Last Scene Here
On Dancer and Blitz’n
George Balanchine once said, “I don’t want dancers who want to dance. I want dancers who need to dance.” That was pretty much the case on multiple fronts at the Boston Ballet’s Balanchine Ball, held at the Park Plaza Castle.
The decor was stunning, the food was described as “faboosh” by one attendee, the evening raised a boatload of dough to support the ballet’s education programs and most importantly, there was plenty of dancing—by the company during dinner and by the guests well into the wee hours.
The evening attracted honorees Eleanor and Frank Pao, emcee and ABC News anchor Tanya Rivero, board chair Jack Meyer, stunner Eve Rounds, English rose Ruth Littlechild and the dashing John, maestro Jonathan McPhee, Boston Pops maestro mama Emiley Lockhart, iconoclastic Brahmin Sukey Forbes, the absurdly beautiful Caroline Humphrey and the rest of her clan, tireless balletomane Janet Tobin, Hungarian Valkyrie Ildiko Varhelyi, Brazilian smoke-show Paulo Arrais, statuesque brunette Christine McCormick and her handsome other half, Jeff, the improbably tall John Osbon and the impossibly beautiful Andrea, pint-sized perfection Nina Fialkow and the ever-affable David, babe-a-licious entrepreneur Deena Giancotti, whirling dervish Andy Levine, über-suave hotelier Rajesh Khubchandani (say that three times fast), and one woman who said, “What’s not to like about watching ballet while eating lobster tail?”
Cocktails and kibitzing was followed by dinner and dancing, with a live auction and performances by the company in between. Then came the after-party, where mere mortals got to get down with some of the world’s most elite dancers.
Or, as one guest put it: “I love this party because I get to grope all the guys I drool over from the audience.”
There’s only one answer when someone invites you to a wine dinner to benefit the James Beard Foundation at Cru on Nantucket, and the answer is: “Yes, please.”
That’s why so many posh people were on hand when chef Erin Zircher teamed up with her colleague from Straight Wharf, Mayumi Hattori, and Neil Hudson of Bartlett’s Farm, to create a four-course feast to accompany wines by Donelan.
Front and center were Tripp and Cush Donelan, longtime Nantucketers whose family owns the winery, their très-chic mother, Chris, the fit-as-a-fiddle Mark Goldweitz, Cru cutie Carlos Hidalgo, gentleman farmer John Bartlett, hangover-producing Chicken Box proprietor Packy Norton, Beard Foundation beauty Julie Marshall, person of interest Gene Mahon, construction mogul Tommy Arena, island filmmaker Dan Driscoll, island heartthrob Rob Cocuzzo, Million Dollar Listing builder Dwyer Maloney, Cape Cod seafood kingpin Tato Rodriguez and so on and so forth.
It goes without saying that dinner was delicious, and everyone left feeling fat and happy, except for those of us who stayed longer than we probably should have and ended up adding drunk to the mix. CCC
Her husband may have been the famous novelist, but there was no better storyteller than Joan Parker, whose death after a brave battle with cancer left a gaping hole in the hearts of everyone who knew her, as well as in Boston’s philanthropic community. A brilliant raconteur and a staunch and loyal friend, she was wildly funny, irreverent, unpretentious and tremendous fun to be around. At 80, she could rock a pair of stilettos like a supermodel and had an unerring ability to pull off the edgiest of fashions, but was the absolute antithesis of vain. A hardworking partner to her husband, Robert B. Parker, she carried on his legacy after his death, and was a fiercely devoted mother to sons David (a dancer) and Daniel (an actor). Her true life’s work, however, was helping others. Community Servings, the Theater Offensive, and countless other nonprofits would have been worse off without her roll-up-your-sleeves hard work and enormous generosity of spirit. At its 2012 gala, the American Repertory Theater recognized her with its inaugural Angel Award. Now, she’s become one. But the big red lipstick mark she left on this city will never fade.