PIFA 2013 Gala

See which Philly VIPs checked out the arts festival's time machine.

Last night, the Kimmel Center hosted a spectacular gala for the 2013 Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA), which runs through April 27th.

This year’s theme is the “Time Machine.” Throughout the evening, people and characters from every conceivable period danced and/or sung, as guests mingled and tasted some of Jose Garces’ finest food.

Below: The guest list was a who’s who of Philadelphia, including honorary co-chairs Mayor Michael Nutter and First Lady Lisa Nutter, who was sporting a summery hairstyle, and State Sen. Vincent Hughes and his wife, Sheryl Lee Ralph. Congratulations are in order, as Sheryl Lee tells me her new series, Instant Mom, has been picked up by Nickelodeon for airing in Fall 2013. Unfortunately it’s filmed in L.A., so we won’t see her as much this year, but she promises to be back in December in time for her husband’s annual holiday party.

Below: Norman and Suzanne Cohn, and PIFA Gala chair Sandy Marshall, and David Marshall. Mrs. Marshall told me that her committee worked hard on the event to create a memorable experience, and I can tell you they did. It really was one of those galas that will be talked about for years. It was the second night in a row for me to see the Cohns, as the night before they hosted a cocktail reception for Drexel University School of Public Health’s Dr. Marla J. Gold Scholarship Dinner at their penthouse in the St. James;

Below: Raymond Lawrence and Carol Lawrence, senior vice president of community development, are supporters of the arts in Philadelphia and were looking forward to seeing several shows on the PIFA schedule.

Below: Marjorie Rendell and Jared Roberts check out their personal time machine; they enter their birth dates, and the machine tells them what was popular in fashion, music and celebrities and what was in the news the day they were born. My favorite part of the contraption is it tells you how many days ago you were born.

Below: Hilda Bacon, director of events and strategic initiatives at the Kimmel Center, admires one of the “prehistoric” creatures roaming around the lobby during the cocktail hour.

Below: Eric Smith tells me his next book is called “Geek Guide to Dating,” which will be published next winter. Looks like he doesn’t have to worry about dating anymore, as his girl for the past year is the beautiful Nena Boling. Nena tells me she got this cute dress at a new boutique called Things I Like.

Below: Peter H. Gistelinck, executive director at the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, and wife Kim Bloom. Gistelinck reminds me that on May 4th, the Chamber Orchestra will be honoring Burt Bacharach at the Lifetime Achievement Award Gala at the Westin.

Below: Jeanne Fisher and Robert Lang are glad to support the arts in Philly, and are excited to see PIFA return. There’s always a nice variety of entertainment.

Below: Gary Steuer, Philly’s chief cultural officer, Margaret Hughes, deputy city representative, and Desiree Peterkin Bell, communications director in the Mayor’s office. Steuer tells me that his wife, Sophie, and daughter Esmé are walking in the Bela Shehu and Melissa D’Agostino fashion show Friday at Cityspace.

Below: Lynne Honickman, founder and president of the Honickman Foundation, and Sister Mary Scullion, Project Home. Together, Honickman and Sister Mary Scullion collaborated on North Philly’s Honickman Learning Center, where 300 children and 1,000 adults attend after-school programs and adult classes.

Below: Barbara Vetri inside the PIFA Time Machine trying out the heartbeat machine; each pulse created a lighting reaction in the time machine.

Below: Deirdre Hite and William R. Hite Jr., Philadelphia School District superintendent.

Below: Hilarie and Mitchell Morgan graciously hosted a reception at their beautiful home in Bryn Mawr last month for sponsors and benefactors of PIFA 2013. I have photos on my blog.

Below: Barbara Katz Chobert and Michael Chobert reminded me that the Gift of Life Party With a Purpose—Organ Donation Gala is on Friday, April 26th at the Four Seasons. It’ll be an early night for me as the next day is Flavors on the Avenue, and the PIFA 2013 Festival on Broad Street.

Below: Daniel Roberts happily escorted his grandmother, Suzanne Roberts, to the gala.

Below: Jeff Devine, Joseph and Carole Shanis, and Ellen Berman Lee.

Below: The entertainment for the evening was William Close and the Earth Harp Collective.

Below: The PIFA Time Machine.

Below: The PIFA Time Machine comes to life twice at day, bringing an upbeat live show. The musical “Flash of Time” imagines a broken-down time machine that transports people though the ages through songs, characters and special effects. PIFA runs until April 27th with shows, performances, and my favorite, the Fly School Circus trapeze. I wrote about several Philly celebrities trying the trapeze earlier this week on PhillyChitChat. See photos here.