ANDREA BOCELLI was in New York recently for two sold out shows at Madison Square Garden. Among his backstage guests was Oscar winner Richard Dreyfuss. Bocelli’s conductor was none other than Stephen Mercurio, who guided Sting and his orchestra through “Symphonicities” and waved his baton for Aretha Franklin’s band three years ago in front of Pope Francis in Philadelphia. I was the proud guest of Steven Gaydos, executive editor of Variety who flew into New York to present Bocelli with its inaugural International Achievement in Music Award onstage. David Foster and wife Katherine McPhee (see below) were among Bocelli’s special performers. My front photo is the massive Bocelli orchestra and choir. And to the left, Gaydos — very Merv Griffin — presents Bocelli with his award. (The Academy should call him now to host the Oscars!)
Oscar winner JAMIE FOXX — nominated for a SAG award for the great movie “Just Mercy– was in town to help raise money for the Prostate Cancer Foundation. We thought Jamie might perform some of his hit songs at Restaurant Daniel but instead he took over the dining room and hilariously hosted a dance party. Jamie performed, and with him producer David Foster and new wife, singer Katherine McPhee. As the kids would say, the place was “lit.” Heavy hitters in the room included David Geffen, Ambassador Earl Mack, John Paulson, Mitchell Modell, Bonnie Pfeiffer Evans, and Steven Cohen. Master Mentalist, Lior Suchard performed several illusions that stunned the crowd. By the end of the night, Foxx had these well-heeled guests dancing on the chairs of Daniel Bouloud’s famous restaurant!
RHONY star Dorinda Medley was spotted celebrating her birthday at Russian Samovar with cast members Luann de Lesseps, Sonja Morgan and Ramona Singer. Also at another table was “Dickinson” actress Anna Baryshnikov with friends.
AUSTIN CITY UNLIMITED: Philanthropist and Attorney Thomas J. Henry’s launched the new art and music experience “Austin Elevates,” in Austin, Texas. The two-day event was free to the public and benefited local nonprofit organizations SAFE Alliance, Superhero Kids and St. David’s Foundation Community Fund. On day two of “Austin Elevates” there was a special benefit concert at the Austin360 Amphitheatre and featured live performances by recording artists Kygo, Daddy Yankee, DaBaby and 88Glam. All donated proceeds from the event supported the participating nonprofit organizations. Notable guests besides the artist who appeared included: Jennie Garth, Ashlee Simpson and Evan Ross, Chace Crawford. Henry, known across Texas as a legal eagle, is father of model Maya Henry who dates One Direction Liam Payne. “I am completely taken aback and honored by the positive reaction we’ve received from the community for ‘Austin Elevates,’” said Henry. “It was my mission to not only bring a unique event tailored to this amazing city but to raise awareness and funds for the local nonprofits making a difference in the lives of so many every day.”
Philanthropist and activist Lizzie Asher hosted a cocktail reception with The American Foundation of Savoy Orders Youth Program Chairman Joseph B. Giminaro, and the Young Friends Steering Committee of Save Venice in honor of H.R.H. Prince Emanuele Filiberto di Savoia, Prince of Venice.
Notable attendees included: H.R.H. Prince Emanuele Filiberto di Savoia, Carl Morelli, Mercedes de Guardiola, Michele Rayden, Silvia Melia and Casey Kohlberg
RHONY star Dorinda Medley spotted celebrating her birthday at Russian Samovar with cast members Luann de Lesseps, Sonja Morgan and Ramona Singer. Also at another table was “Dickinson” actress Anna Baryshnikov — daughter of ballet legend Mikhail– with friends.
PS Congratulations to Norah Lawlor’s Lawlor Media Group, named Best PR firm by Dan’s Papers in the Hamptons. The voting was competitive, and the other candidates were no slouches. But LMG is the tops in the Hamptons, Manhattan, and Hollywood for great events– the most chill, best organized and fun.