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Love Those Mid-Winter Parties

Originally Posted: February 13, 2008

Nicole B. Brewer
Edward Callaghan

  |   3 Comments · Print Article
Get your party clothes ready, benefit season in the Hamptons is about to begin again!

This past Thursday, the Love, Life, and Lingerie Fashion Show to benefit the South Fork Breast Health Coalition at the Southampton Publick House had the place shaking and steaming during the mid-winter chill. Always a fun event, the night celebrated the lives of two women in particular, Laura Gilmartin and Carol Zuhusky, Coalition volunteers who recently lost their battle with the dreaded disease.

Dr. James Brady with partner Diane Sjoholm at the Love, Life, and Lingerie Fashion
Show. Photo by Kurt Leggard

As in past years Susie Barry Roden and Susan Barylski welcomed the 250 plus guests and reminded everyone to check out the Chinese Auction that had over 40 donated items available. Hosted by Angela Curico of 101.7 The Beach and Chris from Sounds Incredible, the event was heart pumping thanks to the fun-loving models that all had personal reasons for being part of the show.

Clad in the most over-the-top costumes and skimpiest little numbers in show history, doctors, survivors, and business owners from across the Hamptons strutted their stuff on the catwalk. Plastic surgeon Dr. James Brady was especially notable as he let out his inner "Pimp Daddy" with partner Diane Sjoholm (who channeled Pamela Anderson) and tossed dollar bills to the cheering crowd. Breast surgeon at Southampton Hospital, Dr. Edna Vades, and gynecologist, Dr. Vito Alamia, of Hamptons Gynecology and Obstetrics were huge hits as many eager fans noted, "Wow, that's my doctor!" and "He delivered my daughter!"

The full model roster also included Andrew Urbanski of Morgan Stanley, James and Sarah Amaden, real estate investor Tim Bennett, "Voice of the Hamptons" Lydia Bonner, survivor Nadja James with sweetheart Levy Mwanza (Assistant Basketball Coach at East Hampton High School), Tommy Hill of East End Limousines, Crystal Fink and Kim Oresto of Theory Southampton, chef Chris Cariello, Southampton Village Police Officer Darren Gagnon with Alaina Casquarelli of East Quogue, pharmacist Frank Calvo, interior designer Alison Babcock, jewelry designer Dominique Coq Vassallo, and personal chef Lance Kindberg.

During the intermission former fashion show model Legislator Jay Schneiderman announced a $5,000 grant to the Coalition on behalf of Suffolk County. Moments later Southampton Town Councilman Chris Nuzzi thanked everyone for coming out in the cold to support a very worthy cause.

Cheering on the models and vying for auction items were guests Greg Gauvin, Bob Hammel, Erin Jahoda, Jason Russell, Pat and Janine Jablow, Jenny Chavez, April Cullum, Marie Errigo, Natalie Fontanault and Jason Ratto, Jen Foster, Carl and Debbie Newberger, Meagan Kelly, Michael Lynch, Mindy Armandi, Jennie Magaro, Jeanine Nugeat, Luisa Kane, Laura Mackey, and Monica Reiner.

There is no surer sign that winter will soon be well behind us than the announcement of the Parrish Art Museum's annual Spring Fling. To most this event is the official launch of the 'season' and the Museum's biggest fund raiser for their terrific educational programs.

Nancy Hardy and George Semerjian at the cocktail party to celebrate Spring Fling.
Photo by John Wegorzewski

To get everyone revved up, Spring Fling co-chairman and Museum Board member Nancy Hardy and Emmanuel Sanz hosted an elegant cocktail reception for the committee in their lovely Coopers Farm home. Over cocktails and tempting treats by Kevin MacDonald, a number of the committee members and co-chairs listened to Assistant Director Anke Jackson talk about the importance of the fund raiser for the Museum's vast education programs. She took the opportunity to unveil the event poster and invitation for the "Saturday Night Fever" themed gala graciously underwritten by Olga and Joe Nieves of The Ocean Group Graphics and Design. She also noted that thanks to the team's hard work almost everything for the dance party would be underwritten by generous donors both private and corporate right down to the live band that Susan and Tim Davis are underwriting for the bash.

Scores of the area's movers and shakers mingled in the Hardy-Sanz living room including enough realtors to hold a convention. It was great to see the enormous support from our business community for such a great program. The list of business sponsors alone ran two pages! Among the crowd were super lawyers Kathleen Schwartz and her partner Douglas Sinski, Richard Rawdin, George Semerjian, Alexis Mayer, Mary Slattery, Dr. David Kirshy, Meegan and James Darby, Michael Kent, Adam Miller, Ginny Poveromo, Raymond Garrett, Marc Marano, John Vitello, Brooke Corton, Pam Collum, co-chairs Robin Pauli and Christine Curiale, and Corcoran's John Leonard.

The room was suffused with a wonderful air of good things to come. Alicia Longwell, the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Chief Curator of Art and Education, was quite excited about working with new director Terrie Sultan who comes on board April 1. Sotheby's Laura Miele Wynne shared with all the news that she and her hubby were waiting for the arrival of the baby girl they adopted in China. Longtime museum supporters Roger Blaugh and partner Michael Forestano were toasted for their 35 years of domestic bliss by Nancy, the consummate hostess who buzzed through the crowd all evening spreading the "disco fever". So get out your white John Travolta suit and brush up your dance floor moves for this super hot party set for March 8.

On Friday night a new era was ushered in with the Southampton Cultural Center's launch of its new live theater program, Theater at the SCC, under the direction of the very talented and much respected Michael Disher. For the kickoff of this new series of plays and musicals, Disher and Kirsten Lonnie, the center's executive director chose a work with enduring appeal, the charming grown-up fable "The Fantasticks", updated by Disher with a more contemporary staging of the piece.

Michael Disher and the cast of "The Fantasticks" after opening night. Photo by
John Wegorzewski

"The Fantasticks," with book and lyrics by Tom Jones and music by Harvey Schmidt, holds the distinction of being the world's longest running musical, playing at the Sullivan Street playhouse in Greenwich Village for a mind boggling 42 years!

The story unfolds, radiating a timeless sweetness - the starry-eyed boy and girl next door fall in love, yearn for the dangerous attractions of the world outside, then opt instead for fulfillment in each other's arms and in hearth and home. A host of now well-known stars have played in different productions, including Liza Minnelli, Jerry Orbach, Glenn Close, F. Murray Abraham, David Canary, Ricardo Montalban, Elliot Gould, Richard Chamberlain, John Carradine, and Ed Ames.

The small cast makes the work most practical to mount. As a result the play has been produced in thousands of theaters around the world. It seems that if you meet anyone who has acted in a high school or community theater play since 1960, chances are high that the play was "The Fantasticks". This particular production came fully mounted and with much of the cast intact from the North Fork Community Theater where Disher staged it last year.

The opening night crowd, eager to support theater in Southampton Village, was not disappointed and chuckled at the hilarious turns by both Dan Becker as Henry and Joey Giovingo as his sidekick Mortimer. For Dan, a practicing physician and TV medical expert, "The Fantasticks" marked his first onstage performance in 35 years! Brett Chizever and Isabel Alvarez as the star crossed lovers were a delight. Musical director Jeff Wentz provided just the right gentle accompaniment at the piano. Kudos also to Rich Gardini, Dan Stein, Andrew Stein, Ken Rowland, Tom Rossante, and most especially, the dashing and talented Rusty Kransky as the lead character El Gallo. Inventive staging, sets, and costumes all by Disher were simple but imaginative. All in all, it was a wonderful first effort for the new program.

Following the show, we chatted with Disher, the former director of the Avram Theater at Southampton and a veteran of over 150 productions. Disher is passionate about this project, telling us, "Theater needs to be in this area. It's unconscionable that in such a culturally attuned community there has been no theater for several years."

Continuing, he said, "We'll make history tonight!" For Disher, who has no family, this theater is "the legacy I want to leave my community". All who were there would certainly agree!

Theater at the SCC is a community project with a call to arms to the East End theater community and theater lovers to rejuvenate the local theatrical landscape. In coming months, they will present an ambitious program: concert versions of Cole Porter's "Fifty Million Frenchmen," George and Ira Gershwin's Pulitzer Prize winning "Of Thee I Sing," Sam Shepard's "True West," and Neil LaBute's "The Shape of Things."

Don and Maggie Sullivan, Catherine Allan, and Ann Cuccia at the Our Lady of
the Hamptons Silver Jubilee Gala. Photo by John Wegorzewski

East Wind in Wading River was the setting for a glittering silver jubilee celebration this weekend for Our Lady of the Hamptons Regional Catholic School. The Southampton school was originally built in 1961 by the parishioners of Our Lady of Poland Church. In 1982, Our Lady of the Hamptons incorporated three parishes, Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, St. Rosalie's in Hampton Bays and Our Lady of Poland, was founded to offer Catholic education to children from pre-K through eigth grade.

Jubilee gala chairpersons Kerry Wilkie and Julie Crowley organized an amazing event that incorporated alumni, faculty, and current families. Committee members included Sara Ray, Peggy Squires, Dee Andes, Catherine Allan, Maggie and Don Sullivan, Donna Valle, Nikki and John Perry, Carolyn Martin, Kim Halsey, and Nancy Penner. The gala dinner dance featured music by the well-known band, The Mustangs, who kept the dance floor rockin'.

The historic souvenir journal was organized by Jennifer Gunn and her committee Martha Rogers, Virginia Healy, Marsha Terry, Cathy Seabury, and Catherine Prewitt. Ann Cuccia, Erika Minogue, Kathleen Ambrose, Joan Riordan, and Melissa Willmott steered the Liturgy/Family events effort.

Among the revelers were Diane and Charles Holmes, Father Jeff Madley, Sister Virginia Crowley, Lisa Smart, Kate D'Arcy, John and Christine Brennan, and Tony Valle.

Congratulations to all, especially principal Sister Kathryn Schlueter for her years of dedication and leadership.

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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Guest (Joseph Casquarelli) from New York says::
Cool an stuff.
Dec 27, 2009 5:12 pm

Guest (ADC) from Hampton Bays says::
Great coverage of the Our Lady of the Hamptons event. So nice to see coverage of our local community!! Thank you for a well written article & the photo by John Wegorzewski.
Feb 14, 2008 12:52 pm

Guest (C. Allan) from Southampton says::
What a great summary of a fantastic event! Please keep those mid- winter party stories coming!
Feb 13, 2008 9:52 pm


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