A Love Song for AMNH

by Kelly Laffey Photographed by C. Chesek and R. Mickens
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Last week, Sara Bareilles sang a love song for the American Museum of Natural History at their annual gala. 

Over 700 guests, including gala chairs Jodie and John Eastman, Tina Fey and Jeff Richmond and Alice and Lorne Michaels—the event has long been a favorite of SNL—enjoyed cocktails in the Theodore Roosevelt Rotunda before dinner under the blue whale in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life. 

“It’s been such a privilege, such a pleasure to be part of this magical place in this magical city,” said Ellen Futter, who has served as president of the museum for 25 years. The event raises funds for AMNH’s annual programming, including free visits for 500,000 New York City school children.

SNL cast member Cecily Strong em’ceed the event, making light of the unexpected snowstorm that ultimately deterred very few people from attending. Now that Amazon is coming, she began, “it’s probably just faster to ship yourself to work,” rather than take the broken-down subways. The evening’s live auction helped to raise over $4 million, thanks in large part to Leslie Jones, who jumped on stage to persuade Michaels to allow two bidders to win tickets to a SNL taping and after party, to the tune of $50,000 each.

Bareilles closed out the evening with what she described as an, “all feminist set,” opening with “Love Song,” an unintentional homage to the blue whale up above, who Futter had earlier noted presided over the evening’s festivities with “a lot of love.” 

Other attendees included Steve Carell, Scarlett Johansson, Liev Schreiber, Sara Bareilles, Steve Higgins, Dan Abrams, Jonathan  Safran Foer, Rebecca Dayan, Jill  Hennessy, Moran Atias, Ofira Schwartz, Beck Bennett, Aidy Bryant, Michael Che, Pete Davidson, Mikey Day, Leslie Jones, Colin Jost, Kate McKinnon, Alex Moffat, Kyle Mooney, Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson, Melissa Villasenor, Ego Nwodim, Fiona Waterstreet, John Alexander, Ronald Perelman, Chris Redd, Jurate Kazickas, Scott and Roxanne Bok, Tom and Meredith Brokaw, Katie Couric, Elizabeth and Christopher Davis, Cheryl and Blair Effron, Marlene Hess and James D. Zirin, Lynette and Richard Jaffe, Tom and Kitty Kempner, Shelly and George Lazarus, Mr. and Mrs. Richard S. LeFrak, Joella and John Lykouretzos, Allison and Roberto Mignone, Alexandra and Greg Mondre, Charles and Anne Mott, Valerie and Jeffrey Peltier, Gina and Dana Randt, Shaiza Rizavi and Jon Friedland, Ralph Schlosstein and Jane Hartley, Christine A. Varney, Susan S. and Kenneth L. Wallach, and Laura Whitman and Thomas Danziger.


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