At Big Benefit, Tina Brown Eschews ‘The Cave’

After spending the better part of last year penning The Diana Chronicles in relative isolation at her beach house, erstwhile New Yorker editor Tina Brown is, at least for the time being, happy to soak up the odd wingding.

“I didn’t want to go back into my cave right away, if you know what I mean. I’m sure I will do another book, but I just wanted to give myself the fall to cruise and play a little bit, because it’s been a long time,” said Ms. Brown, 53. She was speaking to The Transom in the Jazz at Lincoln Center’s sixth-floor reception hall, where Events of the Heart-a charity for women with or at risk of contracting heart disease-threw a benefit gala on Monday, October 1.

“I actually don’t want to go back into that bit of a cave just yet,” she said again, with added emphasis.

While Ms. Brown is apparently enjoying the time off, she did say that she plans to a sign another book deal in the next month or two. Another biography, perhaps? “Maybe, I’m not sure. I’m playing at the moment,” she said.

A few yards away, actor Bob Balaban, wearing his signature circular specs, stood dishing with power publicist Peggy Siegal. He said he was thrilled to begin filming an HBO project called Recount, about the 2000 presidential election fiasco in Florida, in a few weeks. Recount aside, he was most eager to talk about this year’s Bernard and Doris (about tobacco billionaire Doris Duke’s relationship with her gay butler), which he directed and produced. The film costars Susan Sarandon and Ralph Fiennes.

“When two great actors get together and spend a lot of time together on screen, it’s a fine thing to watch. It’s kind of like sex, but no sex happens, but it’s kind of like sex,” Mr. Balaban, 62, said with a giggle. But can we look forward to seeing him in another Christopher Guest mockumentary any time soon? “We don’t know. They call us and then we find out and then we all leave. If [Mr. Guest] calls, oh yeah!” he said.

Later in the evening, playwright Doug Wright was stopping by the bar with his partner, David. Mr. Wright offered that he was thrilled to offer his support to the cardiac charity-he wrote a short play that would be performed later in the evening-but, apparently, that’s all in a day’s work.

“Most of my activism finds its expression in my work. I wrote a play called I Am My Own Wife, which advocates tolerance and it’s just been played in Eastern Europe and its one of the first plays ever to be produced over there that actively addresses homosexuality, so that’s been a great satisfaction!” he said.

For the moment, though, Mr. Wright said he is focusing on his work for the Broadway revival of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. “It’s the first time I’ve ever worked on a show that has a giant bubble machine and confetti canons, so you might say it’s a welcome vacation from these weightier issues!”

At Big Benefit, Tina Brown Eschews ‘The Cave’