Besides being the nicest guy among the Hollywood set, he’s also the bravest! Harold Ramis stood up before an audience invited to the screening of his latest film, “Year One”, who were clearly not the target group for this movie as he pointed out. He said his film’s demographics were directed more towards 20-year-old males and yet, here we were. He was disappointed in its opening and this Q & A came right on the heels of Roger Ebert’s one star review. He was brave, very brave and very kind, honest, funny and smart. He answered everyone’s questions and seemingly took a photo with everyone there. The evening was planned by event planner extraordinaire Brenda Sexton of Chicago Link Productions and it was a delight! Before the movie started, Harold said, “You are exactly NOT the demographic for this movie….I will be drinking while you’re watching this film.” His self-deprecating humor was a breath of fresh air in an arena of too many puffed-up egos. Even though the film has brought in close to $21 million, it still hasn’t met his expectations. He jokingly said he should put “AIR CONDITIONING” in really big letters in the ads like the old days to bring more people in. “Year One” was filmed in Sibley, La. in 13 weeks on a 6½ acre set constructed entirely out of Styrofoam. There were lots of funny moments and Chuck and I laughed at times so hard we had tears running down our cheeks. So even though we weren’t the target, we still thoroughly enjoyed it. Harold describes “Year One” as an abstract theme played out with adolescent comedy. The event was also to honor and celebrate Flashpoint Academy’s first graduating class. Howard Tullman gave a talk and presented a video recounting Flashpoint’s many achievements and his cameras were there to record the evening’s festivities. The after party was at the Wit Hotel which is also celebrating its first year in business. The evening was a night of firsts—“Year One” for a first year class in a year old hotel….very clever Brenda! Richard Roeper moderated the Q & A session and many of Harold’s 11 films were discussed including “Groundhog Day”. He said Tom Hanks turned this film down and the rest, as they say, is history. In Harold’s opinion, this film is the “It’s a Wonderful Life” for our generation. He goes on to say that with all of the blockbuster films coming out now like “Transformers”, he feels like he’s driving a Smart Car down the highway surrounded by 18 wheelers. I see him as the “Little Engine that Could” with “Year One”… Additional pics by Mitchell Canoff. Photos from top right: Richard Roeper, Howard Tullman and Harold Ramis; me with Chaz Ebert and Joli Burrell; Janine Givray, Laura Baron and Dana Dressler; Amy Jacobsen and Brenda Sexton; Harold at the Wit after party; Deborah Chapman; me, Howard Tullman, Barbara Pollack and Bill Zwecker; Lori and Don Shroud; Badal Shah, Justin Rakestraw and Aakash Shah; chic partygoers.
The kick-off party for the Joffrey Ballet’s fourth annual “Couture & Cocktails” will be at Neiman Marcus’ Michigan Avenue store in the Zodiac Room on Wednesday, July 29th. Come for a sneak peak of international designer Pamella Roland’s exciting collection and meet her in person. The party and trunk show will be from 6 to 8 p.m. and I don’t want you to miss it! It will be a very chic affair! Please call 312-386-8921 to RSVP. Pamella will be doing the fashion show for “Couture & “Cocktails”, the most exciting event of the year, on Friday evening, September 25th, in the Palmer House, our presenting sponsor! This will be the first fashion show ever to be held in its grand lobby. Her designs are worn on hipsters around the world and we are so lucky to have her! I am proud to say that Helen Melchior and I are the co-founders of this event and this year we have more fabulous co-chairs involved: Leslie Hindman, Shauna Montgomery, Ann Waters, Anne Kaplan, Rebecca Besser, Sheryl Dyer and Kristina McGrath. We have enlisted Donna D’Cruz, DJ of the international jet set, to amp up the excitement for the after party. At Donna’s latest event in Dubai, her guests included Robert DeNiro, Michael Jordan, Sir Richard Branson, Charlize Theron, Wesley Snipes, Jade Jagger, Mary Kate Olsen, Janet Jackson, Mischa Barton, Kylie Minogue, Denise Rich, Lindsay Lohan, Samantha Ronson and various Sheiks. “Couture & Cocktails” will be a blow out with never ending surprises and excitement! Tickets start at $250 and there is limited runway seating so reserve now to get up close and personal! For sponsorship information and tickets, please call 312-386-8921. Don’t forget to polish your dancing shoes!!! We won’t be leaving early… :) Photos from top left: Pamella Roland design; Pamella DeVos and her beautiful family; Palmer House lobby; DJ Donna D'Cruz; "Couture & Cocktails" invitation.
The 11th annual Gift of Sight Gala benefitting Midwest Eye-Banks took place Friday, May 15th at the Peninsula Hotel. Almost 150 guests came to this black tie affair to honor well loved local entrepreneurs and philanthropists Heinz Kern and Mary Ann Rose as the 2009 Man and Woman of Vision. Co-chairs for this evening were Greg Hyder, Beverly Blettner, Tom Hackett and Amy Wimer. Bill Zwecker was the emcee and the Stanley Paul Orchestra played until the wee hours. Charles Hocevar of Pratesi Linens was the silent auction chair and helped raise over $45,000 worth of items for this worthy cause. Guests included Sheryl Dyer, Cookie Cohen, Mary Cameron Frey, Connie Wimer, Kerstin Stitt, Laurie Zewer, Franco La Marca, Carol Caroll, Tiffani Kim, Marily Frank, Lesley Bramson, Jeff Stolarz, Daniel Nack, David Donnersberger, Brian Szubinski, Tom McGuire, Maureen Haga, Susan and Fred Gohl, Linda and Mark Heister, Maria and Bob Zec and Hazel Barr among others. Thanks to John Reilly Photography for the fantastic photos! Photos from top right: 2008 honoree and emeritus Beverly Blettner with 2009 honorees Heinz Kern and Mary Ann Rose; gala co-chairs Greg Hyder, Tom Hackett and Amy Wimer; Maria and Bob Zec; Susan Gohl and Laurie Zerwer. For more photos from this event, click here!
Congratulations to Diana Palomar Scott for the recognition she is bringing to the wonderful organization Mujeres Latinas en Accion. Diana, Pat Pulido Sanchez and Maria Capoccia hosted a luncheon on Wednesday, June 17th, to bring awareness to this group and the important work and services they provide for their community! I was sorry to miss it but if you would like to learn more, please visit www.mujereslatinasenaccion.org. Good luck Diana! :) Photo: Jessica Priego of the Chicago White Sox, Judie Garcia of WGN News, Michael Gonzalez of Maestros Ventures and Diana Palomar Scott of ABC 7 News.
I think one of the most important trends in this economic turndown is the return to basics and spending more quality time with family and friends. And what can be more traditional than a backyard BBQ?! We were invited to Jannie and Elliot Pearlman’s house the other evening for just such a get together. Friends included Nadine and Ira Epstein and Hedwig and Bob Golant. We had the best time and didn’t want the evening to end. The delightful meal consisted of Bob Golant’s BBQ cauliflower, Carson’s ribs and chicken (can’t make it any better on your own grill!), crispy sweet potato fries, potato salad, cole slaw and two different pies (cherry and apple) homemade by our hostess Jannie. It was a perfect summer evening—not too hot, not too cold and their home is enchanting. Jannie and I share a charming and talented designer, Paul Gonzalez, and our homes both showcase his incredible touch. We used him 20 years ago and we’ve been close friends ever since. Even though he says he’s retired, you can’t tell it. He takes on special projects for friends and family and can do anything be it modern or traditional. It was a wonderful night and I hope to be spending more intimate time with friends throughout the summer. Photos from top right: hosts Jannie and Elliot Pearlman; having fun with friends; Hedwig with the famous Golant BBQ'd cauliflower; homemade pies; Pearlman living room designed by Paul Gonzalez. For more party pics, click here!
A big congrats to the Philanthropic co-chairs for the Service Club of Chicago! Connie and Katherine Saville and Lynda Silverman put in over 2000 hours with the largest group of philanthropic volunteers (46) ever this year! We received 81 grant requests and were able to fulfill 39 of them to the tune of $362,000! The Service Club of Chicago, established in 1890, is one of the oldest philanthropic organizations in the city. Their motto is “No one is greater than the service he/she renders to the world.” Amen…and don’t forget the annual Day on the Terrace this year at the Peninsula Hotel! The date is Monday, August 3rd, and there will be a luncheon and fashion show from many chic Chicago stores! Host Hazel Barr always has surprises up her sleeve and this year will be no different! Tickets are $150 and can be purchased by calling 312-664-8471. Photos from top right: SC philanthropic co-chairs Connie Saville, Lynda Silverman and Katherine Saville; Day on the Terrace host Hazel Barr.
I hope you’re thoroughly enjoying summer in Chicago—there is no better city in the world, especially at this time of year! And now, if you didn’t believe in miracles before, you will now… check this out!