Sarah Jessica Parker Blows Off Benefit For Fallen Baghdad Activist

transom anncurry getty Sarah Jessica Parker Blows Off Benefit For Fallen Baghdad ActivistFar be it from actress Sarah Jessica Parker to do something so clichéd as show up at her Sex and the City co-star Chris Noth’s bar, the Cutting Room, on West 24th Street—despite her position as honorary host of a benefit concert there, also on Monday, June 16.

A number of other entertainment luminaries, including the comedian and writer Al Franken, and the actresses Susan Sarandon and Natalie Portman, likewise lent their names, if not their presence, to the charity event, a fund-raiser for the fledgling Andi Foundation, which provides scholarships in memory of Andrea Parhamovich, a young activist with the Washington-based National Democratic Institute who was killed during an ambush on her convoy in Baghdad last year.

“It’s a touching story,” said NBC Today Show anchorwoman Ann Curry, who gently massaged the Transom’s bulging bicep — boing! — before hugging her way through a crowd interspersed with the slain activist’s friends and family, including Michael Hastings, Ms. Parhamovich’s ex-boyfriend and author of the book I Lost My Love in Baghdad: A Modern War Story (Scribner).

Brooklyn singer-songwriter Carrie Rodriguez and jazzy Bronx-born pianist Peter Cincotti performed.

The venue is a longtime hangout for employees of Air America Radio, where Ms. Parhamovich once worked and where friends had intended to throw her a send-off party prior to her fateful trip to Iraq.

“It was down the street from our office and just one of those local watering holes,” said organizer Jaime Horn, herself a former Air America employee. “They’ve always been really good to us here.”

cshott@observer.com