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Feted, Toasted, And Roasted

Originally Posted: October 31, 2008

Jennifer Tuesday

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Needing to catch up on my fall wardrobe shopping, I hit the big shoe sale at Saks huge shoe department - so big it has its own zip code really! - and caught a few events where our Hamptons friends were being feted, toasted, and roasted.

His Eminence Francis Cardinal George I and Dame Patricia Kennedy.

My dear friend Patricia Kennedy, founder of www.StepUp4Vets.org, was bestowed a lifetime achievement honor recently in Chicago for her over 20 years of philanthropic service in dance and now for the urgent call to action supporting our returning troops as they reclaim and readjust to their civilian lives. She joined the ranks of Italian aristocracy as she was awarded the title, "Dame of Merit with Star" in the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George (a royal order under the House of Bourbon Two-Sicilies). The ceremony was conducted by His Eminence Francis Cardinal George I, Archbishop of Chicago at St. John Cantius Parish in Chicago.

As a secondary means of fundraising, this year, Kennedy unveiled the Peace One Earth Medallion at a gala in Beverly Hills, with Wayne Newton receiving the first one on behalf of his work with the USO. The public can now buy similar Medallions, which Patricia herself designed, at www.peaceoneearth.com, with proceeds going to Step Up 4 Vets - I know I'm getting mine!

Patricia is known as "The First Lady of the Joffrey Ballet," having raised millions of dollars to support one of the world's great ballet companies. She is also credited with saving the Joffrey, having produced with Joffrey co-founder and Artistic Director Gerald Arpino, along with rock icon Prince, the landmark ballet "Billboards," in 1993. "Billboards" is considered to be the most successful ballet in recent times, and featured original music by Prince. Congratulations Patricia!

I popped over to celeb watering hole Elaine's to join in a toast to Bridgehampton real estate mogul Don Peebles and his wife Katrina who were celebrating the release of his second book "The Peebles Path to Real Estate Wealth: How to Make Money in Any Market." New York City Comptroller, William C. Thompson, Jr. played matchmaker introducing the good looking mega-wealthy couple around to the assorted glitterati including Star Jones, Michael Lohan, Jon and Joan Gruen, Ann Rapp, Cindy Guyer, and Anne Sherman-Betts. Don, as you may know is the Chairman and CEO of The Peebles Corporation and achieved multimillionaire status by the age of 27. His insightful new book was written in an effort to teach others the fundamentals of wealth-making, coming from a man who rose from humble beginnings and is now recognized as one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the nation.

How successful is Don? Enough to buy a four-bedroom cottage near the Sag Harbor Yacht Club, five minutes from his sprawling Bridgehampton estate, for $2 million. Why? Simple, the main house, which he purchased in 2005 for around $7 million, isn't on the water. The Sag house serves as a "beach and boating cabana." Oh!

Downtown in Chelsea, famed celeb photog and now gossip guru with his wildly successful web venture TimesSquareGossip.com James Edstrom had the tables - and cameras - turned on him as pals tossed him a surprise birthday bash at Chris Noth's The Cutting Room in NYC this week. Old friends TV newswoman Rita Cosby, party guru Claire O'Connor, and marketing maven Ian Miller pulled together the most eclectic guest list we've seen in ages. We spied royalty, private eyes, Oscar winners, porn stars, princes, playboys and high class tarts as Taki would say, a little bit of everything. James' rolodex is clearly more exotic than even mine.

James who prides himself as having the drop on everyone was completely suckered with the help of Claire who, when he tried to cancel on their planned quiet birthday dinner at the Waverly Inn because he had a toothache, told him Angelina Jolie was going to be at The Cutting Room. Of course, old paparazzi instincts won over pain and James piled into Claire's limo only to be blasted with flashbulbs when he entered the popular music hangout - of course Claire had her team pass out cameras to the 100+ guests to get the max mega wattage!

Rita Cosby, James Edstrom, and Cindy Guyer at The Cutting Room. Photo by John

Turning the tables on James were Oscar winner Sylvia Miles, perennial party girl Baroness Sherry von Korber-Bernstein, newly separated romance cover girl Cindy Guyer, former publisher Alistair Duncan, Wendy "The Snapple Lady" Kaufmann, talk show host Steve Wilco, P.I. Vinnie Parco (who has three new TV shows in development), celeb tracker Bill Murray, porn queen Robin Byrd, and dozens of the media gurus James hangs with. Happy Birthday James!

NBC Today Show host, and Hampton resident, the lovable Matt Lauer (whom I always bump into at Stevenson's Toy Store where he stocks up on goodies for his little Jack) got the official roasting from the Friars Club this week. None other than buddy Al Roker served as the Roast Master with a star studded gang armed with barbs and arrows to zing Matt. Who could be mean to my Matt? Plenty of folks - all in good sport of course.

The only guest without a joke at Matt's expense was Aretha Franklin - and she sang "The National Anthem." Spicing up the fun were Katie Couric, Meredith Viera, Martha Stewart, Jeffrey Ross, Bob Saget, Brian Williams, Gilbert Gottfried, Richard Belzer, Pat Cooper, Jeff Zucker, Vanessa Williams, Clay Aiken, Bob Costas, Diane Sawyer, Kathie Lee Gifford, Joy Behar, Luke Russert, Jim Cramer, Donald Trump, Tiki Barber, Mario Lopez, Jeremy Sisto, Dominick Chianese, Danny Aiello, and scores more.

The surprise guest, who garnered all the press coverage was none other than Matt's sparring partner on air last year, couch bouncing Tom Cruise. His jibes at Matt were equally directed at himself and Tom somewhat redeemed himself after his last well documented public diatribe. As always at a Friars Roast the remarks were laced with four letter words and the jokes were too raunchy for retelling here. The real shocker for most was to hear the always pleasant Meredith Viera come out with a "motherf%&*@r" - too, too much!

Talking about too much, Bruno Jamais Restaurant Club in New York and PR firm KMR Communications, Inc. hosted the launch of Lokah Music's "The Ivy Ceiling" C.D. featuring the talented artists Sri Michael and Uma Nanda Saraswati. Along with host Bruno Jamais himself, celebrities at the event included Sting, who arrived with his wife Trudie Styler, Russell Simmons, cast members of Bravo TV's "The Real Housewives of New York" Countess Lu Ann De Lesseps, Jill and Bobby Zarin, Ramona and Mario Singer, Alex McCord and Simon Van Kempen, and the newest addition to the show, Kelly Killoren Bensimon. Cruiserweight boxing Champion BJ Flores was also in attendance. Per Sting's request, guests were served vegetarian only canapés and the champagne flowed endlessly. Upon Sting's arrival, a usual blasé media crowd went wild, and three security guards had to be called in to shield him from the throng of paparazzi. This evening was a precursor to a special night for Sting. The following evening was his last public performance ever with the Police.

Tom Cruise roasted Matt Lauer at the Friars Club in NYC. Photo by Wire Image

When I last heard about sometime Southamptonite, design whiz Andrea Lieberman, she had been the guest of honor at an opulent Marie Antoinette-style baby shower in Los Angeles at the Chateau Marmont's Bungalow 1 which was redecorated with gold sofas, Chiavari chairs, and small round tables covered with lush shantung silk linens - now that's real Hollywood style!

Now I hear that she has just given birth two times. Not only did the celebrity stylist become a mom for the first time three months ago, but she also just launched a fashion collection of her own, called A.L.C. - for Andrea Lieberman Collection. "I thought life was chaotic before, but now it's completely chaotic," she tells friends who call at her Fashion District showroom.

In the past decade, she's became a household name in fashion and entertainment, styling such celebrities as Jennifer Lopez and Gwen Stefani, whose L.A.M.B. line she also consults. You may have seen Andrea and Gwen at 75 Main lunching with Gwen's little charmer Gavin Rossdale on one of their frequent visits to Andrea's family Jay and Penny Lieberman.

Her first fashion line for spring has clothes for the kind of life she leads - cool, stylish, always on the go and suitable for any location. Andrea, who also designs a jewelry collection for Mouawad, included such looks as a tee-shirt dress draped like a traditional Indian sari, a floor-length tee-shirt dress with leather piping and a neckline adorned with beads and leather paillettes, a short cotton dress with wide macramé halters, a georgette army parka, and tailored, slim pants. Great looks for either Santa Monica or Southampton. Double congrats!!

Another of my West Coast BFFs, Rolonda Watts has been dancin' in high cotton as they say down South. She was hanging with The Prez, as in former President Bill Clinton, at the palatial estate of her old boss from her TV days Michael King of Kingworld which produces "Oprah," "Wheel of Fortune" and tons of other TV moneymakers. Ro was there along with Ted Danson, Barbra Streisand, Dustin Hoffman, Norman Lear, Sting (who performed!), for the Oceana Awards Gala and to help raise awareness of the need to save our oceans. Ro, whom I used to have to drag off Coopers Beach when it became too dark to see, just loves her sand and surf.

"On Broadway: A Glittering Salute to the American Musical" to benefit Career Transition for Dancers at City Center this Monday brought out a high glam crowd. The gorgeous and generous Anka Palitz chaired with the dance world's best friend Allen Brill, CEO and President of ROLEX. Brooke Shields handed the Rolex Dance award to Tommy Tune as Angela Lansbury hosted the night. Every star from the worlds of dance and Broadway were there. Our own Southampton neighbor Janice Becker once again headed up the committee for the ultra hot after party.

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