Bloomberg News

Scene Last Night: Anna Nicole Goes Flat, Misha Dances

September 18, 2013

'Anna Nicole'

Guests play 'Anna Nicole'-themed dress up at the opening night party for the opera, a coproduction of Brooklyn Academy of Music and New York City Opera. Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

When the star of “Anna Nicole” arrived at the opera’s opening-night party, she was almost incognito. That is, her blond hair and chest were, compared to her character’s, rather flat.

“My own personal feeling is that I would never flaunt myself in such a way,” said Sarah Joy Miller last night, wearing a long-sleeved, blue Cavalli gown, neither frumpy nor racy.

“It was difficult to find a way to embrace that and make it natural,” Miller, 34, said. “There was nothing about her that was prudish or conservative, so I had to sort of surrender that about myself.”

The blond wigs and prosthetic breasts are ubiquitous in “Anna Nicole,” about Anna Nicole Smith’s rise from Texas poverty and demise from drug addiction.

The title character sets the tone at the outset. “I want to blow you all,” she sings, pausing mischievously before adding, “a kiss.”

Later, after snaring tycoon J. Howard Marshall, she sings an aria about the sound of a Jimmy Choo shoe on a red carpet.

At the party, held at Skylight One Hanson, guests raided a wardrobe, trying on blond wigs and boas to pose for photos on a mini re-creation of the set. Pink roses and strands of pearls decorated the bars, which served strawberry-milk shots.

“I thought the opera was fascinating, lyrically hilarious, though the second act is deeply upsetting,” said actress and singer Marin Mazzie.

Julie Taymor

“I was taken with the old man,” said Julie Taymor, who’s directing “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in Brooklyn. “I liked his awareness of himself.”

The opera is a co-production of the Brooklyn Academy of Music and New York City Opera, which earlier this month said it needed to raise $7 million by the end of September or “Anna Nicole” would be the last production of the season.

Its Kickstarter campaign has raised $107,080 out of a $1 million goal, with 12 days to go.

“The Met wouldn’t touch this with a 10-foot pole,” said Richard Thomas, the librettist of “Anna Nicole.” “That is why we need City Opera. We need an opera company that is not risk-averse.”

A DJ spun Lana Del Rey’s “Summertime Sadness,” about how hard it is to say goodbye. Meanwhile New York is plunging into the next season.

Borscht Shots

Jeffrey Deitch, Pharrell Williams, and Olivier Theyskens came out last night to celebrate the opening of Galerie Perrotin in Manhattan. The mega bash took over the Russian Tea Room, where borscht shots were chased with Ruinart champagne.

At Cipriani 42nd Street, Common rapped to a group of teenaged foster children clothed by Moda Operandi and Tommy Hilfiger. The New Yorkers for Children gala honored its founder, Nicholas Scoppetta, a former commissioner of the Fire Department of New York.

Hugh Jackman, Scott Bommer, president of SAB Capital Management LP, and Jay Sugarman, chairman of iStar Financial Inc. (SFI:US), were event co-chairmen.

Michael Shvo was there, spending a night away from his Lalanne sheep, resting on real grass on the northwest corner of 10th Avenue and 24th Street. Shvo opened his first public art installation Monday night at a defunct gas station.

Free Gum

He even stocked the market with bags of Doritos and Trident gum, which guests could take free. He said he doesn’t pump his own gas (he has a driver), but his wife, Seren, loves to. His landscaper is mowing the lawn at the art site.

On Monday, Mikhail Baryshnikov danced and Wallace Shawn read for patrons of the Baryshnikov Arts Center, among them actress Emily Mortimer of HBO’s “Newsroom,” chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov, and hedge-fund manager Joseph DiMenna.

At the dinner that followed, the word “family” was used many times to describe the organization. Individual donors account for $900,000 of the annual $2.5 million budget, said Georgiana Pickett, executive director of the center, located on far West 37th Street in Manhattan.

(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 Manuela Hoelterhoff on books, Rich Jaroslovsky on technology.

To contact the writer on this story: Amanda Gordon in New York at agordon01@bloomberg.net or on Twitter at @amandagordon.

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


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