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Honors And Awards

Originally Posted: March 12, 2008

Nicole B. Brewer

Guild Hall's Academy of the Arts recently honored Mel Brooks, Joe Pintauro, David Salle, and Robert F.X. Sillerman at their 23rd Annual Lifetime Achievement Awards at the Rainbow Room in New York City. Emceed by comedian Angela LaGreca, the evening paid tribute to their work in Performing Arts, Literary Arts, Visual Arts and Leadership, and Philanthropic Endeavors.

Angela LaGreca, David Salle, Robert F.X. Sillerman, Mel Brooks, and Joe Pintauro
at the Guild Hall Awards. Photo by Barry Gordin

During cocktail hour guest and honorees sipped champagne and mingled while overlooking the cityscape. As the lights below twinkled I had a moment to chat with Albert Maysles of "Grey Gardens" fame. He reminisced about the filming process of the two very interesting women - Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter "Little Edie". He related that they were exactly how he filmed them. To check he and his brother, David Maysles, would sneak over to the property before they were scheduled to arrive to observe the ladies. If nothing else they toned down their antics when the cameras were rolling. We'll all be watching out for the HBO film version of the story. co-written and directed by Mike Sucsy due out this year starring Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore in the lead roles. Jeanne Tripplehorn and Daniel Baldwin also make appearances.

True to form, Mr. Brooks had the crowd laughing when receiving his award for Performing Arts, reminiscing about his career and his work with Carl Reiner on "The 2,000 Year Old Man." which was created by the duo after Brooks had just undergone painful surgery for gout and quipped that he felt like a 2,000-year-old man, "[Carl] said, 2,000 years old, can you prove that? Do you have a birth certificate? I said, 'yeah, I have a birth certificate, October 16th negative 2,000.' He said, 'can I see it?' I said, 'see it? I don't carry it on me, you know?' Back then when they gave you your birth certificate, it was on a boulder," he joked.

Past honorees, friends, family and supporters of Guild Hall's Academy of the Arts, including Alec Baldwin, Mercedes Ruehl, Albert Maysles, Academy of the Arts President Roy Furman, Guild Hall Chairmen Mickey Straus and his wife Leila, Guild Hall's Executive Director Ruth Appelhof, Dayassi Olarte de Kanavos, Somers and Jonathan Farkas, Richard and Renee Steinberg, Pamela and Edward Pantzer, Muriel Siebert, Full Frontal Fashion's host Judy Licht, Susan Cappa, Jeannine Dyner, and Anne Livet were all on hand to congratulate the honorees and show their support for the Academy of the Arts.

Bethenny Frankel, Alex McCord, Countess LuAnn de Lesseps, Ramona Singer, and
Jill Zarin at the launch for "The Real Housewives of New York" at Touch. Photo by

A few blocks across town at Touch nightclub Bravo TV's "The Real Housewives of New York" made their debut. The high-profile ladies of Manhattan and Hamptons society and now reality television Jill Zarin, Ramona Singer, Countess LuAnn de Lesseps, Bethenny Frankel, and Alex McCord were joined by their closest friends and family for their show's debut on Touch's big-screen. Cindy Guyer, Alison Minton, Mark W. Smith, Devorah Rose, Colin Lively, and Lisa Wexler were among those toasting the housewives on the show's premiere. Also cheering on the ladies were Jill Zarin's husband Bobby and daughter Allyson Shaprio(who looked fabulous in a little red number showing off her beautiful curves), Alex McCord's husband Simon van Kempen, and Ramona Singer's husband Mario.

As each lady was introduced during the show you could hear their cheering sections scream with excitement. Jill made the rounds and was the consummate hostess. The statuesque LuAnn had a birds-eye-view of the event from the balcony. Alex was head to toe Roberto Cavalli - must have picked that up on her trip to St. Bart's that we watched in the premiere episode. Bethenny, always the chef, was checking on the food. Ramona and her handsome hubby were very affectionate all night long, just like on the show.

Knowing these ladies so well it'll be a treat to see them up on the screen each week - cheers to a fun show - we'll be watching!

The last few days felt like high season with a plethora of parties, new play readings, art openings, and big bashes in the Hamptons and in New York.

Kenzie Maloney, Mireille Sturmann, Maggie Mackenzie, and Laura Stafford at the
8th Annual Student Artist Invitational. Photo by John Wegorzewski

Early Saturday evening you could barely squeeze into The Levitas Center for the Arts at the Southampton Cultural Center as hundreds of parents and families lined up for the 8th Annual Student Artist Invitational. Works by over 260 area high school students went on display for a week. Organized by artist Jim Wightman, Sonia Stratford, Ann Lombardo, Gayle Tudisco, and the dedicated working artists of the Southampton Artists Alliance, the show is a unique opportunity for the students to display their creativity - and what creativity is on exhibition. Paintings, etchings, digital photography, clay works, and mixed media pieces.

It is a vibrant testimony to the extraordinary work of the art teachers in our community in drawing out and shaping the talent in this next generation of de Koonings and Gorniks. Judges for the Invitational had a really tough time choosing a Best in Show with so many fine works submitted. Judges, working artists all, included Aura Levitas, Michael Viera-Guest, Linda Capello, Anthony Lombardo, John Capello, and Joanne Rosko.

In addition to the collection on view, there was a musical presentation by Muhlenberg College music major John Ludlow who studied saxophone under Hal McKusick for eight years and a portrait presentation by the newly founded Long Island Academy of Fine Art with Julia Reynolds and James Daga.

Printmaker Mireille Sturmann of Pierson High School won Best in Show and a $400 prize. There was some very serious competition from fellow high schoolers from Bridgehampton, East Hampton, Center Moriches, Greenport, Longwood, Mattituck, Riverhead, Ross, Pierson, Southampton, Eastport South Manor, William Floyd, Westhampton Beach, and McGann Mercy.

Best in Category artists each received a prize of $100. Winners were Leanne Luce of Westhampton Beach for Painting, Coral Kelly of Longwood for Drawing & Printmaking, Sasa Sucic of William Floyd for Photography, David Capella of William Floyd for Mixed Media, Melanie McHay of Riverhead for Sculpture, and Michelle Morin of Longwood for Electronic & Computer Art.

Committee's Choice Awards went to Leanne Luce of Westhampton Beach, Matthew Moore of Longwood, and Michael Hartman of William Floyd.

Jean Mackenzie Koster and Paton Miller at the Paul Koster Benefit at John Duck's.
Photo by John Wegorzewski

Robert Wilson's Watermill Center was the setting for a staged reading of James Joyce's "Penelope," a soliloquy by one of Joyce's most memorable characters, Molly Bloom, performed by the brilliantly talented Kate Mueth. Kate is the recent recipient of a fellowship from The Watermill Center Byrd Hoffman Foundation to develop the work into a multi-character two act play, performed the piece with a most believable Irish brogue. The fellowship allows Kate to collaborate with Margot Lewitin and Ronnie Geist to ready the work for a more complete production.

Over at John Duck's Restaurant, folks gathered for the annual tribute to the beloved Paul Koster, of The Clamman fame. The 8th Annual Paul Koster Memorial Benefit for Southampton Youth Association & Paul Koster Scholarship Fund for graduates of Southampton High School was a Mardi Gras Gala of the first order.

Four Seasons Caterers provided a lavish hors d'oeuvre buffet complete with a roast pig thanks to the efforts of chefs Jeremy Palmer and Wayne Pezubek.

This was, as always, a community effort of the first order with scores of local businesses donating gifts and services for the elaborate Chinese Auction. There was music, dancing, and an open bar, but the big draw was a "Texas Hold 'em Tournament" with folks lining up for chips sold by the volunteers from The Clamman and Four Seasons Caterers staffs. Even internationally acclaimed artist Paton Miller pitched in to sell the Chinese Auction tickets and noted ice sculptor John Olstrom created a masterpiece with his rendition of Paul Koster overlooking the banquet table.

Placing their chips down at one of the many casino games were Nina and James Kennedy, Loren Bennett, Rodney Smith, Josephine and Peter Cardone, Charles and Rosemary Bruno, Lori and Tony Mendola, Tase McCulley, Linda Ingram and daughter Jenna, Elana Curreri, and hundreds more. Kudos to Jean Mackenzie Koster and all the folks who pulled together to salute a much respected and sorely missed member of our community to raise funds to better the lives of our young people.

Kevin Maple, Dr. Tom De Vincentis, Penny Lieberman, Michael Clinton, and Jay
Lieberman at the book signing for "Tails of the City". Photo by John Wegorzewski

That same evening hair guru extraordinaire Kevin Maple and his good friends Penny and Jay Lieberman teamed up to host a toast and book signing for their great pal Dr. Tom De Vicentis who just released his new book "Tails of the City" last week. Over a hundred guests swarmed through Kevin's beautifully designed and decorated home (which has already been featured in several magazine spreads) while nibbling on tasty treats like mini croquet monsieur from master chef Brent Newsome.

It took us almost an hour to snag an autographed copy from Tom as everyone couldn't wait to peruse his chronicles of life in the city as New York's "celebrity veterinarian" handling the precious pets of the rich and famous. The book is a delightfully charming read that will have animal lovers smiling in recognition at the sweet "tails" he writes about. With a preface by Carolyn Roehm and illustrations of our four-legged companions by the brilliant Bill Charmatz to compliment Tom's tender and insightful stories about the effect on our furry friends on our lives the tome is lovely. With endorsements by the likes of Town & Country editor Pamela Fiori the book is sure to be a best seller.

Kevin, the consummate host, greeted his guests with his mother Pat Maple at his side and made sure everyone was introduced around the very elegant gathering of animal lovers. In the crowd were Amy and Richard Plum, Peter Hallock and Craig Mowry, Lisa Lieberman, LIACC Board member John Haigney and his twin James Haigney, CFDA's Stan Herman, Mary Ellen Winston, and scores of Kevin's fellow riders from the Smithtown Hunt Club. If you weren't on the invite list you can meet Tom on Saturday, March 15 when he appears at John Brancati's East End Books Gallery in East Hampton.

Then it was off to the official launch of the coming season, The Parrish Art Museum's annual Spring Fling which brought out one of the largest crowds in the history of the gala thanks to the efforts of co-chairs Nancy Hardy and Susan Davis and their hard-working vice chairs Christine Curiale, Leslie Halsted, Leith McLoughlin, Robin Pauli, and Maryanne Robinson.

Emmanuel Sanz and Nancy Hardy at Spring Fling. Photo by John Wegorzewski

The Saturday Night Fever theme encouraged lots of folks to pull out their 1970s disco wear in all its shiny polyester glory - just the right thing to hit the dance floor and get into the groove. When folks weren't hustling on the dance floor they swarmed the silent auction tables overflowing with luxury goodies and fabulous one-of-a-kind experiences. All the while, superstar caterer Kevin MacDonald kept his team flowing throughout the halls with platters of tempting treats.

Newly appointed Executive Director Terrie Sultan and Alicia Longwell, The Lewis B. and Dorothy B. Cullman Curator, were on hand to point out highlights of the vibrant exhibition of student art on display. Very appropriate as the Spring Fling party raises funds for the museum's education and children's programs and guests were able to see the efforts of the budding artists from area schools in a museum setting.

Doing their best Travolta moves were Southampton Village Mayor Mark Epley and wife Maryanne, Shaunagh Byrne, Joy Marks, Jeanette Hekton, Neill Slaughter, Keith and Anne Davis, John Brancati, Ernest Cervi, Meegan Darby, Jeanine Edington, Anese Young, Dr. Martin and Blossom Gluck, Davis Gaffga, Dr. Evan and Bonnie Nadal, Bernard Green, Alison Sneed, Jackie Worth, Elliot Epstein, Stephanie Finkelstein, Patricia Garrity, Rick Hoffman, Roberta O. Hunter, Esq., Michael Kent, Gary Lawrance, Michaela Keszler, Nancy Blasko, Karli Kittine, Robin L. Long, Esq., Beth E. Marano, Alexis Mayer, Karen A. McNamara, Eileen Mercer, Adam Miller, Esq., and Laura and John Wynne.

The Diamond Underwriter was Joe Nieves and The Ocean Group, Graphic Design & Printing. Platinum Underwriters included Bobbie Braun, Christine Curiale, Wells Fargo Private Mortgage Banking, Mr. and Mrs. Timothy G. Davis, Glacier Potato Vodka, Dorothy Lichtenstein, and Niche Import Co. Let's not forget the fun gift bags from Paulpac - the metallic gold and silver bags will be all over town for sure.

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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