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“Welcome everyone to an East Side apartment for ‘West Side Story,’” said Susan Gutfreund, greeting guests gathered at her Fifth Avenue home Thursday afternoon in honor of the Broadway musical’s cast and producers.

Over spring risotto and salmon cakes in the exquisitely appointed dining room, Ralph Rucci wondered if the hostess ever wanted to perform on stage. “No, never,” Gutfreund replied. “I have fantasized that I could sing. Because I can’t sing. I clear a room.”

This story first appeared in the May 5, 2009 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

It was agreed showbiz is better left to the professionals, including stars Josefina Scaglione (“Maria”) and Karen Olivo (“Anita”) who both had to return to rehearsals after lunch. Gutfreund, however, had other plans.

Retreating to the sitting room, she called out, “We’re having another margarita.” (The cocktails are constant in the Gutfreund household — her son J.P. is behind Inocente tequila.)

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