PLUS EVENING IN BLOOM; VISTA OPENS BIG; CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL TELEVISION AWARDS WITH JANET, BILL AND REGINA; CANCER SOCIETY'S DISCOVERY BALL; MIES CELEBRATES 130; 900 SHOPS CASTING CALL; PLAYBOY IN PEOPLE; HEF'S SAD 90TH BIRTHDAY; UNICEF'S HOPE GALA; ELMHURST ART MUSEUM'S BLOCKBUSTER EXHIBIT; LYNNE SINGS WITH DAVID; GARDEN OF EVE; PAUL AND JEN'S BIG DAYS; A SOLD-OUT NEKKED BOOK READING; TOAST TO LIFE GALA; EVERSIGHT ILLINOIS GALA; HEARTWARMING VIDEOS; THIS AND THAT AND SO MUCH MORE!
It was one heckuva premier party celebrating the extraordinary architecture of Vista Tower by design wunderkind Jeanne Gang at 345 E. Wacker Drive on March 31. The grand opening of Magellan
Development Group’s Vista Sales Gallery attracted over 300 A-listers who enjoyed a first look into the luxurious lifestyle of Vista Residences, a 95 story luxury condo/hotel tower to be completed in 2020. Deputy Mayor Steve Koch, project architect Jeanne Gang, Sean Linnane (Senior Vice President
of Magellan Development) and Michael Purefoy (Deputy General Manager of Project Management, Wanda Group), all shared remarks about the extraordinary project and the impact Vista Tower will have on Chicago. During the festive and informative evening, Dave Beran, James Beard Award-Winning Chef and Food & Wine Best New Chef, presented three, live
cooking demonstrations in the Vista Gallery Kitchen including a caviar dish with whipped beurre blanc on toast, truffle egg custard in the shell and a white chocolate and menthol candy bar. Yummy! Mixologist
Brandon Phillips, recently named Chicago Tribune’s Bartender of the Year, created an inspiring collection of cocktails. Guests also enjoyed a raw bar presentation of shrimp, snow crab claws and
Blue Point oysters presented on gorgeous, over-sized rock crystal bowls from Blue Plate Catering. Rock Violinist Katarina Visnevska provided live musical accompaniment while guests explored the
Vista Sales Gallery, due to open April 4. In the 10,000 square-foot space, a viewing room featured three walls of floor to ceiling 10' video tiles that offered aerial views from every floor and exposures that featured sunset, evening and morning views that had been previously captured by a
drone. A scale model of Lakeshore East, that included the Vista, provided a great photo opp. Interactive floor plans, a model bathroom, a gem vault, a functioning Snaidero model kitchen and more completed the display. Renowned
Chicago eventeur Tom Kehoe (Kehoe Designs), created decor for a refined and modern evening to complement the luxurious and contemporary feel of Vista
Tower. A dramatic cascading flower wall with gem colored candles and sleek floral arrangements provided another backdrop for photos. Guests seen on the scene included Susan and Joel Carlins, Yvette and Rick Cusack, JP Anderson, David Zivan, Dominic DiFrisco, Susan Wexler-Mazzoni, Nina Mariano, Kathy Brock, Marion Brooks, Tom
Kehoe, Katie Berger, J.R. Berger, Deputy Mayor Steve Koch, Marilyn and Larry Fields, Marion Brooks, Chuck Jordan, Liza Sweitzer, Todd Woolman, Zoe Ryan, Tony Karman, Michael Purefoy, Robin Loewenberg Tebbe and Mark Tebbe and Susanna Homan among others. Upon completion, the 95 story tower will be the third tallest tower in Chicago after Willis and Trump. (Photos by Barry Brecheisen)
come soon, SPRING! The event, held inside Navy Pier’s Festival Hall, was chaired by Nina and Bob Mariano and attracted more than 800 guests. The evening benefited The Trotter Project, a national non-profit driven by Chef Charlie
Trotter's alumni and supporters to unite those interested in the culinary arts through educational and inspiring programming and events. Noted restaurateur and sommelier Alpana Singh, an active supporter of The Trotter Project, was a featured guest at the event. “As our mission is to educate, motivate and inspire
generations of gardeners, this collaboration with The Trotter Project – and our ongoing relationship with Mariano’s -- continues our mutual legacies of sustenance and sustainability,” said Tony Abruscato, director of the Chicago Flower & Garden Show. Adds Nina Mariano, “With the added
involvement of Alpana and The Trotter Project this year, guests were inspired to help good things grow, whether it’s planting something new in their garden this summer or adding color to their home with fresh-cut flowers. Those who support Evening in Bloom help young culinary professionals pursue their dreams.”
Derrek Hull, executive director of The Trotter Project, says that "like the pairing of particular wines and foods, the partnership between the Chicago Flower & Garden Show and The Trotter Project has proven complementary. The culinary and
gardening industries ultimately cultivate a love of food and growing, something that Evening in Bloom exemplifies,” he remarked. As they
got a special sneak peek at the show’s two-dozen stunning display gardens, hundreds of party-goers enjoyed musical entertainment, and sampled fine wines, specialty cocktails and incredible tastings from local fine restaurants and bakeries, including Harry Caray’s
Tavern, Sweet Ali’s Gluten Free Bakery, Eli’s Cheesecake, Riva Crabhouse, Gene & Georgetti, Mariano’s, Dinotto Pizza E Vino, Texas de Brazil, Green Bean and participating bakeries with the Chicago Area
Retail Bakers Association. The children’s choir from the British International School of Chicago, Lincoln Park performed as well. Upwards of 40,000 people attended this year’s show. For four-season, good-gardening inspiration, sign up for the Chicago Flower & Garden Show’s e-newsletter and weekly blog here.
Cinema/Chicago and the Chicago International Film Festival will honor the best
in television programming and commercials at the 52nd Chicago International Television Awards April 20. Capping off a newly programmed three-day event of special
screenings and panel discussions celebrating the importance and excellence in work being created for television, the annual awards ceremony will pay special tribute to some of the most respected, acclaimed personalities and entities working in television today. Receiving special awards this year are director, playwright and Emmy Award-Winning actor Regina
Taylor; entertainment reporter Janet Davies; entertainment reporter Bill Zwecker; and HBO. The celebratory evening, hosted by WGN’s Dan Ponce and Robin Robinson, begins at 6 p.m. with a cocktail reception at Lucky Strike Lounge (322 E. Illinois St.) followed by the Awards Ceremony at 7:30 p.m. For tickets and more info, click here! Congrats to all these wonderful honorees!
The American Cancer Society Discovery Ball Ambassadors hosted its 10th annual gala at the Chicago Hilton on April 2. The night began with an elegant VIP reception on the loggia overlooking Grant Park. Over 850 black-tie clad guests attended this fundraiser that
featured headliner, country singing star Hunter Hayes (an all-around cutie). During the reception, Hunter showed that, not only is he an awesome talent (multiple Grammy nominee and plays 30 instruments!) but that he's also one helluva
nice guy. He posed tirelessly for photos with guests, asking their names and sharing a moment. I was so impressed by this pint-size powerhouse and was thrilled to meet him and hear him perform. The event recognized and thanked co-chairs Diana and Jim Skogsbergh (Advocate Health Care president/CEO) for their support in the fight against cancer. Advocate underwrote the entire event and, since 2007, the Ball has raised more than $23 million! “Many of us have
family or friends affected by cancer, which is one of the reasons why we proudly support this event,” said Mr. Skogsbergh. “Hope is possible and cures do happen. Because of your support of the American Cancer Society and efforts like this, we celebrate a 22% decline in cancer deaths and 1.5 million lives that have been saved. But
we know there is more left to do. Our dreams need to take flight to a place where the sky’s the limit.” The night also included packed silent auction tables (over 200 lots), dancing to Maggie Speaks, an after-party and, of course, an electrifying performance by Hayes. Auctioneer Greg Dellinger (G-Man to his friends) did an expert job with the live auction, as always. He
brought long-time supporters Kristina and Mike McGrath onstage for a donation from McGrath Lexus. Mike's brother Scott is a cancer survivor and, in his honor, a Lexus RX 350 was donated. (It sold for $46,000!) Other live auction items included a suite for 12 to the Blackhawks game (sold for $17K), first class tickets for two anywhere United Airlines flies (sold for $10K), NCAA tickets for two (sold for $4K), a Chicago concert tour that included Beyonce and Coldplay (sold for $14K), among others. Now let's talk about the decor by HMR
Designs. It was breathtaking beyond belief. The event's theme, "Soar Beyond", was the inspiration for the huge candy cane clouds that "hovered" above tables. Some tables had dramatic crystal, tiered candles while others held ginormous white floral arrangements. We were blown away. The program included a presentation to Walgreen's as the 2016 Corporate Partner Award winner and a moving speech by Erin Henkel, a breast cancer survivor. She noted that since the discovery of Herceptin, a drug developed in part through research funded by the ACS, she is now cancer-free. Following the program, live auction and paddle raise, Hunter Hayes and his band took to the stage. His warm-
hearted banter with the crowd made him an instant hit as he commiserated with us about the weather before launching into his 45
minute set that included "Invisible," a song about bullying and not fitting in. He held us all in the palm of his hand. What a great night for fabulous, fun fundraising. To learn more about the American Cancer Society, click here and to see more photos from the event, check out my Chicago Tribune column here!
Mies had a birthday and everybody came! On March 31, The Mies van der Rohe Society of the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) celebrated the 130th birthday of Mies at S. R. Crown Hall with 350 guests in attendance. This sold-out birthday soiree, titled "Modern Material," has become an annual tradition and, this year,
featured an architecturally inspired sketch and improvisational comedy by Second City, Chicago’s preeminent designers of satire. Members of the company visited the Mies campus, spoke with its professors and familiarized themselves with all things Mies
which made for quite an entertaining and informed comedy sketch. Seventy-eight years ago, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe arrived in the U.S. to lead the College of Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology and profoundly influenced the
world’s taste and environment. The college has now begun another era of influence under the new Dean of the College of Architecture, Wiel
Arets. Guests seen on the scene included Society President, Barbi Donnelley; Chandra Goldsmith; architects Dirk Dennison, Robert Kleinschmidt, Steven Weiss and Dirk Lohan; Robert Segal; Alicia Rosauer; Pru Beitler and John Morley. The Mies van der Rohe Society is
dedicated to art, culture and the preservation of the Mies' legacy in Chicago. The party was a celebration meant to raise awareness of the Mies mission and was NOT a fundraiser. Happy 130th birthday Mr. van der Rohe!
Put your dukes up! The Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago hosted its second annual charity boxing match to support the Loving Outreach to Survivors of Suicide (LOSS) Program for Children and Youth. The Patrick J. Ryan Main Event was established by former Illinois Attorney General Jim Ryan, his wife Marie and their family, after the loss of their son, Patrick J. Ryan, to suicide. TV host/interior designer Monica Pedersen served
as the emcee. The exciting night of boxing broke records and raised more than $110,000 with a sold-out crowd of more than 600 philanthropists. Abstract expressionist performance artist
Elliott From surprised guests with his Chicago Blackhawks art that raised $18,000!! The Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace was transformed into a boxing hub featuring an exciting night of
talented, Golden Glove-style amateur boxing fights, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, a raffle and ringside seating with dinner. Boxing has been a family tradition for the Ryans,
starting with Jim Ryan Sr., who won the Middle Weight Golden Glove Championship in 1964. His sons, John, Jimmy and Matt Ryan all grew up boxing. LOSS strives to aid grieving family members
struggling in the wake of a loved ones’ suicide and provides members with education, therapy, group support and hope for the future. What a wonderful event for such a great cause! Congrats to all who participated.
Hold on to your wallets and get ready for the 8th annual ‘Tax-Free’ event at 900 North Michigan Shops. Shop select stores during Friday, April 15 through Sunday, April 17, and receive a “More Than ‘Tax-Free’”discount in celebration of Tax Day!! For the first time in 8 years, select shops will cover the cost of sales tax PLUS give shoppers an added percentage off for being loyal customers! This once-a-year shopping event will save you 15% off merchandise! Get a jump on spring shopping and grab some great deals at J.Crew, Club Monaco, MaxMara, L.K. Bennett, Mezlan, Glasses LTD. and more! For this weekend only, shoppers can take advantage of $10 parking each day from Friday, April 15 – Sunday, April 17. (Parking tickets must be validated with purchase on same-day receipts. See concierge for details).
And speaking of 900 North Michigan Shops, who went all in for their BIG "I Am Chicago" Casting Call? I admit, I was there and it was such fun to see so many cute Chicagoans! They even had a DJ and entertainment for the attendees! I wish the lucky winners the best and was so happy to see such a great representation of the best of the best of Chicago for this unique campaign.
I have some really big news! My niece Ashley Margulies texted me that she thought she saw me in the latest issue of People Magazine and SHE WAS RIGHT! I was so thrilled to be included in a photo roller-skating with Hef and fellow Playmates Victoria Cooke and Terri Welles! It was a feature highlighting Hef on his 90th birthday! Thanks for the memories Playboy! (See
On a somber note, I was so sorry to hear about Hef's younger brother Keith passing away at age 87. He died the day before Hefner's 90th birthday on April 8. In this article, that's loaded with some of my favorite Playboy
photos, I talk about Hef's sad day, although he did enjoy an evening with wife Crystal and friends watching his favorite film, Casablanca. #SoSweet
I hope you check out my column in next week's Chicago Tribune from UNICEF's Hope Gala, themed "Imagine." The event decor by Phil Cooper of Kehoe Designs was mind-blowing! Best part, the event raised over $1 million to help provide health care, nutrition, clean water, education and safety for children around the world.
The Elmhurst Art Museum, 150 Cottage Hill Avenue, will present the U.S. debut of Playboy Architecture, 1953-1979, featuring an extensive collection of photographs, films, architectural models and more from Playboy Magazine's inception in 1953 through its Golden Age of the 1970s. Included in this exhibition, will be MY collection of Playboy
memorabilia! It will include my complete Bunny of the Year costume (as seen here on Antiques Roadshow), my celebrity-signed pageant program with signatures from Hef, O.J. Simpson, Ringo Starr, Jim Brown, Dick Martin and Milton Berle (who were all in attendance for the ABC-televised pageant in L.A.) and more! I will also be presenting a talk about my history with Playboy as well as hosting a fun-filled cocktail reception. Dates are to be determined, but when they are, I'll let you know and hope you will attend!
The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), along with the Madden Family, will host the 10th annual "Toast to Life" gala to benefit ALS research on Friday, April 15, at Park West, 322 W. Armitage. WGN's Dina Bair will host the event that will present Ray Spooner with the Ben Byer ALS Awareness Award for his courageous 100 mile-a-day bike ride across the US after being diagnosed with ALS. For tickets and more info, click here.
Howard Brown Health will host its annual Garden of Eve party on Friday, April 29, at Ignite Glass Studios. The evening of beats, treats and community will celebrate sexual and reproductive health care for LGBQ women and transgender people. The party will include avant-garden themed decor by Kehoe Designs, an Early to
Bed pop-up shop and music spun by Slo 'Mo! For tickets and more info, click here.
The nekked book reading for Leslie Zemeckis' latest book, "Goddess of Love Incarnate", was a sold-out success at Studio L'Amour at 4001 Ravenswood on April 1. Leslie looked adorable, even with jet lag, and sported a whimsical head-piece for the reading
performed by three, beautiful burlesque artists, that included studio owner Michelle L'Amour, on a Victorian settee under flattering spotlights. The room was warm, I guess to keep the nekked girls cozy, and was quite an experience. People from every stripe attended and had great questions for Leslie
following the 45 minute reading. Afterwards, she and the girls posed for photos as she signed copies of her two latest books ("Goddess" and "Behind the Burly Q").
The launch party for the Chicago Pet Project Book took place at the Gallery at Green River, 259
E. Erie, on March 31. It was fun seeing the people profiled in the book like Andre Walker (who left with a box-load of books for Christmas gifts), Renata Block, Christine Mallul, 2014 Mrs. Illinois Randi Moxi, founder Cari Meyers and more! Congrats to all who were included in this beautiful book photographed by Karen Morgan!
On April 17, the Drake Hotel will feature, "The Queen of Cabaret", Denise Tomasello! She has headlined with Jackie Mason, Don Rickles and Alan King to sold out shows and will surely sell-out this Sunday
performance. For tickets and more info, click here.
And speaking of cabaret, another one of my favorite performers fulfilled a life-long dream. Diva Lynne Jordan says, "I am ten years old and in the throes of my first crush. He was a TV star of the hit-series The Partridge Family. Keith Partridge. David Cassidy. The most beautiful boy I had ever seen." So on March 11, Cassidy invited our Lynne to sing with him at BB King's Club in NY. And this is the magic that happened. Love you Lynne!
I want to thank Eversight Illinois for selecting me as its 2016 Woman of Vision! I am honored beyond words and can't wait for the June 23 Gala at The Peninsula! I hope you will all attend and help me celebrate this organization that provides the gift of sight to those in need. For tickets and
Love and happy Stork Wishes to beautiful designer Azeeza Kahn and her handsome hubby Rehan! Such happy news!
And last but not least, I want to give a big shout-out to some friends who just celebrated their birthdays in style! Congrats to Paul Iacono
who celebrated his big day at STK with charming hosts Frances and Chris Renk. And more birthday love to Jennifer Sutton Brieva, who celebrated with friends at Topo Gigio! Love them!
I hope you've enjoyed this edition of Candid Candace and, if not already a subscriber, please consider doing so here! My list is spam-free, never shared and much loved.
And now, I leave you with a smile--see below.
Love, as always,
P.S. 4-month old baby Leo sees his mom for the first time with glasses. Grab a hanky. So sweet!