Good Company

Missives from the Jet Set

Pass the Absinthe…

(Left: Joan Wallace Benjamin and Milton Benjamin at Le Bal Époque; Second from Left: Boston Ballet in Léonide Massine’s Gaîté Parisienne at Le Bal Époque; Second from Right: Lisa Blumenthal at Le Bal Époque; Right: Jack Meyer, Sarah Wroth and John Lam at Le Bal Époque)

“Epic” is the only word to describe Le Bal Époque, the Boston Ballet’s swoon-worthy gala held at the Park Plaza Castle.

Bisected by a dazzling red dance floor and bookended by two stages, the room out-glammed the Moulin Rouge, and a sumptuous dinner was served at candlelit tables punctuated by art nouveau touches. The strictly A-list crowd included silver fox Pamela Humphrey, who co-chaired with her daughter, Joanna Humphrey Flynn, and fashion plate Lisa Pierpont, emcee J.C. Monahan (who pulled out her childhood Boston Ballet ID card), dazzling blonde Sarah Mars, brunette stunner Lisa Blumenthal, board chair Jack Meyer, real estate titan John Ruggieri and his sequin-bedecked husband, principal dancer John Lam, the always glamorous Koren Phillips, party pair Nina and David Fialkow, irresistible redhead Audrey Epstein Reny and her handsome other half, Steve, one-woman Mardi Gras Susan Poduska and the dapper Bill, travel titan Andy Levine and his smoking yogini, Deena Giancotti, Philanthroposaurus Rex Teddy Cutler, dashing developer Arthur Winn, soignee painter Susie Gheyssari with her distinguished other half, Majid Bonakdarpour, investment hottie Max Osbon and his corps de ballet cutie, Rachel Cossar, restaurateur extraordinaire Seth Woods and the magnificent Megan, and one woman who responded to a compliment on her outfit by saying, “What? This old thing? It’s a mix of Carolina Herrera and Armani.”

In between courses (paired with some superior Burgundies), the company performed excerpts from Gaîté Parisienne clad in costumes courtesy of Christian Lacroix. The silent and live auctions raised beaucoup dinero for dance education, and everyone stayed on the dance floor until well into the wee hours. The evening’s funniest remark: “$24,000 for a trip to Finland?!? I thought people got paid to go there.”

Stopping to Smell the Roses…

(Left: Simone Winston and Penelope Fireman at the One Family reception; Right: Ashley Bernon and Nikki Lank Bialow at the One Family reception)

The flowers and greenery were a welcome change of scenery when Winston Flowers in Chestnut Hill hosted a reception for One Family, its Charity in Bloom nonprofit partner for February.

The Wellesley-heavy crowd included One Family head Dan Fireman and his brunette babe, Penny, blond bombshell Ashley Bernon, latter-day Farrah Fawcett Kat VanDernoot, statuesque beauty Simone Winston, the naturally carbonated Stephanie Harvey, Tasmanian devil impersonator Joshua Janson, the startlingly beautiful Sara Underwood, real estate stud muffin Michael Harper, the Sultan of Saks, Suhail Kwatra, pita chip queen Stacy Madison and her debonair brother, David Lowe, mutual fund magician Chuck Myers, peripatetic blonde Liz Niedermeyer, hairstylist-to-the-stars Billy Boney and one woman who greeted a friend by saying, “Sorry, I’m just talking obsessively about my new toilet from Japan.”

However, the evening’s funniest exchange was this: “Have you been out west to ski this winter?”

“Does Nashoba Valley count?”


(Left: Stacey Lucchino and Debbie DiMasi at the CharityWarriors Awards Gala; Middle: Sally Taylor, Mary Chiochios, Judy Belushi and Christy Cashman at the CharityWarriors Awards Gala; Right: Nancy Frates and Dana D’Alfonso at the CharityWarriors Awards Gala)

Q: How many good causes can you support in one evening? A: If you attended the second annual CharityWarriors Awards Gala, the answer is five. Held at the Artists for Humanity EpiCenter,
the evening was the culmination of a friendly competition between five deeply passionate women working on behalf of their nonprofits: The Last Call Foundation, HMS MEDscience, The Hands to Heart Center, Brookview and Sibling Connections.

Each participant competed to raise the most funds and disseminate their message, and not surprisingly, the evening attracted almost every woman of substance in the city, as well as a few good men. Present and accounted for: creators Christy Cashman and Mary Chiochios, the former’s handsome husband, Jay, and gorgeous stepdaughters, Erica and Jaclyn, ALS crusader Nancy Frates and her flawless sister Dana D’Alfonso, the indefatigable Mary Kakas, corkscrew-curled beauty Sally Taylor, South End hipsters Greta Meszoely and Hamid Benbrahim, casting agent Angela Peri, marketing guru Joan Jolley, Beacon Hillion Regina Winslow, bespoke tailor Alan Rouleau, fashion designer David Josef, lovable shutterbug Cheryl Richards, and so on and so forth.

The evening’s “top warrior” turned out to be the delightful Julie Joyal, although all of the participants were winners, and lots of people learned about some great causes they might not otherwise have heard about.

Meanwhile, in the overheard-by-the-bar category was the man who was leaving on vacation with his wife and said, “I’m gassy even before I get on an airplane, so when we arrive, I’m like, ‘The romantic portion of this trip won’t begin for 24 to 48 hours.’ ”

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