The Column

“WE’LL TAKE A GLASS TOGETHER”

Ladies and gents,

Loyal readers know I love parties. I've made a career out of them. What they may not know is that my preference is for the more intimate variety. I will take a chic salon, gathering, or dinner party over a gala any day. So you can imagine my thrill upon receiving a coveted invitation to Isabel and Ruben Toledo's atelier for a little soiree, followed by a chauffeured ride to the Brooks Atkinson Theatre to see After Midnight. The Toledo's, you see, are part of the After Midnight creative team. Isabel designed the costumes. Ruben is billed, more curiously, as "Artist in Residence." The invitation had no address -- a trick to avoid party crashers I assume -- but did come with a two-word command: "Dress up." Well, I didn't need any urging; I always dress for the theater (but, these days, alas, I'm very much in the minority on that point).

The atelier is situated at the tippy top of a non-descript industrial building in Flatiron. The space itself is anything but non-descript. A bilevel open loft space with a giant wall of windows overlooking the Empire State Building which, on the night in question, was lit stark white. Attractive staffers from Creative Edge Parties passed delectable delicacies to a crowd that, in addition to yours truly, included Debi Mazar, Candy Spelling, Joel Grey, Tommy Tune, Keli Goff, William Ivey Long, Joey Arias, Kim Hastreiter, Paige Powell, Valerie
Steele
, After Midnight producer Scott Sanders and director Warren Carlyle. I also mingled with colleagues Michael Riedel from the New York Post, who has become a vocal cheerleader for the bonafide hit musical, and Stefanie Cohen from the Wall Street Journal. (Yes, I was the only reporter in the room not employed by Rupert Murdoch.)

The conversation sizzled, as the Toledo's took us on a tour of their studio downstairs from the atelier, and it was nearly curtain time before anyone realized we should be heading to the theater. The bartender offered us "roadies" -- a term that meant something very different in my day but apparently now means an adult beverage to go. So we all took glasses of something sparkling into our town cars and were whisked to the show just in time to see the opening number. The show is divine -- it manages to feel both old-fashioned and
cutting edge, and you leave feeling slimmer, younger, and more fabulous than you felt when you showed up. And at my current age and weight, that's no small feat!

Tidbits from around town:

Caught... Lesley Nicol, who plays the beloved cook in "Downton Abbey," laughing her head off at the most British new American musical in town: A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder.

Spotted...Candice Bergen lunching with friends at Le Bernardin, and she must have enjoyed her fish because I overheard a server exclaiming about her generous tip!

Overheard...Lady Gaga congratulating producer Catherine Schreiber on the glowing reviews for her London production of The Scottsboro Boys in the lobby of the Langham.

As always, a toast of something sparkling to you and yours!

Kisses,

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