Political Notes From All Over: Before Mayor Miguel Bloomberg plopped on that big sombrero and painted on that saucy black mustache, making like a mariachi, the better to show NYC’s Latin population he had their best interests at heart, he was to be found at the Four Seasons in a cute little apron celebrating the Irvington Institute’s “Kitchen Caper,” where the idea is for each guest to wander through the restaurant’s vast kitchens choosing from groaning boards, icy counters and hot stoves exactly what gourmet fare he/she wants for dinner that night. How about them apples?
His honor sat next to Lauren Veronis, who has been running this innovative party since its inception. She looked fetching in a bright red sweater the exact color of a Four Seasons tomato with a gold chain at the waist. She and her banker husband John Veronis, her daughter and son-in-law Perri Peltz and Eric Ruttenberg, Jo Carole and Ronald Lauder, Aerin and Eric Zinterhofer, Nancy and Henry Silverman, Princess Firyal and Lionel Pincus were the chairmen of the really fun night.
Among those partaking of the cuisine at movie-themed tables created by Dejuan Stroud and sipping wines from Sequoia Grove were the famous director Taylor Hackford (“Ray”), the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright John Patrick Shanley (“Doubt”), Calvin Klein, Joy and Regis Philbin, Lynn de Rothschild, Les Moonves and Julie Chin, Jane Rosenthal and others too stuffed with goodies to mention. The night raised $400,000 for the Irvington Institute for Immunology Research. Bravo! (Lest you jump to the conclusion that Mayor Bloomberg was the only one wearing a little apron, not at all. It was the uniform of the night, and according to an informal poll everyone thought the mayor looked the cutest.)
This story first appeared in the May 20, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Over at the Metropolitan Opera House, a wildly applauding audience celebrated with numerous standing ovations the legendary Italian soprano Mirella Freni on the 40th anniversary of her Met debut and her 50th anniversary as a great diva. The beloved Freni is 70 but who can believe that? Wearing shimmering, vividly colored gowns, she looked heavenly on the stage with Salvatore Licitra, Marcello Giordani, Frederica von Stade, James Morris, Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Robert Lloyd. It was truly a concert to remember. Freni’s voice is still glorious and she is still lovely looking. James Levine, conducting from the pit was, as someone remarked, “merely fearless.”
Seen in the gathering of music lovers — some of who dined post performance on the Met’s stage — were: Cecile Zilkha, the Met’s vice chairman, dressed in a pretty pink and short white jacket sparkling with sequins; Ezra Zilkha; Walter Kaiser; Christine Hunter, the Met’s chairman of the board; Mercedes Bass; Lynn Nesbit; Duane Hampton; Marie-Cecile Levitte (she is the wife of France’s ambassador to the U.S.); Beverly Sills; the Met’s general manager Joseph Volpe and Mrs. Volpe; Lucky Roosevelt, in from Washington; Marta and Placido Domingo, whose latest triumph at the Met is in “Cyrano de Bergerac,” and on and on into the melodic night. Speaking of Placido at the Met, Jayne Wrightsman, in Chanel’s pale gray evening suit with long lace cuffs, and Mercedes Bass, in an emerald green satin jacket, led the applause for him as he took multiple bows at the premiere of “Cyrano,” which is the 121st role of his long, illustrious career. Sondra Radvanovsky sang opposite Placido in the role of Roxanne to a thunderous reception. The opera, which played only three nights this season, is a co-production with London’s Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
When Lindsay Lohan won one of the year’s most coveted roles, co-starring with Tom Cruise in “Mission Impossible 3,” it was said she snagged the role from Scarlett Johansson, who supposedly left the film because of scheduling and script delays. Anyhow, Cruise — a fan of Lohan’s debut album “Speak”— will want her to add a song or two to the movie’s soundtrack. Lindsay says she is so excited. “I just can’t wait to do the stunts and get all into it,” she says. She’ll be training for a few weeks, “putting on some muscles.” The movie starts filming in China in the fall.
Liz Hurley and Elle Macpherson are both competing for the hostess role of the British version of “Project Runway” wherein contestants vie for the chance to become the next big fashion designer. Elle was originally supposed to play the part, but Hurley has been courting the producers with videotapes, phone calls and her little black book of fashion and celebrity contacts, including her big pal Donatella Versace. The two actresses’ careers are expected to benefit from such a boost in the same way Heidi Klum did with her U.S. show.
The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering will present its awards for excellence to three outstanding New Yorkers: David Koch, for Corporate Leadership; James Niven, for Philanthropy, and George J. Bosl M.D., for Medicine, at a black-tie dinner dance at Sotheby’s next week. Each winner will be presented with an engraved silver salver from Asprey. Others who have received this prestigious award include: the late Laurance Rockefeller; Ralph Lauren and Pat Buckley. The night’s honorary chairmen are Constance Casey, Harold Varmus and Patsy and Douglas Warner. The co-chairs of the evening will be Kitty Sherrill and Mary Davidson. Among those expected are Donna and Bill Acquavella, Evelyn and Leonard Lauder, Karen and Richard LeFrak and, of course, Julia (Mrs. David) Koch.
Ralph and Ricky Lauren‘s pretty daughter Dylan will open her sweet shop Dylan’s Candy Bar for the “Kids In Candyland” party on Monday to benefit Lenox Hill Neighborhood House’s children’s programs. The committee includes such mummies as Aerin Lauder Zinterhofer, Cynthia Lufkin and Valesca Guerrand-Hermes. Alexandra Kramer and Julie Regal are the chairmen of the party and will probably pass the lollipops.