Social Calendar Anxiety: Tribeca Film Festival and Endless Galas Make Even the Savviest Socialites Say Uncle

Dan Stevens
Dan Stevens

After an all-too-brief West Coast jaunt to Palm Springs and La Jolla for spicy juice cleanses and grueling workouts, Shindigger returned to the New York scene just in time for what one exhausted publicist called “official gala week,” which happened to coincide with the social-calendar assault that is the Tribeca Film Festival.

“It’s going to be a schizophrenic monster,” another publicist griped

The mere thought ruined any lingering benefits of Shindigger’s detox. Nonetheless, the highbrow and jam-packed show must go on.

On Monday night, we toasted Mandy Patinkin at the National Dance Institute’s annual gala and sipped Qui libations beside 50 Cent at the Cinema Society’s screening of Pain and Gain. On Tuesday, Shindigger popped over to Pier 60, where we joined Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Mark Ruffalo and Yoko Ono at Riverkeeper’s Annual Fishermen’s Ball cocktail hour. But we couldn’t stop there.

“I’m starting rehearsal for Shakespeare in the Park next week,” actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson told Shindigger inside the Calvin Klein Collection boutique at a cocktail event benefiting the Human Rights Campaign’s “Americans for Marriage Equality” effort. The Modern Family star explained that he and his fiancé, Justin Mikita, were also busy planning the wedding.

“I am getting married in July,” he said. “We’re Californians right now, but we’re doing the wedding in a state where we’re considered an equal and that’s New York.”

Will you be wearing Calvin Klein Collection? Shindigger wondered.

“We just had our tuxedos made by a great designer. Band of Outsiders,” he said.

We milled about the event along with Christine Quinn, Lloyd Blankfein, Uma Thurman, Neil Patrick Harris, David Burtka, Allison Sarofim, Alan Cumming and model Carolyn Murphy, before striking up a conversation with Downton Abbey leading man Dan Stevens.

“Who’s this?” Mr. Stevens said grabbing Shindigger’s three-piece suit.

“Ted Baker and Armani. Are you in Calvin Klein?”

“I am in Calvin Klein tonight,” he laughed. “I’ve been working with them for a little bit, and I’m thrilled that they were behind HRC. I was involved in Human Rights Watch back in London. It’s nice to continue that involvement now that we’re living here.”

The dashing Englishman went on to explain that, since he began acting in Broadway’s The Heiress and filming a new movie in the city, he and his family have settled nicely into life in Brooklyn.

“We’re sort of New Yorkers now,” he said. “It’s very nice to be out with my wife tonight, without the kids, but I’ve been working pretty hard. It’s that type of place.”

Indeed it is.

By Friday, Shindigger was desperate for a poolside nap in Malibu. Alas, we had Bomb Magazine’s 32nd anniversary gala auction to attend at Capitale. There we spotted art world star Kyle DeWoody, who was being honored along with her mother, Beth Rudin DeWoody. Like us, the lanky social bee yearned for a moment to recharge.

“Tomorrow I leave for L.A.,” she said. “But not for relaxation—for work.”


“There’s a lot competing events between the art and the film worlds,” Ms. DeWoody went on, describing how she was trying to navigate her regular VIP agenda with the added wrinkle of Tribeca. The night before, for instance, we had bumped into her at the premiere of Nicholas Wrathall’s Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia.

“Nicholas was always talking about this project, and we all thought it was a joke—a made-up thing. It just never came to fruition,” Ms. DeWoody said of the documentary, which seemed especially relevant in these trying times of troubled political leadership and terrorism. “I had no idea what an interesting man Gore Vidal was. I was blown away.”

But not everyone was in an educational mood by week’s end.

It became clear that some of the genteel folk were getting exhausted at Youth America Grand Prix’s “Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow” gala, which took place at the David H. Koch Theater, as the commentary from some of the city’s social set had sharpened.

“She holds a grudge worse than an Armenian and a Turk,” sneered one diva in an Oscar de la Renta gown to another doyenne about some other attendee.

Thankfully, at the table of co-chair Heather Georges, decorated by the likes of Darren Henault, Michael Bassett and Adelina Wong Ettelson, things were considerably more upbeat and witty. The coterie was quite impressed by ballerina Svetlana Lunkina, who recently fled the Bolshoi in fear for her life. On this night, to the joy of ballet aficionados, she was dancing for one of the first times since.

But even at our table, the good cheer soon gave way to snippiness.

“Is that Woody Allen?” Shindigger asked.

“Yes! Isn’t his wife Soon-Yi [Previn] on some board?” came a whisper from across the table.

“Why are there so many cameras swarmed around Karen LeFrak?” someone else wanted to know.

“She composed the music for tonight’s program,” another guest replied, unimpressed.

“Well, she does have an M.A. in music history from Hunter,” Shindigger said in her defense.

“She must have had help,” snapped a gentleman to our left with an eye-roll and a snicker.

Thank goodness everyone could retreat to their corners—if not Palm Springs—for the weekend. Social Calendar Anxiety: Tribeca Film Festival and Endless Galas Make Even the Savviest Socialites Say Uncle