Rita Gam is regarded as something of a Renaissance woman these days as she is not only an actress and an author but a producer and a performer on stage, screen and television. It sounds as though the producer/writer/host of PBS’s acclaimed “World Beauty” series, now seen all over the world, doesn’t have a minute to just sit down. But that’s exactly what she’ll be doing on April 2 in a choice seat at Broadway’s Music Box Theatre for the opening night of “Fortune’s Fool” starring Alan Bates and Frank Langella.
It was Rita, you see, who discovered Michael Poulton’s adaptation of the rarely staged Ivan Turgenev classic comedy and brought it to SFS Productions and producers Julian Schlossberg, Roy Furman and Ben Sprecher, the trio who scored a coup by bringing back the great director Arthur Penn after a 20-year absence from the theater, to stage this first Broadway production of the play. Rita is an associate producer of “Fortune’s Fool” and to add the cherry to the sundae, or the candle to the cake, will also be celebrating her birthday on opening night. SFS is also planning to make a movie of the play with the same cast after it completes its Broadway run.
What a warm family celebration that was the other day in Monte Carlo when Princess Caroline , aka Princess Ernst-August of Hanover, marked her 45th birthday and the second anniversary of her wedding to Ernst, who can be a bad, bad boy sometimes but makes up for it in sex appeal, sort of. The family all gathered, somewhat appropriately, under a circus tent at the Circus of Monaco Festival, and you will be thrilled to hear that there was not a sign of the strained relations that have existed for some time between Caroline and her sister Princess Stephanie. Stephanie was at the celebration with her lover, Francis Knie, who has a circus of his very own and brought it along to the festival. As for Prince Rainier, the princesses’ daddy, he was almost tearful. Not because of the circuses, don’t be silly — he loves circuses — but because his little family was finally together again on such a happy occasion. May I suggest you stay tuned?
Tired of bag-of-bones women and mutton dressed as lamb? Fed up with what Tom Wolfe famously called “social X rays” — or of this model or that one, beautiful but semi-starved? Well, some of us are and some of us aren’t. Some are happy with the skinny status quo. Other critics think adding a pound or two would only improve the measure. It’s the same old same old — I say tomato and you say tomah-to.
But maybe, aside from the overriding, overwhelming publicity involved, the delights of seeing a little glowing flesh could be the reason some fashion designers are crazy-happy when so many movie and television celebrities — boobs at the ready — decide to wear their clothes at those overhyped award shows. Most of the stars have the bodies to show them off to perfection, be they God-given, diet-given, workout-given or plastic surgery-given or all four. And it’s so nice to see clothes draped over curves rather than hanging on sharp hip bones or displaying so many vertebrae that you get dizzy counting them, isn’t it? But like the man said, you say tomah-to and I say tomato.
What the man Gianfranco Ferre is saying is — I’ll take Renee Fleming. For the beautiful and voluptuous diva of the opera — no sharp bones there — Ferre has exclusively designed the gown made for drama that she’ll wear at the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra’s performance at Carnegie Hall on Sunday. With her flowing bordeaux velvet skirt to the floor, she’ll wear a bordeaux taffeta blouse with great puffed sleeves banded in silver. It’s a good thing she’s tall, and then there’s all that red hair. So good with Bordeaux.
Issey Miyake has invited the Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes, who has just returned from a North American tour with the New York Philharmonic, to tickle his Steinway at the designer’s TriBeCa boutique on January 30, the second in a series of events there honoring young artists. The first was for Alejandro Gehry, who is responsible for the store’s mural, and if the name sounds familiar it’s because he’s the son of Frank Gehry, the world-famous architect. The Royal Norwegian Consul General Atle Leikvoll will preside at the gathering, where will be found such guests as Heidi Albertsen (one of Scandinavia’s top models), Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos, Elisabeth Kieselstein-Cord, Serena Boardman and Arriana zu Hohenlohe Boardman, looking lovely and sipping champagne. After the concert, you will find them at the Bubble Lounge at a reception for the pianist. Skoal!, don’t you always say?
You know that wonderful ruby glass sparkling on the lush dinner tables at the party C.Z. Guest and her daughter, Cornelia, gave at “Templeton,” the Guest estate on Long Island? I’d love to tell you it was from an old Victorian treasure trove or from palatial halls in Alt Wien. The truth is it came from Crate and Barrel right here in New York. “I saw it and I loved it,” said Cornelia. “I took all they had, 200 of everything.” Dear Cornelia. Among those admiring the ruby glow and the never-ending orchids in the far-flung rooms — C.Z. grows them in her greenhouse — were such as Carolina and Reinaldo Herrera, Kenneth Jay Lane of fashion jewelry fame, Boaz Mazor, Curt Rosenthal, Cathy and Scott Wells and dozens of others just like them.