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June is the month for weddings, of course, but May is just fine, too. Alexandra Shiva, the lovely dark-haired daughter of Guedaliahou (Gil) Shiva and the late Susan Stein Shiva, and Jonathan Sherman, the son of Dr. Ronald Sherman, will marry in an evening ceremony on May 17. The wedding setting is the Joseph Papp Public Theater with a dinner dance to follow. Very black-tie. Very long dress. The theater has always been dear to the hearts of the Shiva family, with Susan and Gil its most active supporters. The bride and groom to be are very much a part of New York’s young social set, so the wedding is expected to be a dazzling celebration. But more of all of this later.
Sir Elton John, in a sleek black Versace suit, celebrated his 56th birthday at one of his favorite restaurants in the whole wide world — get this — the notorious Hamburger Hamlet on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood. The party was given by his pals Cornelia Guest, saucy in a white quilted skirt and jacket by Marc Jacobs, David Furnish, Sandra Brant and Ingrid Sischy of the Interview Magazine Sischys. They took over the entire restaurant and it was all about hamburgers, french fries, onion rings and friends, including Lynn and Oscar Wyatt, Eric McCormack (he’s Will on TV’s “Will & Grace”), Daphne Guinness and Bruce Weber, Barbara Davis, Shiva Rose and Dylan McDermott, Sheryl Crow, Melissa Etheridge, Tom Ford and others too famous to mention. Such as when the cake came out, the voices of k.d. lang, Mike Myers, Edward Norton and Salma Hayek were heard singing “Happy Birthday” at the top of their lungs. Oh, and Cornelia’s mother, C.Z. Guest, arrived just in time for the chocolate birthday cake covered with pink and white roses.
She had come from a dinner that Wendy Stark had given for 40 friends in her honor at her house in Bel Air. Among those who welcomed C.Z. to L.A. were Nancy Reagan wearing a black-and-white vintage Galanos, Betsy Bloomingdale in black pants and a black lace tunic that fell all the way to the floor, Gore Vidal, Nicky Haslam, Mary Jane and Charlie Wick and 31 others more or less like them.
But to get back to Sir Elton, he told everyone at his party how thrilled he was with the cocker spaniel puppy that his longtime partner, David Furnish, gave him as a gift. Elton named him Arthur, heaven knows why. After Elton blew out all the candles on the cake, he smiled a big smile and the crowd went wild with hoots and cheers.
You see, Elton is a very happy knight these days and nights. His new film project, “Gnomeo and Juliet” is getting green lights all around. It will be an animated feature with English garden gnomes as lovable characters living out Shakespeare’s story of “Romeo and Juliet,” complete with a family in red hats feuding with a family in blue hats and, of course, two star-crossed lovers, I mean gnomes. Elton’s company, Rocket Pictures, will team up with Disney to create a computer-generated fantasy world. Kate Winslet has all but signed on the dotted line to be the voice of Juliet, as has Dame Judi Dench for the nurse. EJ and Sir Tim Rice are writing the score, but Elton says he absolutely does not want one of the characters to be modeled after him — something about the gnome’s bad hair, roly-poly figure and habit of spending a fortune on flowers. Oh ha ha ha ha ha.
Hilary Swank, she of the Oscar, wants us to know that her movie voyage into space in the action drama “The Core” is fulfilling a life-long dream held long before acting took over. It seems she has wanted to be an astronaut since she was six years old. “I’m a real thrill seeker,” she says. “I like to jump out of planes and white-water raft, and I’d still like to go into space one day.” From your ears, honey, to the folks at NASA.
“‘It Runs In The Family’ is my father’s 86th film made in his 86th year and it’s the first time we ever worked together, so we’ve been looking for a project for the last 20 years.” So sayest Michael Douglas about his father, Kirk, the Hollywood legend. “I was in New York with my family on 9/11 and what happened made us feel much closer to each other and how important each day had become. If we were ever going to work together, the time had to be now.” So, “It Runs in the Family” (MGM) opens on April 25 and the cast really runs in the family. There’s Kirk, Michael (who is also the producer), Kirk’s first wife and Michael’s mother, Diana Douglas, and Kirk’s grandson and Michael’s son Cameron. Also getting to toss her pretty curls in the movie is Bernadette Peters. She’s a brave girl.
This from London: Prince William’s pals are saying he has fallen in love with Bryony Daniels, a gorgeous fellow student at St. Andrews. They say that the Prince and the beauty, both geography majors, met three years ago while they were freshmen. Now, they are often seen dreamily wandering around the campus together. The other day, Prince William was in the audience cheering Bryony as she modeled in a charity fashion show. She is the daughter of a wealthy British landowner, David Daniels and his wife, Pauline, who say: “They see a fair amount of each other, but if there were any romance, I am sure she would have told us.” Buckingham Palace confirms the friendship, but says “in no way is she a girlfriend.” Isn’t that what they always say in the beginning? And believe me, this is just the beginning of dozens of romantic tales involving Prince William.
The Lenox Hill Neighborhood House will host a Gala Benefit Preview of the International Fine Arts Fair at the Seventh Regiment Armory on Park Avenue on May 8. Elizabeth and Felix Rohatyn and Sydney Shuman are the honorary chairs. After the preview by exhibitors from three continents, there will be a dinner dance where over two dozen of the country’s top designers will create tables inspired by paintings from the exhibition. Bunny Williams and John Rosselli are the honorary design chairs, and artistic tables will be created by the likes of Albert Hadley, Lily Pulitzer, Mark Epstein, Ralph Lauren, Jackson Siegel Aaron, Mitchell Owens and Robert Rufino for Tiffany. The gala is sponsored by Rolex and benefits LHNH’s program helping those in need who live on Manhattan’s East Side.