Actor Steven Weber stood outside the 92nd Street Y on Monday, May 18, as a procession of luxury cars pulled up, unloading finely dressed guests for the Y’s annual benefit gala.
“It is going to be an incredible evening,” said Mr. Weber, the event’s emcee, rattling off the names of the many luminaries scheduled to make an appearance: “Costello, Warwick, Dash, Jackson, O’Hara, Pagano, Dorn, Hall..Burt!”
The theme of the evening: “What the World Needs now… Featuring The Music of Burt Bacharach.”
Mr. Weber put one of his hands in the side pocket of his well-fit suit, promising, “There isn’t going to be one dry eye or one empty seat in the house!”
Later, on stage, Mr. Weber would thank the Y “for turning me into the man I am today,” adding, “You’ll be hearing from my lawyers.”
Couples strolled arm-in-arm, sipping champagne, as they filed into a marble hallway filled with enormous white orchids, leading them into the vast performance hall.
Fredric Mack, president of the Y, thanked donors for being so generous, especially this year. “Giving is just not as easy now,” he said. Mr. Mack and wife Tami Mack joined fellow gala chairs Helen and Bob Appel, Dana and Michael Goldstein, Lori and Marc Kasowitz, on stage to say a few words about the place’s importance.
The crowd clapped and cheered as the singer Dionne Warwick took the stage, leaned against the piano and said, “It is a pleasure to be here. I flew in from Brazil this morning so you’re looking at a very tired women.” Ms. Warwick went on to perform “Walk On By” and “Anyone Who Had a Heart.”
Mr. Weber later came out singing “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head,” spraying water on people in the first few rows and potentialy ruining all those fancy, freshly done Upper East Side hairdos.
Sarah Dash and John Pagano performed a duet; her bright gold dress glarefully shimmering upon the glittery stage.
Jill O’ Hara joined the Young Peoples Chorus of New York, receiving numerous applauds upon utterings the first few words of “I’ll Never Fall In Love Again.”
Elvis Costello sat in the last row, one hand on his lap, and the other massaging his forehead, as Cheyenne Jackson performed. When it came time for his own performance, Mr. Costello glided around the stage, covering Mr. Bacharach’s “God Gave Me Strength.”
Later, Mr. Costello offered a few thoughts about the heralded songwriter: “I can honestly say the music is beautiful and erotic, which is not something people usually call his music, but we’re all adults here, so I can say that.”
Mr. Bararach himself closed out the evening, slowly sitting down to a piano and launching into “Alfie,” which brought on the longest applause of the night, and a standing ovation.