HughE Dillon: Beyonce Brings Celebs to Revel in A.C.
After a year’s absence from the stage, during which she gave birth to her baby girl Blue Ivy Carter (dad is Jay-Z), Beyonce performed at Revel’s Ovation Hall to sold-out crowds for four nights over the Memorial Day weekend. I was there for three of the nights, and photographed her friends on the red carpet as well as a few interesting Philly peeps. Revel’s grand premiere saw free parking, free admission to clubs and plenty of fun. Every night, the red carpet had celebrities on it, but nothing was more exciting than when I heard Jennifer Hudson was going to stop by before catching last night’s show. Queen Latifah passed on the red carpet, and slipped into Ovations unnoticed by the fans, but Jen was more than happy to pose for us and give us a wave. She is looking “Weight Watchers fabulous.” Jen is definitely part of the “Beyhive”—as she knows that yellow is Beyonce’s favorite color, and all her “Bey’s” (pronounced bees) wear yellow in support of her. Other folks spotted at last night’s concert were Destiny’s Child member Michelle Williams, (the other member, Kelly Rowland, was in the suite all weekend babysitting for Blue Ivy Carter, which Beyonce mentioned from the stage), and Penn graduate and musician John Legend.
Below: A few members of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, Heather Reilly, Lauren Cheney and Heather Mitts (who arrived with her camera-shy husband, former Eagles QB A.J. Feeley). Every night before the Beyonce show, the Bey’s would gather at the Bey Hive Party to celebrate the upcoming concert; the rumor was always in the room that the mother Bey would show, but as a seasoned celebrity photographer I know it’s rare for the performer to meet the public before the show. They have rituals before they go on stage.
Below: Saturday Night Live players Bobby Moynihan and Vanessa Bayer were looking forward to the show on Sunday night.
Below: Norristown native and actress/activist Maria Bello gives a shout out to her fans in Philly on Saturday night. She tells me she’s going to have a charity event for her Haiti organization this summer, and as soon as the ink is dry on the contracts, she will let us know.
Below: Deon Grant, of the New York Giants, walked the carpet on Sunday night; on Saturday, Ravens running back Ray Rice did the same.
Below: Baba and Candace Renfrow tell me they ran into Beyonce’s mom, Tina Knowles, in Atlantic City hotspot One. They told me Tina was as sweet as can be and posed for a photo with them. Mama Knowles designed all the costumes that Beyonce wore on stage during her run at Ovations.
Below: Saturday night also saw a lot of Philly people pop in to catch the show, like 6 ABC’ s Alicia Vitarelli, with husband Matthew Pantaleno, Kristen Insalaco, Weber Shandwick, 6 ABC anchor Brian Taff, and producer Mara Webb (who is also Taff’s fiance.) Beyonce performed two tributes, to singers Donna Summer and Whitney Houston. She performed Summer’s iconic “Love to Love You Baby” before singing “Naughty Girl,” and then later in the show sang a few verses of “I Will Always Love You,” in honor of Houston. The audience stood silently in tribute.
Below: Main Line ladies Alla Pasternack, Theresa Rodack and Meredith Hoffman pose with the Shady Ladies of NYC on Sunday night. Kim Kardashian and Brittny Gastineau also caught the show. Interesting on two fronts: Kim was hosting a Harrah’s pool party, so she skipped the red carpet—that way those photos didn’t hit the press creating a conflict with her promotional duties at Harrah’s. Second, when did she and Gastineua make up? Seems Brittny tried to warn her against marrying Kris Humphries, and Kim would have none of that and ended their friendship. I guess since her prediction was dead-on, the two former BFFs are now BFFs once more. Of course, Kardashian’s boyfriend, Kanye West, is currently touring with Beyonce’s husband, Jay-Z, in Europe. Jay-Z did fly home to catch Beyonce’s opening night on Friday, and then flew back to Denmark for a Saturday concert.
Below: All weekend, I kept running into “Philly Down the Shore.” Here are NBC 10’s Sheena Parveen, Vasiliki Tsiouris, of Opa Restaurant, Alissa Ingram, executive producer at NBC 10, and Erica Sloms, as they left the dance clubby area “2nd Level” and headed to The Social, which is an entertainment area with bands, singers and lots of bottle-service tables.
Below: On the gaming floor, I saw Sean Skolnick (Estee Lauder), Tristin Falco, Crystal Wang (Bullfrog & Baum), and everyone’s favorite bachelor, Reid Rosenthal, who my spies tell me might be doing the Bachelor Pad this summer.
Below: At about 1:30 a.m. Saturday, I passed Flirt bar, and sizing up the place, I found a few beauties: Regina Devito, Lindsay Furman, Playboy Playmate Shannon James (who has moved on from Hunter Pence), and Heather Lee. Look for Shannon to grace the July cover of Muscle & Fitness magazine.
Below: After taking in the Beyonce concert Saturday night, Lyndon Stockton (left) senior vice president at Revel Entertainment, accompanied nine-time gold medalist and Olympic legend Carl Lewis (right) to the smaller entertainment complex in Revel called The Social.
Below: I caught up with former Sixers dancers Valerie DeMatteo, Danielle DeMatteo and Kate Beaver in The Social. The trio had a reunion earlier in the day with Kimmie Gibson, another former Sixers dancer who is now a back-up dancer for Beyonce.
Below: I finished the night off with Internet sensation Karmin, the duo of Amy Ellis (left) and Nick Noonan (right), singing a few songs that made them famous on YouTube such as “Super Bass” and “Party Rock Anthem.” They also sang a few of their original numbers. Hands down, this was one of my most memorable Memorial Day weekends: celebrities on the red carpet, running into lots of Philly folks like Crista and Michael, Colleen and Dave Spangler, Teresa Nino, Christie Honigman, Kathleen McCloud, Tommy Domalski and Amber-Joi Watkins, Caitlin Fasano, Julie Rotwitt, Rachel Ferguson, Roger Williams, John and Amy Dunfee, and a new place to play in Atlantic City, Revel.
Below: “Beautiful!” will be what I remember about Atlantic City’s new Revel resort and casino on Memorial Day weekend. (This Beyonce shot isn’t my photo; it’s what is called a “pool photograph,” released to the media by Wireimage—the only “official” photographer allowed to shoot Beyonce. Credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.)