Byline: Aileen Mehle
All New York holiday parties — non-stop — will be reported here chronologically, so hang in there and wait your turn.
Agnes Gund, Jamie Figg, Key Meehan, Johnny Galliher, Harry Platt, Clelia Zacharias, Pierre Durand, Serena Boardman with Harry Lefrak, Cliff Klenk with Contessa Immaculada Rossi di Montelera, Jamee and Peter Gregory, Joan Rivers, Daisy and Paul Soros, Princess Firyal of Jordan with financier Lionel Pincus, Carol and George McFadden, Bill Tiant, Hilary Geary, Kathy and Ricky Hilton, Gail Hilson, Samantha Boardman, James Truman, Donna Hammond, Michael Bloomberg, Khalil Rizk, Mary Jane Salk, Gigi and Roone Arledge, Carol and Earle Mack, Christopher Kennan, Betsy Bloomingdale, Blaine and Robert Trump, Dixon Boardman with Arianna von Hohenlohe and John Christensen were all at Carroll Petrie’s beautiful holiday dinner in The Library of Le Cirque. One of the reasons it was so beautiful was because John Christensen, the interior designer who only does this sort of thing for his very special clients, made it look so spectacular. He covered the one long narrow table (44 feet) with a red velvet cloth over white moire and white and silver sheer striped cloth to the floor. He tied the corners with pink taffeta bows and centered the tables with huge silver five-feet-tall candelabra holding lofty white tapers and towering crystal trumpet vases bursting with pink peonies, white lilies and French tulips, five shades of red roses, red and white striped amaryllis and yellow Rothschild lilies dripping with crystal icicles made in Germany. The stems of the vases were filled with cranberries — and tell me when you’ve seen that before.
Running up and down the tables amidst holiday greenery were crystal and mirrored balls, porcelain bowls filled with champagne truffles and silver almonds, big silver cups filled with hydrangeas and five shades of pink roses and mini-silver cups filled with mini-roses. Then there were the 72 crystal votive lights tied with red silk bows, the same color as the red lamp shades on the wall sconces and the sheer red bows tied on the gilt ballroom chairs. Ficus trees in Versailles tubs lined the room and everything was sprinkled with crystal ice and fairy dust. The room was scented with Kenneth Turner candles from London, and there were gifts for one and all — silver pens from Tiffany’s for the men and Manuel Canovas candles for the ladies. The whole glorious shebang was in honor of newlyweds Anna Murdoch and Bill Mann. Now that’s a party. You could do the same thing yourself, but it would take about a year — especially if John Christensen were busy.
Dani Janssen, Hollywood’s famous hostess, gave herself a birthday dinner at her apartment high atop the glamorous Century City luxury tower overlooking the Avenue of the Stars and the Beverly Hills Golf Club. What a view!!! I mean, never mind the Grand Canyon!!! Darling Dani of the great legs cooks for days before her parties, which always draw the A+ stars of both sexes, you’ll be thrilled to hear. So: Jack Nicholson arrived with, of course, Lara Flynn Boyle of the black hair and thin good looks. Jack’s going to the White House for New Year’s Eve, and Lara wants him to give her a puppy for Christmas. He is rumored to be able to afford one. Clint Eastwood was there with the Mrs.; Michael Douglas was there with, of course, Catherine Zeta-Jones (they’ll fly to New York for their very own Christmas dinner this week); a bearded Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, arrived smiling. (When darling Don Rickles, toasting Dani, looked around the room, he remarked that Tom Hanks looked like a light-on-his-feet French waiter. Everyone just laughed and laughed.) Whoopi Goldberg was there, and so were Diane Lane (her new movie is “The Perfect Storm,” costarring George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg) and Timothy Dalton, who starts a movie with Nastassja Kinski in Los Angeles this week, and Penny Marshall and Sherry Lansing, the head of Paramount Pictures. The A+ group of both sexes wore pantsuits. And it’s a good thing.
The fabulous Fanjul family is starting the millennium on a high note, the way they start everything, truth to tell. The exciting-to-die news is that Latin pop star Ricky Martin just bought a house at the new marina in the Fanjuls’ famous Casa de Campo resort in the Dominican Republic where the elite meet to cavort neath the sheltering palms. Though Ricky baby will be elsewhere on the eve of Dec. 31, Emilia and Pepe Fanjul and their children, Emilia Jr., Pepe Jr. and his wife, Lourdes, will ring in the New Year with a group of international nomads, all stars in their particular firmament, whatever that may be. Among the guests expected are Liane Fanjul Azqueta and Norberto Azqueta; Dixon Boardman with his daughter Serena; Arianna von Hohenlohe (she’s Dixon’s pretty girlfriend); the Lou Gerstners of IBM (he’s the main IBMer); Helena Hackley (she’s Emilia Fanjul’s mommy); Venezuelan tycoon Gustavo Cisneros and his wife, Patty; Maritin March, the chic Spanish socialite who adores the Dominican Republic; Shirley and Abe Rosenthal; Minnie and Dru Montagu from London; Judy and Ed Ney; Dolores Smithies; Lally Weymouth and Andrew Stein (this has gone on for a while); model Inez Sastre, etc., etc., etc. Save the last merengue for the one you love the best.
Lisa Kudrow, who’s terribly well-behaved as the younger sister of Meg Ryan and Diane Keaton in the imminent family comedy/drama “Hanging Up,” plays a raunchy, foul-mouthed TV-Lotto hostess who conspires to rig the Pennsylvania State Lottery along with her beau (John Travolta) in her next flick, “Numbers” — which will, like “Hanging Up,” be directed by the one and only Nora Ephron.
Charlize Theron, fresh from “The Cider House Rules,” is following up with the erotic Miramax thriller “Reindeer Games,” with Ben Affleck. Ben actually got down on one knee at the Golden Globe Awards and begged her to be in a movie with him. “If you keep doing that,” Charlize purred, “I’m going to keep saying no, just so I can watch you.” And what a sweet little voyeuse she is.
(Friday, read about Khalil Rizk’s and Pierre Durand’s party at the Knickerbocker Club — a thriller.)