In The Magazine

Bright Lights

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Minxy (and probably slightly ticked) Mother Nature teased and punished us with snow, sleet, ice . . . and, confusingly, occasional bright, beautiful days. Parties and plans were postponed, and snowbirds who could stay south did so (or at least skied upon it, rather than trudging through it). Here in Gotham, I kept my mittens on and made it to a few special events.

Did you know that the American Ballet Theater has been designated “America’s National Ballet Company” by Congress? And this year, it is ABT’s 75th anniversary: there’s much to celebrate, and many events to do just that. It started with a cocktail party at Alice Tully Hall, with a preview of Ric Burns’ film for PBS’s American Masters series, American Ballet Theater: A Documentary. It was doubly thrilling to see the film’s subjects, including soloist Misty Copeland and ABT Artist in Residence Alexei Ratmansky (who will debut his new Sleeping Beauty), in our midst. Supporters included Hamish Bowles, Muffie Potter Aston, Christine Schwarzman, Tracy and Jay Snyder, Bettina Zilkha, Dana Auslander, Sara Ayres, Gigi Grimstad, Carmen Torruelle, Caryn Zucker, Alexia Hamm Ryan and Susan Fales-Hill. All

of this leads up to the anniversary gala on May 15. As the New York Times said after the company’s first public performance in 1940, “With the opening of the Ballet Theater last night, New York acquired, for the first time in its life, a cosmopolitan company of its own . . . for the beginning was no less than a brilliant success.” And so it goes.

Of course we are all on a movie marathon, prepping for the Oscars, as if it mattered to them. Sometimes, though, a little indie pops up that, while perhaps less heralded, is notable nonetheless. Such is the case with the charming, touching, lovely little film Song One, brought to us by the ever-clever Cinema Society and Tod’s. This was Anne Hathaway’s first film production, and she liked the lead role so much, she played it. Her adorable husband, Adam Shulman, coproduced, along with Jonathan Demme, and Kate Barker-Froyland directed. I learned about things I probably never would have, like the hipster music scene in Brooklyn, and got to experience the new(ish), chic, private club called Omar’s. I also learned that Anne is moving back to New York from L.A., and starring in a one-woman play directed by Julie Taymor at the Public Theater. She told me this after she changed from her stilettos into white Adidas Stan Smith sneakers—another lesson in hipness. Cool guests included co-star Johnny Flynn (real-life hipster musician), Julie Taymor, Sophie Sumner, Debra Winger and Arliss Howard, Anson Mount, and Amy Fine-Collins.


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