, Corcoran senior vice president and one of the company's top agents in New York City.

Among the chosen delighting in Lorraine's new wine and Andrew's culinary wizardry were Kedakai and James Lipton, Stella Keitel, Biba Boutique owner Barbara Blatt, Beverly Camhe, Allison Stanley, Dr. Howard Sobel, Gwen Bokine, Emanuel Sylvano, Mark Murray, and Lorraine's brother Sal Bracco.

Sam and Marlena Gershowitz who just moved into their magnificent new home on Halsey Neck Lane hosted their first major event one that had a very special significance for the couple, the Sixth Annual Benefit Dinner and Silent Auction to benefit Chabod of Southampton Jewish Center the first synagogue in historic Southampton village.

Honorees Sam Gershowitz and Vered at the Sixth Annual Benefit Dinner and Silent
Auction to benefit Chabod of Southampton Jewish Center. Photo by John Wegorzewski

Longtime supporters of Chabod, the Gershowitz', along with Rabbi Rafe and Chani Konikov, welcomed some 400 guests for a lovely dinner on the gentle slopes of their 6+ acre estate. The evening was historic as this year the congregation celebrated the Sefer Torah completion ceremony with a procession down Hill Street for the dedication, a most welcome event for the Jewish community of Southampton.

In addition to a special tribute to the Gershowitz family, the event was also the opportunity to honor several distinguished community and business leaders who have been integral to Chabod of Southampton's growth: Suri Kasirer and Bruce Teitelbaum, Cheryl and Y. David Scharf, and Candice Beaumont.

A highlight of the evening was an enormous silent auction of such luxury goodies as cashmere blankets from Ralph Lauren, Radu Gym Memberships, bags from Elie Tahari and Carlos Falchi, Ranger Tickets and a number of vacation packages. Auction committee members Blossom Gluck, Thea Lorber, Eleanor Wohl among others helped insure the event's success.

Among the many old friends - and new - were Caroline Lieberman, Anne Easton, George and Amy Kane, Vered, and candidates Sandra Dunn and Jim Henry came out for the day.

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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