PLUS WOMEN IN THE ARTS; VANITY FAIR LOVES OUR MELLODY; DEAD HEADS TAKE NOTE; DIFFARENCE 2015; JARRETT'S "STRIKE AGAINST BULLYING"; CHEF ART AND JESUS TAKE A STAND; JEFF'S CAMERA-TALK; SPEX'S LITTLE CITY FUNDRAISER; HEAVEN ON SEVEN'S 35TH BD; WHITNEY GOES TO MONDAYS; WATCH312 UP FOR TELLY; STEVE HARVEY REVISITS "MY FAIR LADY" (YEAH!); HEF'S APRIL BIRTHDAY; MODELING PICS FROM THE VAULTS; FORMENTO'S WOWS; CF&A CELEBRATES 20; VIDEOS AND SO MUCH MORE!
After a dreary winter, spring was all dressed up and ready for its close-up at the annual “Evening in Bloom” preview party for the Chicago Flower & Garden Show, on March 13, inside Navy Pier’s grand Festival Hall. Befitting the “Do Green. Do Good.” theme of the 2015 show, the event celebrated the (impending!) arrival of spring in beautiful, inspirational style and benefited several local charities including the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association, Alzheimer’s Association and Peterson Garden Project.
Mariano's served as presenting sponsor of the Show that was co-chaired by Nina and Bob Mariano for the second year. Over 200 guests received a special sneak peek at this year’s show that featured two dozen stunning display gardens teeming with fragrant, eye-popping flowers.
Partygoers also enjoyed musical entertainment and a tasting of fine wines. Some of Chicago’s most popular food providers participated including Harry Caray’s, O’Donovan’s, Riva, Mariano’s, Chicago
Area Retail Bakers Association and Eli’s Cheesecake. I look forward to this lovely event every year as it's a perfect sign that spring is near! (I hope!)
Congrats to Show Director, Tony Abruscato on another beautiful, inspiring show that raised more than $30,000 for its chosen charities!
For the 6th annual Steppenwolf Salutes Women in the Arts luncheon the honoree was Emmy and Obie Award-winning actress and original ensemble member Laurie Metcalf.
Following a VIP reception at the Standard Club on March 9, Steppenwolf Board Chair Nora Daley welcomed more than 300 guests, then fellow original ensemble member Jeff Perry introduced the charming honoree.Widely
celebrated for her role as Jackie Harris (I loved her in this show!) on the long-running hit sitcom, Roseanne, as well as recent featured roles in HBO’s Getting On, CBS’s The McCarthys and The Big Bang Theory, Laurie’s remarkable career
has spanned theater, film and television. Winner of three Emmy Awards and two Obie Awards, she was one of Steppenwolf’s original ensemble members alongside fellow college classmates Jeff Perry, Terry Kinney, Joan Allen, John Malkovich and others. Guests enjoyed an engaging conversation between
Steppenwolf Artistic Director Martha Lavey and Metcalf that featured a video montage of her most memorable roles assembled by darling/talented/dynamic Donna La Pietra and Kurtis Productions. Steppenwolf Managing Director David Schmitz and ensemble members Alana Arenas, Ora Jones, Molly Regan and Lois Smith joined in honoring one
of the "strongest women in theater, television and film today." The luncheon raised nearly $175,000 for Steppenwolf’s professional development programs, including Steppenwolf for Young Adults, the nationally recognized education program, the School at
Steppenwolf, as well as the Professional Leadership Programs. Host committee members included Sarah Beardsley, Marlene Breslow-Blitstein, Carole L. Brown, Elizabeth H. Connelly, Nora Daley, Mary Dempsey, Kelly Epstein, Amy Eshleman, Nene Foxhall, Noreen Gallagher, Lynn Hauser,
Donna La Pietra, Jan Melk, Lynn Lockwood Murphy, Susan Oleari, Katie Spring, Stephanie B. Smith, Bobette Takiff, Susan Warrington and Helen Zell. This is always an outstanding afternoon with remarkable women. To stay abreast of Steppenwolf's fabulous events and productions, check out their website here.
Vanity Fair contributing editor Bethany McLean finds that Mellody Hobson—president of the well-respected Chicago money-management firm Ariel Investments, Princeton/St. Ignatius grad and wife of George Lucas—has a lot of fans. “She has a grace and graciousness about her that is singular,” Jeffrey Katzenberg, the
C.E.O. of DreamWorks Animation, says. “She is remarkably unique. She’s a stunning person. I get a little nervous talking about her because the words are so flowery. But it’s truly how I feel about her.” “My life was altered by meeting her, and that’s not something I say lightly,” Facebook chief
operating officer Sheryl Sandberg tells McLean. “She is such a big part of my path taken. I think she does that for everyone.” “What can I say?” says Howard Schultz, the chairman and C.E.O. of Starbucks. “When I think of her, I think of grace. She’s a most unique individual. I love Mellody Hobson.” The only person with some constructive criticism for Mellody
Hobson appears to be Hobson herself. “I am very direct,” Hobson tells McLean. “It is not well received by all. I play better with people who can take it, those who are self-confident. But I know that limits my world, which is not good, so I’m trying to be more cognizant of that.” She adds, “People can be crushed by
my point of view now more than ever. You get this mystique, and your words have more consequences than you intended.” Hobson confidant Arianna Huffington tells McLean that Hobson did express some concern, at first, for her relationship with now-husband George Lucas. “We were sitting on the couch with our shoes off when she told me George had invited her to another dinner,” recalls Huffington. “I said, ‘You can’t go.’ I
thought he was a ladies’ man.” But the two have had nothing but marital bliss since they wedded, in 2013. “I’ve known George a long time and I’ve never seen him this happy, including the night that Star Wars opened,” says David Geffen, who is another of Hobson’s fans. (“I love her,” he says.) For her part, Hobson tells McLean that the relationship works because “we have the
same values. Star Wars was written for 12-year-old boys to teach them right and wrong.” She adds, “By values, I mean what’s right and what society expects of us.” To read more from this interesting and inspiring feature (9 pages!), check out the April issue of Vanity Fair out now! Congrats Mellody on this well deserved recognition! I love you, too! :-)
Jarrett Payton partnered with Kings Bowl for the first ever “Strike Against Bullying” celebrity bowling tournament held at Kings in Rosemont on March 5. The event raised more than $18,000 for the Jarrett Payton Foundation’s anti-bullying programs. The event combined bowling, dining, and celebrities for an unforgettable evening of fun and fundraising. Celebrity guests in attendance included Jarrett, George
McCaskey, Charles “Peanut” Tillman, Israel Idonije, Jerry Azumah, Rashied Davis, Peggy Kusinski, Ryan Baker, Dionne Miller, John Garcia, David Haugh, David Kaplan, Jim Cornelison and Chris Boden. Sponsors that hosted teams of 6 plus a celebrity guest
included Argus Brewery, Associated Agencies, Cy Fredrics, Impact Sales/Isi Midwest, JWP, LLC., LG-PR, Metlife, Millenia Products Group, Primus Electronics, Power Forward DuPage, Tat Cave, Serafin & Associates, Inc, Sprovieri’s
and Wheatland Realty. All of the players and guests enjoyed a sampling of Kings' delicious event menu including sesame ginger wings, steak skewers and shiitake mushroom spring rolls with a sweet soy
drizzle. (Yummy!) The Jarrett Payton Foundation positively impacts the lives of children and adolescents by creating and providing programs that develop leadership skills and enrich their lives. The two main programs of The Jarrett Payton Foundation, Project No Bull and The Jarrett Payton
Leadership Academy, are dedicated to spreading the sentiment Jarrett’s father repeated to him time and time again: “We are all more similar than we are all different.”
Dead Heads Take Notice! Donley Auction Services will present a once in a lifetime
auction bringing an extraordinary private collection of Grateful Dead memorabilia to the Chicago area! Former employees and friends of The Dead are presenting “The Grateful Dead Family Jubilee Auction,” with nearly 700 items, which may be the largest collection of Dead memorabilia ever assembled! It is estimated that it may well bring several million dollars at auction!! The live, invite-
only auction will be hosted at Donley Auction Services in Union, IL, BUT the public is invited to participate in the online auction now through the closing of the live auction on April 12. The public is also invited to attend a preview at the Donley Auction House on April 8 to get a sneak peek at some of the items up for auction. Tickets are $25
and can be purchased here. Randy Donley of Donley Auction Services said, "The auction was scheduled well before the announcement of the “Fare Thee Well” shows this summer at Soldier Field, but the timing for this auction couldn’t be more perfect to celebrate the Grateful Dead’s 50th anniversary!" (To view ALL 678 auction offerings, click here !) Happy Bidding!
Great news! One of our Watch312 videos is under consideration for a People's Choice Award for the 36th annual Telly Awards! This video was created with lots of love for the Herrick Family (Liz, Jared, Francesca, Tyler, Alyssa and Max). Max
Herrick, as you may remember, is the charming, rock star Ambassador for the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Everywhere he goes, a fan club develops and I soon fell under his charm after meeting him in 2012. Their inspiring story was created through a collaboration with
filmmaker Steve Weiss, editors Kes Akalaonu and Josh Orr, cameramen Brian Kaempen and Alonzo Stallings and Illinois Center for Broadcasting honchos Bob Mills and Bill Natale (also executive director/producer). Please take a moment to view and rate "Max's Story" here!
DIFFA's Auxiliary Board hosted its 3rd annual DIFFArence event on March 6 at The Center on Halsted. Livening up the evening with a specially designed “Prom” theme, Dance for a DIFFArence raised funds to help eradicate HIV/AIDS. The event welcomed local design and business professionals for an entertaining evening designed to celebrate the advancements made towards the cause with music, cocktails and dancing. All ticket, raffle and prom court voting proceeds went directly to Chicago-area service agencies that provide assistance, education and outreach to those living with HIV/AIDS. The evening featured live entertainment from DJ Versage, a specially designed photo booth with a whimsical balloon arch and the official announcement of the evening’s prom king and queen. Congrats on a cool event for a great cause!
Special thanks to darling Whitney Reynolds and Jordan (host of 103.5KISSFM's Jordan Show) for having me on to talk about hot happenings in Chicago. (Hear the interview here!) The Whitney Reynolds Show will be expanding to Monday nights on Lakeshore Public Media (WYIN) so make sure you tune in! And, if you're a lover of reasonably priced fashion like I am,
be sure to check out her jewelry line (AM, Accessory Mercado) here!
I'm so excited to share this news! I've been invited back to reprise the "My Fair Lady" segment on the STEVE HARVEY SHOW! I'm so thrilled and can't wait to meet the next single lady for a dramatic head-to-toe,
Chef Art Smith and husband Jesus Salgueiro took a positive approach to the recent gay parenting scandal surrounding fashion
designers Dolce & Gabbana, with a special event at Smith’s acclaimed Chicago restaurant, Table 52 on Sunday, March 22. In response to Dolce & Gabbana's controversial public
comments surrounding gay parents, celebrity Chef Art Smith, his husband of nearly 5 years-artist Jesus Salgueiro (new fathers to four adopted siblings ages 6-12) and celebrity party
planner Debi Lilly, welcomed ALL families to celebrate family equality by enjoying brunch at the restaurant with sales being matched and donated by Art and Jesus to support www.FamilEquality.org. #DoGoodBeGood
from his long (40+ years) career as a photog and editor for Playboy Magazine! "People always ask what it was like to work with Hugh Hefner and the Playboy Playmates and now I have a platform to share it all," enthused Jeff. He will reflect on his years as a
freelance photographer in California, his glamorous adventures with Playboy, travels in Russia, Japan and Cuba and his up-close-and-personal brushes with A list celebs. Space is limited to 15 adults (18+) so reserve now at 847.347.2509 for a bunny-filled hop down memory lane at 485 Roger Williams Ave., Highland Park, Il.
If you're not following Visual Therapy's fashion and style blog, then you are really
missing out on some great insider news! Founders Jesse Garza and Joe Lupo along with lead stylist Lisa Maria McComb bring fashion to your finger tips as they traverse the globe and their headquarters in NY for everything that's hot and happening in the world of style. Their latest entry takes you to Paris Fashion Week so sit back, relax and take a look!
Spex, Chicago’s go-to neighborhood destination for luxury eyewear and sunwear, was presenting sponsor for Little City Foundation’s “Seeing Hope Together”, an exciting annual poker tournament and casino night fundraiser held at the Montgomery Club on March 6. This year's event, Spex's 3rd year of sponsorship, attracted more
than 200 guests to benefit Little City, whose mission for over 50 years has been to support children and adults with autism and developmental disabilities. Iconic sunwear collections from TOM FORD, Balenciaga, Seraphin, and Roberto Cavalli were
informally modeled and on display in the Monte Carlo-themed Spex lounge throughout the festivities. Partygoers enjoyed a premium bar, decadent hors d'oeuvres, a lavish buffet and assorted sweets. Michael Caputo, Director of Marketing/Spex, expressed gratitude for the turnout, “We enjoy sharing our playful brand with such a successful event like Little City’s Poker tournament and I'm thrilled to report that we raised more than $130K. We’re so very appreciative to those who helped make an evening of gaming for a good cause an even greater event.” Well done!
We just received the cool Save-The-Date for the wedding of Elena Samokhina and Peter Kuo! It will take place in Nice (which is nice) on September 10! Happy, Happy Day for these two lovebirds!
The original Heaven on Seven at 111 N. Wabash celebrated its 35th anniversary at a party recently with close family and friends. Chef/owner Jimmy Bannos has dubbed 2015 the "Rebirth of Heaven on Seven" with plans
to commemorate this Chicago institution throughout the year. Celebratory events will include dinner service, chef collaborations, beer dinners, cooking classes and more! Heaven on Seven is the original location for the authentic Cajun cuisine of
critically acclaimed Chef Jimmy Bannos. With the ever-famous gumbo, Heaven on Seven provides the BEST Louisiana cooking outside of New Orleans. Third generation restaurateurs, Jimmy and George Bannos were born and raised in the restaurant
business. In 1980, with Jimmy fresh out of cooking school, the Bannos family opened its concept of a “neighborhood restaurant in the middle of the loop.” On the seventh floor of the Garland Building, the “New Garland Coffee Shop” was born. It was in 1984, while experimenting with Louisiana recipes that Jimmy’s real
passion and talent for cooking emerged. Soon regular customers were going crazy over his gumbo and red beans, demanding Cajun specials year round. Aptly named to identify its seventh floor location and to describe the heavenly clouds of steam wafting from Jimmy's scrumptious gumbo, "Heaven on Seven" was created with heart and soul. Jimmy's goal was then and is now for "Heaven on Seven" to be the best Louisiana
style restaurant outside of New Orleans. And I do believe he's achieved his goal! Good luck Jimmy and keep up the great work! :-) (Photos by Jessica Eileen Drogosz)
Thanks so much to WCIU's "You & Me This Morning" for having me back to co-host! I loved filling in for Jeanne Sparrow while
she took a much needed vaca. I had so much fun playing with Melissa Forman and, especially, Tara, the wonder dog! Tara, a beautiful blue Pit Bull, was looking for a forever home and she FOUND ONE after the show! Loved this! See her shine in this segment here!
Chuck, Michael Kutza and I had a nice dinner at Formento's, a two month old hotspot with a down home feel while still feeling edgy. The warm lighting, exposed brick, over-sized, comfy leather booths and a
traditional menu at Formento's (925 W. Randolph) ensures it will be a winner for years to come! Congrats to owner John Ross on yet another super spot!
Congrats are in order for one of the most professional PR firms in town! Carol Fox & Associates celebrated its 20th anniversary with hundreds of friends/fans/clients on 3/20 at Chicago Artists Coalition Gallery. Carol Fox and Nick Harkin gave
heartwarming thank-you speeches and I got a chance to meet Carly Leviton's darling parents--they all look like siblings! Happy BD CF&A!
And last but not least, I want to thank photographer turned real estate pro George Stapleton for sharing some modeling shots of mine from the '70's. He was cleaning out his archives and I'm so glad he had my email! Thanks so much for the pics George--you're a fabulous photographer!
Thanks so much for checking out the latest Candid Candace! I hope you enjoyed it and I hope spring is somewhere near....:-)
Love, as always,
P.S. I want to give an early birthday shout-out to my old boss, Hugh Hefner, who turns 89 on April 9th. Long may you reign dear Hef!