Academy Ball 2013

Actor/singer Hugh Jackman entertained the crowd. PLUS: Lots of pics from the Young Friends reception.

The celebration of the 156th Anniversary of the Academy of Music was one of the most memorable in years, I was told by many of the guests Saturday night. From the new President’s Open House Reception at the Academy, to the return of the parading of guests dressed in white tail and glamorous gowns to the Bellevue for dinner, to the multi-talented entertainment including actor/singer Hugh Jackman, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and especially its new conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who for the first time in public, played the piano on stage while leading the Orchestra in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major, K. 467. Proceeds from the evening benefited the Academy of Music Restoration Fund and the Philadelphia Orchestra Association.

Below: I started out the evening by attending Christie Honigman‘s pre-gala party at the AKA for a few of our friends, or as I like to call it, the “Do I have lipstick on my teeth” party, as the girls were doing final checks before Ubering it down to the President’s reception at the Academy Ball. She was looking very “old Hollywood” in a Carmen Marc Valvo dress, complete with rhinestone gloves; her date was Brian Johnson.

On my way, I stopped off to the Central Committee for 4th Annual Philadelphia Orchestra Pre-Party reception at Tiffany & Co. Below: Jean-Marie Lacroix, chef-partner at Brûlée Catering who whipped up some delicious treats for the guests, with Lynn Salvo, chairperson of the Central Committee for the Philadelphia Orchestra, and Tiffany McCauley, group director of Philadelphia’s Tiffany & Co.

Then it was off to the President’s Open House inside the Academy of Music. The entire building hosted guests on three floors, with a receiving line outside the Ballroom on the second floor with Joanna Lewis (Academy president), Allison Vulgamore (Orchestra CEO), Richard Worley (Orchestra board chair), and Sarah Coulson and Daniel Hilferty (Ball co-chairs). Below: Jeanette and Joe Neubauer ascend the stairs to the second floor.

Below: Eileen Glanton, wearing an Angel Sanchez, escorted by her husband, Richard H. Glanton, chairman, CEO and president of Philadelphia Television Network.

Below: Joanna Lewis (right) with family and friends, (left to right) Megan Vaughan, Gracie Lewis, Chris Bonelli and Melissa Dudley at the reception.

Below: Charles Croce, executive director and CEO of the Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent, with wife Anne Callahan, wearing an Oscar de la Renta. Croce and Callahan went dress shopping a few weeks ago at Neiman Marcus, and as soon as he saw his wife in the magenta dress, he rose to his feet and said “Happy Valentine’s Day, honey.”

Below: William Tasman, Arthur Brady, and Alice Lea Tasman.

Below: Vasiliki Tsiouris, Steve Sader, Marisa Magnatta and Katie English, at the Young Friends reception at the Academy of Music.

Below: Joanna Frankel (in Tadashi Shoji), Teresa Nino (in Jovani), co-chair of Young Friends, and Angela Nino (in Nicole Miller).

Below: Crawford Hamilton, Samantha Ohrem, Joe Culley, and Kelly Lawson at the Young Friends reception.

Below: Maria Papadakis at the Young Friends reception.

Below: Ben and Megan Vaughan at the Young Friends reception.

Below: Devon Winter, Brian Lipstein, Chelsea Irwin and Sam Hamilton, Young Friends co-chair, at Young Friends reception.

Below: Caroline D’Angelo, C Austin Davis, Elisabeth Hill, Cameron Maloney, Michelle Wang and Rob D’Angelo enjoy the Young Friends reception.

Below: Surprise guests of the evening were Heidi and Cole Hamels, who shared a few tidbits about the Academy of Music. The popular Phillies pitcher and his wife will be honored by the Philadelphia Sports Writers with the Humanitarian Award at their annual awards banquet tonight.

Below: First Lady of Philadelphia Lisa Nutter, wearing Melissa D’Agostino, who is a designer-in-residence at Philadelphia Fashion Incubator, and First Lady of Pennsylvania Susan Corbett, wearing Richard Andrie. During Hugh Jackman’s rendition of “Mack the Knife,” he sang his way over to the Mayor’s box and danced for a few moments with Mrs. Corbett.

Below: Governor Tom Corbett, Joanna Lewis, president and CEO of the Academy of Music, and Mayor Michael Nutter talk about the history of the Academy of Music, before introducing Hugh Jackman.

Below: Hugh Jackman, a big soccer fan, shows the audience his Philadelphia Union shirt (twice in the past three years, Jackman has attended a Philadelphia Union game here in Philly), as Yannick Nezet-Seguin, Orchestra music director, looks on. One of the most moving moments of the evening was when Jackman introduced each of the 75 members of the Philadelphia Orchestra, an act that brought them to their feet for a standing ovation. Jackman said he was thrilled to perform with such a prestigious orchestra in a building as grand as the Academy.

Below: Concertgoers stream out of the Academy as part of the traditional one-block procession down Broad Street to the Bellevue for dinner and dancing. Below: Thomas Conroy, John Sulpy, Jr., and Kelly and Scott Rowell.

Below: Keeping warm, the Spains, Bernie, Joan (center) and Dana (right).

Below: Donald J. Mahoney, first vice president at UBS, and wife Lisa Detwiler, Annie McCormick, 6 ABC Action News, and A.J. Marsico . The Academy Ball is more than just an annual tradition for Mahoney and Detwiler; it’s where they met eight years ago on a blind date.

Below: Eddie Bruce and his band heat up the night by getting guests on the dance floor the moment they walked into the Grand Ballroom at the Bellevue. If you look closely, you can see Christina and John Saler in the center of the photo.

Below: James S. Jandrlich, Dictor Capital Corporation, and Pam Strisofsky, Endowment Capital Group, at XIX.

Below: Jim and Janine Donnelly, Victoria Hummel Krieder and Torsten Kreider, Julia Spears and Dave Conner, and Jackie and Lawrence Choi at XIX. One guest told me that Hugh Jackman reminded them of the showmanship of Sammy Davis Jr. and Bobby Darin, but updated to the times.

Below: Congratulations to Doc Parghi and Kate Slattery, who tell me they just got engaged. They met at the Union League, and that is where he proposed a few weeks ago. He gathered friends and family in the Cigar Bar, and as Kate entered, she didn’t even see her loved ones tucked away in a corner. Doc warmly greeted her and, in his special way, announced to her and the room his love for her, and asked for her hand in marriage. She excitedly accepted, and next fall they plan to be married at (where else?) the Union League. I’ll be there to witness the beautiful union.

Below: GN Kang, Heidi Hamels and Maria Papadakis.

Below: Aron Bruser and Nicole Longo looking very glamorous. They told me that this was their first time at the Academy Ball, and they would be returning every year. Plus, they were happy to support the Philadelphia Orchestra, as they attend their concerts. She’s wearing an original gown by Wendy Rowland Design Management (RDM) in Conshohocken. The jacket that is topping off the dress used to be part of the train, which was removed and then RDM created the cute little jacket.

Below: The Bellevue Food Court was transformed into a beautiful “ballroom” where the Young Friends continued to party into the wee hours of the night to a live band. At one point, Teresa Nino, co-chair of the Young Friends, got up on the stage, microphone in hand and sang along with the band. It was a memorable night indeed.