Bloomberg News

Elizabeth Banks, Chris Pine, Zosia Mamet, Och: NYC Scene

June 26, 2012

"People Like Us"

Actress Elizabeth Banks in an Elie Saab dress. Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

The 4-1/2-foot-deep pool on the roof of Manhattan’s Hotel Americano stayed free of swimmers last night as Cinema Society, DreamWorks Studios and Allure magazine hosted a party for the film “People Like Us.”

“It’s chilly,” said Elizabeth Banks, dressed in a glittering, shoulder-baring, body-clinging Elie Saab number, the kind it’s a crime to cover up just to stay warm. She’s a star of the film and on the cover of Allure this month.

Banks held court with Allure editor Linda Wells on the lower patio while co-star Chris Pine posed for photographs against the backdrop of the Empire State Building.

Producer, director and writer Alex Kurtzman greeted friends coming off the elevator. They offered congratulations on two movies: “People Like Us,” which opens on June 29, and “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” the sequel he’s deep into writing. The movie it will follow opens July 3.

Kurtzman co-wrote and directed “People Like Us,” which is based on his own life. It’s about a young man finding the sister he never knew in order to fulfill his late father’s wishes to give her an inheritance.

“Families are complicated,” Kurtzman said. “And that’s OK. Even broken families can be mended.”

Banks said Kurtzman made the film family-style. “He could have kept tight control, but he invited everyone to come to the party,” she said.

Zosia Mamet, currently in New York filming the second season of the HBO series “Girls,” stood in front of the bar where Grey Goose Cherry Noir cocktails were served.

“I miss my horse. He’s in Los Angeles,” the daughter of playwright David Mamet said.

‘Born to Rise’

Jonathan Gray, Blackstone Group LP (BX:US) senior managing director, was at the IAC Building last night to fete Deborah Kenny, the founder and chief executive officer of Harlem Village Academies, on her new book “Born to Rise: A Story of Children and Teachers Reaching Their Highest Potential.”

“The idea of kids who live a mile north from my kids and have little educational opportunity feels wrong,” Gray said at the party hosted by Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenberg, with Donna Karan, Calvin Klein and Katie Couric in attendance.

Help goes beyond financial. Gray’s wife, Mindy Gray, is a Homework Helper. Jane Och, the wife of Daniel Och, who runs Och- Ziff Capital Management Group LLC, teaches bridge to students.

Tis the season for charter-school books. On June 14, the night of his run in the JPMorgan Chase & Co. Corporate Challenge in Central Park, Daniel Loeb, founder and CEO of Third Point LLC, co-hosted a party for Eva Moskowitz, founder of Success Academy Charter Schools, and Arin Lavinia, its director of literacy. They have written “Mission Possible: How the Secrets of the Success Academies Can Work in Any School.”

David Levinson, a real-estate developer, and Simone Levinson, vice chairwoman of the board of the nonprofit Turnaround for Children, opened their home for the event.

Michael Karsch, principal of Karsch Capital Management LP, attended both book fetes.

Lifeline Calls

“Who would have thought you’d end up in a show that is even gayer?” Eric McCormack told Debra Messing of her television gig on NBC’s “Smash,” a series about the making of a Broadway musical.

The “Will and Grace” former co-stars were on stage at Pier 60 last night for Trevor Live, a benefit for the Trevor Project, which runs crisis and suicide-prevention helplines for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth.

LGBTQ Pronounced

Trevor Project’s Lifeline handled 35,000 phone calls last year; the organization also offers online chats. Next up is text-messaging counseling, said Abbe Land, Trevor Project’s CEO and executive director.

Bobby Cannavale, cast in Woody Allen’s next film, had a quibble with the acronym LGBTQ. “Leh-ge-bee-ta-cue?” the actor pronounced quickly. “It’s too hard to say.”

Comedian Judy Gold, a lesbian, talked of another kind of communications problem: explaining the birds and the bees to her straight sons, 10 and 16.

“It was fantastic!” Gold said. “Imagine explaining heterosexual sex to your sons with a complete lack of enthusiasm.”

(Amanda Gordon is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)

Muse highlights include Richard Vines on dining.

To contact the reporter on this story: Amanda Gordon in New York at agordon01@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net


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