James Earl Jones Honored at Marian Anderson Awards Gala

Photos from the reception dinner.

Last night a who’s who of Philadelphia turned out to honor James Earl Jones as he received the 2012 Marian Anderson Award. Jones has been an actor for more than five decades starting on Broadway  and appearing in films beginning with the 1964 Stanley Kubrick classic Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. He is probably best known for his role as Darth Vader where his distinct voice is the only recognizable appearance in the film. Last night when Mayor Nutter handed him his award the music playing while Jones approached the podium was Star Wars’ “The Imperial March.” Marian Anderson was one of the most celebrated singers of the twentieth century, who used her celebrity to effect social change. Marian Anderson Award Board Chair Pamela Browner White and Jeremiah J. White of White & Associates pose with Jones.

John Saler, gala co-chair Christina Saler, Cecilia Hart (James Earl Jones’ wife) and Flynn Earl Jones. Christina and James Earl Jones worked together in the ’90s. Earlier in the evening, she gave him drawings from her kids to Uncle Jim.

Below: Gala chair David Cohen, Mary Ellen Buzzelli, and Rob Taylor.

Marian Anderson Board Member and attorney at Zarwin, Baum PC Gray DeVito, Lindsay Glasgow, and Mitchell Kaplan (also of Zarwin, Baum, PC) were excited to meet their favorite Star Wars character, as well as sponsor a table for the gala dinner.

Elka Battle tells me she is the newest Deputy City Representative at City of Philadelphia. She’s pictured here with Melanie Johnson, City Representative at City of Philadelphia.

Looking dapper: Mia Tinari and Dave Fisher. The couple was looking forward to the evening’s performances including Operatic Tenor Lawrence Brownlee and local rising star Christian Eason (a Marian Anderson Young Artist Study-Grant recipient); who joined the stage with The Philadelphia Orchestra to honor James Earl Jones. Terrence Howard and Phylicia Rashad were also on hand to pay tribute to the actor.

Below: Jacob Olitsky, Ryan Burchinow and Shaina Olitsy.

Below: Dr. Robert Wilensky and Dr. Emily Pollard. Also spotted at the cocktail party before the dinner were Dyana Williams, Tamar Olitsky, Carol and Nino Tinari, Lynne Honickman, Darisha Miller, Shalimar Blakey, Jasper Anderson and Anne Dubusson.

Below: James J. Cuorato, Vice Chair, Treasurer of the Marian Anderson Award. He’s pictured here with Kelly Boyd, KB Consultants.

Richard and Ariel Bronstein, Heather Golin, Maggie and Rouge’s Rob Wasserman. Rob told me that this year he’s met Han Solo—Harrison Ford was filming in Philly over the summer stopped by Rouge for dinner—and Darth Vader. Which reminds me: I hear the movie Paranoia starts production on December 5.

Michael Schulson and Nina Tinari, Vice Chair of Outreach for Marian Anderson Awards. It was her idea to create a “New Friends” cocktail party, which occured at the same time as the gala dinner but served light snacks with an open bar. It was held in the Dorrance H. Hamilton Garden, beautiful atrium rooftop venue.

Megan Smith (second from right) was the “New Friend” event chair. Nakia Stith, David Dix and Fran Fattah. Dix is participating in the Movember movement. How’s he doing?

Congratulations to the new husband and wife Elijah and Gennifer Dornstreich who were just married on September 22. Yvonne and Harold Haskins are also pictured here. The Haskins are looking forward to spending the holidays with their daughter Kristin Haskins Simms, from Project Runway fame, her husband Harold and their new baby Quincy. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!