Shakers & Shakespeare

Missives From the Jet Set.

To Thine Own Musical Taste Be True


It was Elizabethan England meets CBGB at the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company’s sixth annual gala, held at the Mandarin Oriental. The evening’s theme— the streets of New York in 1985—was interpreted widely by guests wearing everything from Dynasty-sized shoulder pads to bondage pants emblazoned with the word “f—” (OK, so that was me). Present and accounted for: co-chairs Kelly Shacklett Boullet and Sam Mazzarelli, eccentric Southern belle Less Arnold, radio redhead Kennedy Elsey (rocking black leather and a Duran Duran pin), amateur basketball star Irwin Heller, the flawless Margaret McNeill, net-worth wizard Molly Hanson, brunette bombshells Adriana Hassan and Amber D’Amelio, party monster Bryan Rafanelli, banking hottie Rick Musiol, South End arts aficionados Kurt Gress and Samuel Parkinson, Baywatch babe Traci Bingham and her main squeeze, Devin Hill, and so on and so forth down the list of cool kids.

During dinner, hypnotically blue-eyed street artist Percy Fortini-Wright spray-painted a portrait of the Bard that was auctioned off at the end of the evening. An Andy Warhol look-alike worked the crowd while the music proved that the ’80s produced an astonishing number of songs that even the rhythmically impaired can dance to.

After the party was temporarily interrupted by a fire alarm, the DJ immediately got things pumping again with the Talking Heads’ “Burning Down the House,” which prompted one guest to say, “I would’ve gone with ‘The Roof Is on Fire,’ but to each his own.”

Beantown’s Got Talent


You’ve gotta love any fundraiser where any outfit more formal than jeans would mean being seriously overdressed, and Boston Rocks—a benefit concert for Berklee College’s community outreach programs—lives up to its name.

Held at Royale, the party featured the Berklee Full Circle Band, with amazingly talented lead vocalists Melanie Lynx, David Stewart, Samantha Schultz and Back Bay’s answer to Bruce Springsteen, Steve Oristaglio, the event’s founder.

The evening’s high-powered crowd included the likes of Oristaglio’s wife, Jeryl, financial titan Andy Goldfarb and his lovely wife, Stephanie Harvey, who mingled with his ex, Rachael, and her beau, Mark Slovenkai, soccer superstar Kelyn Rowe with the delectable Chelsea Stewart, lingerie model Leigh Weatherly Denny and her debonair husband, George, fashion icon Erin Gilligan and the dashing Hoil Kim, gorgeous legal badass Amy Dray McNamee, the impish Hamid Benbrahim and his babe-a-licious bride, Greta Meszoely, Back Bay hipsters Maura Connolly and John Egan, the statuesque Jennifer Donaldson, Bingo “The Prince of Bouclé” Sears and the ever-entertaining Charles Ribakoff.

The show ended with a rousing version of “All You Need Is Love,” to which one guest mumbled, “I need vodka, too,” and a thumping after-party took place at the W Boston, where there were tasty bites, free-flowing booze and a dance floor that got a good workout.

The evening’s funniest remark: “I needed to get laid, so I stayed home by myself.”

Prime Movers


The Boston Center for the Arts’ aptly named Movers & Shakers competition, held at the
Cyclorama, attracted an attractive and opinionated crowd, who watched the city’s top restaurants, bartenders, caterers and craft distillers compete ferociously in a battle to create the best cocktail. The event was sold out, with a line stretching down the block, and guests were given olive-shaped swizzle sticks to cast their ballots.

Prominent among the throng: mustachioed muchacho John O’Connor and the devastatingly handsome David Reichert, tall drink of water Bill Coombs, interior design avatar Suzanne Logan, the stunning duo of Summer Williams and Jacquinn Williams-Sinclair, exotic goddess Trearty Bartley, most of the Avruch clan (Frank, Betty, Steve and his hubby, Ed MacLean), the stunning Kristina Fernandez with fiance Erico Lopez, and a guy in red-and-white striped shorts with a bowtie and a blue blazer, which prompted another guest to say, “Bold move, but I think he’s rushing the season.”

The award for Signature Cocktail went to the Beehive, and Hamersley’s Bistro took Food and Drink Pairing. Overall Presentation went to Cinquecento, while the Crowd Favorite was Aquitaine. Meanwhile, the following gem was overheard: “How gay am I? I’m already planning my Halloween costume in April.”


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