Opera Philadelphia’s Yardbird Opens to a Standing Ovation

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Friday night was opening night for Opera Philadelphia’s much-anticipated Charlie Parker’s Yardbird at the Kimmel Center. Tenor Lawrence Brownlee stars as Charlie Parker with soprano Angela Brown, who mesmerizes as his mother, Addie Parker. Baritone Will Liverman makes his debut as jazz icon Dizzy Gillespie. The opera is set in the famed NYC jazz club Birdland. About 100 Opera Philadelphia theatergoers attended the opening night party on the second tier of the Kimmel Center, including Ann Ziff from the Metropolitan Opera in NYC, Mayor Michael Nutter, First Lady Lisa Nutter and several people from the Apollo Theater in NYC, where Yardbird will appear later this year. Guests dined on cuisine from Jose Garces Catering, walked the red carpet, posed for photos and relished in the evening’s show, which concluded with a standing ovation. I wish I could say go see it, but it’s completely sold out.
Photos after the jump »

Living Beyond Breast Cancer Supporter Party

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Last week, Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC) held its sponsor and supporter party at the home of Nivedita and Shruti Singhal (2 of the 8 co-chairs of the gala)in Bryn Mawr. The rain held off long enough for the party to take place on their deck overlooking their well-maintained, beautifully landscaped backyard, where an intimate invite list of 75 enjoyed delicious Indian food and scrumptious drinks while discussing the upcoming gala, “The Black and White Butterfly Ball,” to be held Saturday, October 24, 2015 at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel.

Many of the honorees were in attendance, including this year’s Going Beyond Award recipients Jewel Ajibade, Lynn Folkman Auspitz and Dana Donofree, all women who have used their personal experience with breast cancer to help and inspire others.Donna Noce Colaco, president of White House | Black Market, will receive the Founder’s Award for her longstanding and incredible support to LBBC. Greatly missed was Debra Strauss, who was at home recovering, but her husband Ed was on hand. Our thoughts are with Debra at this time.
Photos after the jump »

Brick and Mortar Opening

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Last night Michael B. Welsh’s much anticipated Brick and Mortar (BAM) opened up at 12th and Pearl Streets in the Loft District of Philadelphia. The New American tavern seats up to 110 people and is located on the first floor of the Goldtex Building, which features large windows letting in a lot of light and banquet style tables as well as having a community table for large parties. Chef Brian Ricci’s menu will serve lunch and dinner, as well as late-night snacks, plus the best cocktails you could imagine.

Last night’s opening served as a fundraiser to support Friends of The Rail Park, attracting supporters including Inga Saffron, Connor Barwin, Sam Sherman and Paul Steinke, who enjoyed signature cocktails + hors d’oeuvres crafted by the BAM staff. Friends of The Rail Park had a lot to celebrate last night as the Philadelphia Art Commission had given final approval for the anticipated park’s design on Wednesday. During the event Philly’s favorite rapper, Chill Moody performed with Yufi Zewdu & DJ Ricochet.

Photos after the jump »

Voices of Summer Gala 2015

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Last week The Voice Foundation held its annual gala, the Voices Gala of Summer 2015 Awards Dinner, at the Westin Hotel. The gala fundraiser was part of the foundation’s 44th annual symposium held at the hotel over the weekend. The event draws doctors, voice teachers and students from all over the world to discuss the latest treatments, knowledge and expertise in the care of the professional voice user.

The evening began with a jazz reception and cocktails, followed by a concert by scientists and doctors. Afterward, Dr. Robert T. Sataloff, board chairman of the Voice Foundation, presented the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Award to two award-winning stars of stage and screen: Joel Grey and Stacy Keach. (Keach accepted the award via a pretaped speech.) The international and Metropolitan opera star Dolora Zajick was honored with the The Voice Education Research Awareness (VERA) Award. Special recognition went to the Voice Foundation’s new board president, Dr. Stuart Orsher.

Photos from The Voices Gala of Summer 2015 after the jump »

Salon Vanity 10th Anniversary Party

 

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Edmondo Blando last night celebrated his 10th year operating Salon Vanity with a party at the 1701 Walnut Street establishment. Many well-coiffed guests came out to celebrate Blando’s achievement, including Fox 29’s Mike Jerrick, who has his hair done by Edmondo, and was just chosen by Get Good Head as the best head of hair on a newsman in Pennsylvania. He heard about the salon through Kacie McDonnell, who still flies in monthly to get her hair done at the salon. Other notable clients include Sheena Parveen, Dawn Timmeney, Jillian Mele and Eva Pilgrim.

Guests dined on a spread by Whole Foods, enjoyed Andrea Blando‘s (Edmondo’s dad) homemade limoncello, and enjoyed a specially designed chocolate chip cake from Sophisticakes Bakery in Drexel Hill. In his speech last night, Edmondo thanked his wife, Santi, for her support, his parents for letting him pursue his dreams — which started in their garage — and his staff, who uphold his motto: ”We help people feel better about themselves, especially if they’ve had a bad day.”

Photos from the Salon Vanity 10th anniversary party after the jump »

85th Annual Radnor Hunt Races

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The Radnor Hunt Races celebrated its 85th Anniversary on May 16th during the spring tradition of steeplechasing at the Radnor Hunt. Six exciting races featured horses vying for purses totaling $180,000. Guests dressed in fashionable derby party outfits, with many of the ladies wearing hats of elegance and style. They enjoyed tailgate picnics, buffet luncheons in the sponsored tents and just took in the fresh air while watching the races along the fence with friends and family. All proceeds from the Radnor Hunt Races benefit the land and water preservation programs of the Brandywine Conservancy in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. BNY Mellon celebrated 31 years as lead sponsor of the Radnor Hunt Races.

Photos from the Radnor Hunt after the jump »

250th Celebration Gala for the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine

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This past Saturday, more than 1200 alumni, faculty, and dignitaries attended the 250th Celebration Gala for the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine — also known as Penn Med — held at the top of the Philadelphia Art Museum steps in the largest tent that’s ever been erected at that location.

It was an evening like no other filled with warm memories, reunions among faculty and alumni, and a concert by Harry Connick Jr., and grand fireworks display to cap-off the evening. The evening began with a cocktail party inside the Art Museum, where guests enjoyed pass hor d’oeuvres and cocktails. At 7:30pm, bagpipes made their way down the grand staircase guiding guests through the front doors and into the tent for dinner and the program, which included honoring a remarkable video called “The First”, which noted many of the remarkable achievements of the University of Pennsylvania’s school of medicine — including being the first medical school in the country. After the gala dinner, guests returned to the Grand Hall of the Art Museum for a dance party, and a VIP meet-and-greet with Connick.

Photos after the jump »

The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia 50th Anniversary

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The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia celebrated its 50th anniversary with a concert at Kimmel Center’s Verizon Hall on Sunday May 10, 2015. After the performance a champagne toast reception was held at the Hamilton Garden where Garces Catering provided small plates of delicious food. Guests included music director Dirk Brossé; Geert Bourgeois, minister-president of the government of Flanders; former Governor Ed Rendell; as well as friends , supporters and members of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia.

There were toasts to the staying power of the orchestra and to the exciting future that lays ahead . Also on hand was Kenneth M. Jarin, board chair; who with Dirk Brossé, conductor; and Susan Schwartz McDonal,, president  of The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia Board of Directors. They honored Marc Mostovoy, founder of the chamber orchestra, and recognizing Conductor Laureate Ignat Solzhenitsyn for his service.

The concert was conducted by Maestro Dirk Brossé conducted can be heard this Sunday, May 17, 5 to 6 pm on WRTI.

Photos after the jump »

International House 54th Annual Global Gala

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Saturday night the International House of Philadelphia held its 54th annual Global Gala: Celebration of Korea at the student housing facility. The black tie/traditional dress event started with a cocktail hour in the beautifully decorated courtyard, with delicious traditional Korean favorites prepared by Catering by Design, as well as having an open bar and silent auction with lots of Korean inspired items including art work and furniture.

Afterward there was a sit-down dinner with traditional Korean foods served family style. There was a short program with mistress of ceremonies Alex Holley, Fox 29’s morning host, doing a great job of moving the night along. The honoree for the evening was Councilman David Oh, who was grateful for the honor and discussed the American dream. Oh presented Tanya Steinberg, president and CEO of International House Philadelphia with a City Council citation honoring the International House for all the work it does. After dinner there was an afterparty with performances and dancing to the tunes of DJ CHOPS till 2 a.m.

Photos after the jump »

The Cancer Support Community of Greater Philadelphia

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The Cancer Support Community of Greater Philadelphia celebrated it’s 17th Annual Evening in the Park on the grounds of their headquarters Thursday night, The Suzanne Morgan Center at Ridgeland in Fairmount Park. Guests enjoyed fabulous food and cocktails by Brulee Catering, a live auction led by Jeff Hammond who helped raise nearly $75,000 from the very generous crowd, and a silent auction, all to benefit CSCGP.

Event co-chairs Barbara Blair and Betsy Rubenstone greeted the guests and spoke about their lives which have been touched by cancer, and have benefited by the programs at CSCGP. Honorees last night included: Wendy H. Rosen, Dr. David M. Mintzer, The Stuetz Family, and  Susan Tressider. Kelly Harris, CEO gave an impassioned address sharing with the guests about all the wonderful, caring programs available at Cancer Support Community of Greater Philadelphia (all free), especially the programs directed at children going through cancer, or a parent going through cancer. The programs connect them with others, as well as any counseling they need. We’re so lucky to have an organization like this in Philadelphia.

Photos after the jump »

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