PEN America 2023 Literary Gala
This week the 2023 Literary Gala in New York City with PEN America honored author Salman Rushdie, its former president. He accepted the PEN Centenary Courage Award in person, his first public appearance since he was severely wounded in a knife attack nine months ago.
“Terrorism must not terrorize us. Violence must not deter us. La lutte continue. La lutta continua. The struggle goes on,” Rushdie said to 700 guests at the American Museum of Natural History.
It was an emotional return to the stage for Rushdie, who for decades has been a tireless defender of persecuted writers and the freedom to write while himself living under a death threat for his writing.
Earlier in the evening, PEN America honored Saturday Night Live creator and executive producer, Lorne Michaels with the PEN/Audible Literary Service Award, citing SNL’s four decades of biting satire that captured the tenor of the moment and probed norms, restrictions and absurdities of our institutions and the powerful. John Mulaney presented the award to Michaels, who, after recalling some classic jokes about the writing output of a roomful of monkeys with typewriters, said: “I want to thank PEN for all you do to keep people like myself in the room writing.”
The gala, a black-tie event that gathers acclaimed writers, human rights defenders, cultural luminaries, and champions of PEN America’s mission to defend and celebrate free expression, is a highlight of the New York City social calendar that mobilizes support for PEN America’s literary and advocacy programs across the United States and worldwide.
Among the guests this year were Fred Armisen, Alec and Hilaria Baldwin, Brit Bennett, Candice Bergen, Candance Bushnell, Robert Caro, Michael Che, Susan Choi, Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenberg, Jennifer Egan, David Greenberg, Steve Higgins, Clover Hope. Marlon James, Suleika Jaouad, Chloe Cooper Jones, Min Jin Lee, Raven Leilani, Jay McInerney, Emily Ratajkowski, Theresa Rebeck, Diane Sawyer, Bartlett Sher, Andrew Solomon, Cecily Strong, Gay Talese, among others.
The Glorious Corner
MORNING GLORY — (Via Deadline) Jennifer Aniston is teasing the new season of The Morning Show ahead of its Apple TV+ premiere this fall.
The Friends alum plays a morning show anchor named Alex Levy on the Jay Carson-created drama and is opening up about what to expect in Season 3.
“It’s a good, juicy one,” Aniston told People. “Everybody’s getting in trouble. Everybody has a secret. And everyone’s just walking the line. It’s a lot more sensual this year.”
Aniston shares the screen with Reese Witherspoon and they both executive produce the series. With Season 3 not even airing yet, the stars have already secured a fourth season When the show returns this fall to the streamer, it’ll pick up right after Season 2 ended and as the Covid-19 pandemic ravaged the fictional network UBA.
While making an appearance on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon earlier this year, Aniston teased the new season of The Morning Show and talked about Jon Hamm joining the show.
“Everybody has a secret. We’re revealing a lot of secrets. There’s definitely romance,” Aniston said. “Mr. Jon Hamm is a big one. We were very excited to get him. Isn’t he the nicest guy? He’s this very handsome leading man and then he’s got this funny and… it’s just so fabulous.”
The cast of the show also includes Billy Crudup, Mark Duplass, Néstor Carbonell, Karen Pittman, Bel Powley, Desean Terry, Nicole Beharie, and many more. Steve Carell was also part of the show in its two first seasons.
Season 1 of the show was just sensational with Steve Carrel turning in a great performance. Season 2 was rather awful and because of that I was surprised it was even renewed at all. Aniston and Witherspoon are fantastic; terrific chemistry, but the real stars, at least for me, are Billy Crudup and Mark Duplass. Somehow, Crudup’s character was not given the same attention in Season 2 and that was a huge mistake IMO.
I’m a big Jon Hamm fan as well, so, I’m ready. Bring it on.
SHORT TAKES — Micky Dolenz performed “I’m A Believer,” “Randy Scouse Git” and “Daydream Believer” at last weekend’s James Burton and Friends in London at the Palladium. Also there: Brian May; Jeff ‘Skunk’ Baxter; Ronnie Wood; and Albert Lee. Here’s Wood and Dolenz …
Broadway’s Donnie Kehr delivered a superb show Sunday night at Steve Walter’s Cutting Room in NYC. He performed his current album Beautiful Strange in its entirety. With a top-notch band, it was just sensational. Seen there were: Cori Gardner; Benny Harrison; the China Club’s Danny Fried with daughter Gabriella and Lou Christie. Kehr’s pr-man David Salidor was also on hand. Kehr and his band even performed “Running Back” which was a hit 35 years ago when Kehr was in a rock-ensemble called Urgent. Stellar night …
Jann Klose was at Philadelphia’s Sellersville Theater a week back and Annie Haslam (Renaissance) was on for several songs. His new album Surrender is out and just an excellent work … The long-awaited movie The Flash is out next week and the first reviews are in and they’re sensational. Even Deadline’s moribund Pete Hammond, whose reviews are usually a snore-and-a-bore loved it. He event cited Michael Keaton’s return as Batman as brilliant. Check it out here: https://deadline.com/2023/06/the-flash-review-ezra-miller-michael-keaton-in-brilliant-return-batman-1235409735/ …
I hear there’s a new Project Grand Slam album out? One of Robert Miller’s former PR-persons (and there have been many) tipped us off about it. Congrats Mr. Miller … HBO, in their infinite wisdom, just cancelled Perry Mason after two seasons. Sad, but not surprising as it was a terrific show that had not only great writing, but great acting. Matthew Rhys and Juliet Rylance were sensational. Their second season was definitely harder to get through than their debut season, but still well written and performed. Sad … NBC’s Carson Daly just previewed what Spotify believes could be the songs of the summer. Taylor Swift; Jack Harlow; Rema with Selena Gomez were all picks; the only thing is, they all sounded the same … CNN’s Chris Licht – supposedly the savior to the network’s failing fortunes was fired Wednesday by David Zaslav after a disastrous article in The Atlantic. From our spies at CNN, this was no surprise and a most welcomed development. Zaz The Butcher should bring Jeff Zucker back …
Comic-legend Pat Cooper passed yesterday. Anthony Pomes from Square One Publishing said: “Pat was a mighty American comedy legend. He was brash, brave, and fearlessly original in his presentation of all his life’s truths. We (Square One) feel honored to have published his memoir. Having accompanied Pat to several shows and such for PR and to sell his book, I came to see the pussycat behind the scowly owl front. If he yelled at you, that meant that he LIKED you. Godspeed, Mr. Caputo – you were a great one” … And, RIP George Winston and Astrud Gilberto.
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Benny Harrison; Steve Walter; Tony Sachs; Barry Fisch; Eppy; Peter Shendell; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Lush Ice; Joe Cocker; Kent Denmark; Kim Garner; Elizabeth Warner; Andrew Sandoval; Jason Elzy; Irving Azoff; Anthony Pomes; Anthony Noto; Robert Funaro; Joel Diamond; Vinny Rich; Benny Harrison; The Smith; Sasha Prendes; and ZIGGY!
Sainte Marguerite en Provence Set to Launch at Stylish New York Affair
Three cheers to summer! It means Rosé season is here!
Pernod Ricard USA has announced the launch of Sainte Marguerite en Provence rosé wines in the US market, offering free spirited rosé lovers an avant-garde approach to Provence rosé this summer. We hear that to celebrate there will be a soiree tomorrow where at the private stylish affair glasses will be raised in grand style.
In 1977, Brigitte and Jean-Pierre Fayard discovered Sainte Marguerite in La Londe-les-Maures, Provence, and immediately fell in love with it. They purchased seven hectares of vines and restored the “mas” (traditional farmhouse) surrounded by palm trees, now the symbols of their vineyard. These two self-taught, visionary, determined entrepreneurs identified the potential of Provence rosé wines – well before its rise to popularity in the early 2000s – and have actively contributed to their reputation by adhering to uncompromising quality standards.
Sainte Marguerite en Provence joined Pernod Ricard’s portfolio of premium wines and spirits in late 2022 and makes its debut in the US market ahead of National Rosé Day on June 10. Sainte Marguerite en Provence is characterized by a family history based on passion, high standards and a vision for the wines of Provence. Sainte Marguerite en Provence has two signature rosé wines – Symphonie and Fantastique – beloved for their finesse and elegance.
The Sainte Marguerite en Provence vineyard is a unique site of around 200 hectares, consisting of 11 plots spread over 22 kilometers, situated in one of the best Côtes-de-Provence AOC terroirs. This diversity of terroirs – including the famous La Londe, facing the Iles d’Or – offers a complete aromatic palette for blending Sainte Marguerite wines. This remarkable vineyard has been crafted patiently, over time, to suit the quality of the terroirs and the selection of grape varieties. Château Sainte Marguerite is also striking in appearance, with modern infrastructure of cement and glass alongside impressive walls of pink and orange, complementing the extraordinary taste and quality of its creations.
Out of the 17 grape varieties present in Provence, Sainte Marguerite en Provence has chosen three to blend its rosés. Grenache is its signature varietal, while Cinsault and Rolle have been selected for their complementary qualities. Grenache brings uniform elegance and fruity aromatic intensity. Cinsault expresses itself finely and delicately. Rolle (or Vermentino in Italian) completes the aromatic structure of subtle fruitiness. Planted according to the soil types and plot orientations, these three varietals form the style that differentiates Sainte Marguerite en Provence wines, which are popular for their elegance and finesse.
“Our top priorities at the vineyard are respect for the environment, our customers and our staff. This echoes the standards that guide us in everything we do. We gained knowledge of the different terroirs while building up the vineyard. Over 46 years, we’ve learned how to understand them in order to express their best qualities,” Olivier Fayard, Sainte Marguerite en Provence CEO and Winemaker, said. “We could have created traditional rosé wines, but we decided to go against the grain. This is all part of the heritage and positioning of Sainte Marguerite. The hallmark of a great wine producer is to know how to think outside the box and continually evolve.”
Symphonie Rosé: The Symphonie cuvée exemplifies an established savior-faire. It offers a harmonious composition distinguished by finesse, fresh notes and a generous aromatic profile, making this rosé a perfect introduction to the House style. Symphonie is a delicate shimmering pink color with a light, airy nose of citrus and white peach aromas.
Fantastique Rosé: Fantastique Rosé is the only organic Cru Classé in Côtes de Provence. This certified organic and vegan fine rosé wine is balanced, structured and precise. Fantastique Rosé is blended from Grenache, Cinsault and Vermentino grapes from the best parcels of the Château Sainte Marguerite vineyard. Tasting notes include peach, pear, citrus, floral notes and other exotic flavors.
Sainte Marguerite rosé wines do not conform to a moment, a place, or even a season. They can be enjoyed as an aperitif or with dinner in a gourmet restaurant. They go well with the flavors of Southern European cuisine as well as more exotic inspirations. Learn more at smpwines.com or following @saintemargueriteenprovence on Instagram.
Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Set to Return in Grand Style
The nation’s biggest Independence Day party will fill the night sky with jaw-dropping sparkles as the 47th Annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks® caps off Independence Day with an explosive celebration. On Tuesday, July 4th at approximately 9:25 p.m., Macy’s will begin its signature pyrotechnic salute to America, featuring an array of dazzling shells and effects that will captivate spectators live in New York City and on television from sea to shining sea. This year’s revelry will launch 60,000 shells and effects from five barges positioned between E. 26th and E. 40th Streets along the East River with prime viewing from three boroughs in New York City.
“This year’s Macy’s Fireworks celebration will be nothing short of showstopping,” said Will Coss, executive producer of Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks. “Millions of spectators come together every year to witness the spectacular performance along the East River and we are ready to deliver a high-flying, jaw-dropping fireworks display that will fill the night sky with color, light, shapes, and thunderous sound. Paired with a score featuring American classics, this year’s celebration will honor trailblazers that have forged our past, present, and future.”
An annual New York City tradition since 1976, Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks continues to dazzle millions of spectators across the nation with a showstopping experience that is sure to delight the senses. The 47th edition of Macy’s Fireworks is conceived, designed, and produced by Macy’s with Pyro Spectaculars by Souza. The 25-minute extravaganza is synchronized to a spectacular musical score and will feature a host of shells and numerous effects in 30 colors and shapes.
New effects that will enthrall revelers include a mile wide waving flag created by a combination of red, white, and blue palm and strobing shells, sunflower ring with crackling pistil shells, red stop sign shaped effects, and new Ghost pyro that turn from one color to another in an on/off design featuring four different hues.
This year’s pyrotechnic design will feature the most dynamic collection of animated shells ever launched during Macy’s annual spectacle. Dancing, swirling, pulsing, and sweeping across the skyline, the show will launch an average of 2,400 shells and effects per minute. With 60,000 total shells showcasing multiple effects the resulting pyrotechnic firepower will span a mile across the East River in a multi-layer presentation, reaching dramatic heights of 1,000 feet to the water’s edge.
Fireworks fans can get a sneak preview of the magic behind the spectacle by enjoying a special behind the scenes episode of Macy’s Live. Leading up to the big day, the Macy’s Fireworks team will showcase the inner workings of the pyrotechnic celebration. Visit macys.com/macyslive for the programming schedule.
For more information on the 47th Annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks visit macys.com/fireworks. In addition, follow and take part in the excitement on various social platforms via @macys and #MacysFireworks.
The Glorious Corner
MAISEL ENDS — In a season of major, major finales, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel ended with just a stunningly good episode that tied up most of the loose ends from previous seasons and gave us a final, tragic look at Lenny Bruce as played by Luke Kirby.
Bruce was an acquired taste for sure. I well remember the fist time I heard him, I couldn’t quite believe it. Kirby had him down pat; so much in this final episode, as Bruce was beleaguered with legal troubles and his drug addiction was nearing an end. It ultimately killed him and his act back then essentially consisted of him reading from his lawsuits. It wasn’t funny at all, but sad and tragic.
CYNTHIA WEILL RIP — Cynthia Weill, who wrote with husband Barry Mann and Phil Spector “You Lost The Lovin’ Feeling” for the Righteous Bothers in 1964, has passed. She also wrote “Shades Of Gray” for The Monkees’ Headquartersalbum in 1967. Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9ZxRjItD1o
SHORT TAKES — Criminal Intent revival? Vincent D’Onofrio has been bantering about on twitter. Great idea. It was always one of my favorites. Note to Dick Wolff : Chris Noth should return … Here’s Micky Dolenz with Queen’s Brain May on rehearsal day for the James Burton event in the U.K. … Terrific report from Roger Friedman in his Showbiz 411 column about the Queen-catalog. He’s absolutely on point -as always – check it out here: https://www.showbiz411.com/2023/06/02/queen-1-billion-catalog-deal-very-possible-says-expert-freddie-mercurys-heirs-like-mary-austin-and-band-members-could-become-very-very-rich…
In 1995, Cher did a version of of Marc Cohn’s brilliant “Walking In Memphis” for Warners. It was included on an album called It’s A Man’s World and was right before her huge hit “Believe.” Take a look here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOJTKpzqk6M
Golden Moments – Grand Weekend at Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic
The East Coast Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic this year was a grand and golden moment in 2023. More than 7,000 spectators joined together to watch in New Jersey at Liberty State Park on June 3.
Team Veuve Clicquot led by Nacho Figueras and his wife Delfina Blaquier took on Team Liberty Comets for an exciting, action-packed match. To kick-off the day, Broadway star Brennyn Lark gave a heart-warming performance of the National Anthem for event attendees.
The summer weekend was stylish and fun as Emma Stone stunned in head-to-toe Louis Vuitton for a day out with her husband and friends. Simone Ashley then arrived in a bold colored Valentino mini dress for the fun afternoon of polo and champagne. And Jeremy Pope rocked a standout suite and enjoyed champagne with Darren Criss and Danai Gurira.
Delfina was the star player on the field and took home the award for MVP and made this a weekend to never forget.
Veuve Clicquot is a Champagne house founded in 1772 and based in Reims. It is one of the largest Champagne houses. Madame Clicquot is credited with major breakthroughs, creating the first known vintage champagne in 1810, and inventing the riddling table process to clarify champagne in 1816.
Photos Courtesy Veuve Clicquot / BFA
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