On The Avenue

The Birthday Girl Gave the Best Gift of All

by Michael Gross Photographed by Julie Skarratt
Thursday, February 9, 2017
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Philanthropist and Broadway fanatic Adrienne Arsht of New York City, Washington D.C. and Miami (site of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts), celebrated her 75th Birthday Saturday night at the Plaza. Broadway and Metropolitan Opera performers performed for her as their birthday gift. Amber Iman (soon to star in Hamilton), sang Cry Me a River.  Lindsay Mendez (returning to Broadway shortly in Significant Other) performed a medley of Don’t Rain On My Parade and Before the Parade Passes By, Norm Lewis, a star in Phantom, Porgy and Bess and Miss Saigon, did The Music Of the Night, Stokes Mitchell sang Make Them Hear You, Laura Osnes (returning soon in Broadway’s Bandstand) You’ll Never Walk Alone and Jared Grimes of After Midnight tap-danced to Happy Feet. The Metropolitan Opera was represented by Stephen Costello, who performed Ah! lêve-toi soleil, and David Pittsinger, who sang The Impossible Dream. Presenters included Danny Burstein, Claybourne Elder, William Ivey Long and Fred Kempe.  The American Pops Orchestra was conducted by Luke Frazier.

Arsht won a standing ovation when she announced that she would donate $10,000 to charity chosen by each performer–$120,000 in all.

Guests left with a “to-go” candy buffet along with bouquets of roses repurposed from the spectacular center pieces and décor.

A “Monday Nights at Birdland” after-party featured Billy Stritch at the piano and Jim Caruso as the emcee. In addition to the performers, Arsht was feted by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, David H. Koch, Karen and Richard LeFrak, Jon and Julianna Margulies, Bill Bratton and Rikki Kleiman, and Randi Zuckerberg.


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