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My View: Everyone Knows Hugh Hefner But Do You Know The Real Playboy Victor Lownes

My View: Everyone Knows Hugh Hefner But Do You Know The Real Playboy Victor Lownes

Everyone knows Hugh Hefner, but the real playboy and the man at Hefner’s side for all those groundbreaking Playboy years was Victor Lownes who passed away January 11, 2017.  A Celebration of this extraordinary man’s life was organized by The Mabel Mercer Foundation  and Victor’s wife Marilyn Cole Lownes.  It was quite fitting, since Victor Lownes and Hugh Hefner bonded at the beginning of Playboy Magazine because of their love of the cabaret artist Mabel Mercer. Victor Lownes was VP of Playboy Enterprises and one of his ideas was to have Playboy build nightclubs.  Will Friedwald pointed out to the friends, family, and business associates gathered in the Laurie Beechman Theater, that Hefner was actually the scholar and Victor was his idol and role model for the Playboy lifestyle.  Hef seemed to always be one step behind Victor, and it was ironic that Hugh Hefner passed some months after Victor and Will noted “he followed Victor to the end”.

Some of the finest artists in the world of cabaret performed and remembered Victor. Jeff Harnar pointed out, they all had one thing in common…they were all guests and were recipients of Marilyn and Victor’s hospitality while staying in their London Townhouse.  British and Chicago accents were in abundance as everyone toasted “The High Life of Victor Lownes” at The Laurie Beechman Theater.

Remembering Victor with their music were KT Sullivan, Mark Nadler, Daryl Sherman, Steve Ross, Andrea Marcovicci, Maude Maggart, Jeff Harnar,  Jon Weber, and Joyce Breach.  Marilyn Cole Lownes had many heartfelt and humorous words about Victor and ended by pointing to a table of ex Playboy bunnies who were his good friends. 

(For another article by Stephen and complete photos of this event go to Broadwayworld.com)

Victor Lownes

KT Sullivan

Hugh Hefner, Mabel Mercer, Victor Lownes

Marilyn Cole Lownes

KT Sullivan & Mark Nadler

Mark Nadler, KT Sullivan, Stephen Sorokoff

Eda Sorokoff, Marilyn Cole Lownes, Stephen Sorokoff

Victor Lownes & Marilyn Cole Lownes

Steve Ross

Andrea Marcovicci

Daryl Sherman

Maude Maggart

Jeff Harnar

Joyce Breach

Will Friedwald & Marilyn Cole Lownes

 

Cabaret

Stephen studied at the Manhattan School of Music. Besides being a pianist, Stephen’s business career was in the Fashion Industry. He was CEO of a textile manufacturing facility and President of an international textile machinery company. Stephen was on the Board of Directors of the “First All Children’s Theatre” which brought the Stephen Schwartz musical The Trip and Captain Louie to the Kennedy Center in Wash DC. His wife Eda, an interior space designer and classical pianist was on the Board of Barrington Stage Company and is still active at BSC. Stephen’s photographs, videos and articles appear on Broadwayworld.com, T2Conline.com and The New York Observer. He is active in the entertainment events at the Friars Club, where he is a member. Stephen is thrilled to be the cabaret/ music and co-theatre editor. email: stephensorokoff@gmail.com

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