Not everyone wants to celebrate their birthdays early, but for Lincoln Center, its 50th anniversary couldn’t come soon enough. In anticipation of the many festivities planned for 2009 and its $1.2 billion redevelopment project, the performing arts center celebrated last night with not one, but 33 separate dinners hosted in various locations around New York City by patrons and supporters such as Agnes Gund. All the guests then gathered in the refurbished Alice Tully Hall for a performance by Michael Feinstein and a dessert reception.
Ralph and Ricky Lauren started their evening at the Hearst Tower as guests of Lincoln Center chairman Frank Bennack, Jr. and were looking forward to seeing the evening’s entertainment. “It sounds like fun. It will give everyone a lift,” said Ricky Lauren, as she took it upon herself to offer hors d’oeuvres around to her friends. Her husband added, “I go to Lincoln Center if there is something good. It’s a great part of New York City. And I’m very good friends with Frank Bennack, so if he invites me then I definitely go.” The designer is currently debating where to spend the holidays, since he had planned on going to India. “I’ve never been, so I wanted to go and do a tour [of India], but I don’t think that now is a good time,” he continued.
Meanwhile, around the corner in the penthouse of the 6 Columbus hotel, Lincoln Center’s Young Patrons were dining on sushi from Blue Ribbon and Champagne. Jessie Betts and her sister Maggie were joined by their parents, Roland and Lois, and their friend Zac Posen, who brought along his mother, Susan. “As you can see, we are young patrons too,” said Roland Betts.
Afterwards, everyone trouped over to the new Alice Tully Hall. As guests including Tom Brokaw, Ivanka Trump, Nina Griscom, Susan Newhouse, Charlotte Moss and Adrienne Vittadini took their seats, Mayor Michael Bloomberg gave tribute to the successful project. “It kind of makes me wish I had taken that second piano lesson,” he said to the audience. And, he added more seriously, “It reminds us that generosity is important during tough times.”