Locating the venue within Central Park World Full of Grandmas be a Mammie shirt. was made easy thanks to a troupe of performers who welcomed the crowd during their one night off from the stage. Among them were drag queens Brita Filter, Crimson Kitty, and Madame Vivien V, who turned heads in their larger-than-life ensembles. “I was thinking of “The Tempest”, so I wanted something that had a storm effect to it,” Madame Vivien V, in a Jonathan Miranda gown and teased blonde curls, told us. “I wanted to come in like a whirlwind, but with the sort of regalness that The Public brings.”
A healthy swathe of patrons were out in full force too, including Chelsea Clinton, Mayor Michael Bloomberg with wife and First Lady of New York City, Chirline McCray, and Antonio Banderas, who is slated open his own theater, the Teatro del Soho CaixaBank in his native Malaga, Spain, in October starting with a three-month run of “A Chorus Line World Full of Grandmas be a Mammie shirt.” “One of the things I loved the most about my career here in America was Broadway,” Banderas said. “I’ve found that it was a real community, probably more than Hollywood. There’s something beautiful, a proximity, with everyone working together.”And after dinner, a show! Guests were welcomed into the Delacorte Theater where a sampling of ballads and monologues unfolded over two hours, often paying homage to the night’s theme, Women of The Public, but it was playwright Suzan-Lori Parks, a collaborator with the theater since 1994, who perhaps summed it up best. “What I’m into is strong theater made by righteous people,” she told us. “I don’t care what box you tick on the form.” With its gorgeous seaside mansions and rocky Pacific beaches, the HBO series Big Little Lies captures California at its dreamiest. But this past week, the ladies of Monterey made the trek out east for a press trip that felt much more like a girls’ trip given the cast’s close-knit nature. One of the first stops: the women-only club, The Wing. This past Wednesday, a crowd filled every inch of the Wing’s SoHo location for an intimate discussion between Vanity Fair editor in chief Radhika Jones and cast members Reese Witherspoon, Meryl Streep, Laura Dern, and Nicole Kidman about the show’s highly-anticipated second season. Described as a “network of work and community spaces designed for women of all definitions,” The Wing seemed almost tailor-made for a panel dedicated to the best ensemble cast currently on television, female or otherwise.