On Friday, November 12th, 2021, Franchophiles and philanthropists gathered for the French Heritage Society’s annual Gala Dinner Dance – A Cabaret Evening Celebrating the City of Lights – at a private club in Manhattan. From the guests’ joyful reunions over cocktails to the kinetic dance floor that kept the Alex Donner Orchestra playing well into the night, the evening warmly celebrated the return of in-person French-American amitié.
The evening honored Bonnie Comley and Stewart F. Lane, Tony Award-winning writers, producers, and founders of BroadwayHD.com, for their impressive contributions to the theatre. Special Events Chairman CeCe Black awarded the couple with a stunning Daum Crystal trophy. The cabaret portion of the program, introduced by FHS Executive Director Jennifer Herlein, featured Robbie Fairchild, multi-talented star of An American in Paris on Broadway and beyond. Fairchild held guests enraptured with intimate set of beloved Gershwin classics, accompanied by the gifted musician Kate Davis.
The elegant fete was held at the behest of Gala Chairmen Liz McDermott Barnes, CeCe Black, Stark D. Kirby, Jr., Jay R. Paul, and Jean Shafiroff, and in the presence of Consul General of France in New York Jérémie Robert and Cultural Counselor Gaetan Bruel. Gala Co-Chairmen included Geoffrey Bradfield, Elisa Fredrickson, David and Susanne Gray, Michael Kovner and Jean Doyen de Montaillou, Bruce Horten, and Ann Van Ness. Further flair was added by New York Chapter Co-Chairmen Guy N. Robinson and Odile de Schietere-Longchampt and the event’s wine consultant, FHS Board Member George Sape.
Esteemed guests included: Board Chairman Elizabeth Stribling and President Comte Denis de Kergorlay, Board Members Timothy Corrigan, Christian Draz, Ronald Lee Fleming, Kazie Metzger Harvey, Michel Moscovici, and Young Patrons Circle Chairmen Blake Funston and Johnsonie Casimyr. Also attending: Christine and Max Ansbacher, Susan and Gerald Baker, Sharon Bush, Patricia Duncan, Susan Gutfreund, Mai Hallingby Harrison, Margaret and Gregory Hedberg, Rolf Heitmeyer, Sylvia Hemingway, Marife Hernadez and Joel Bell, Daniel Hurstel, Paul and Ursula Lowerre, Kenneth and Ellen Roman, Thomas and Patricia Shiah, Lynn and Pascale Franchot Tone, Kelly Williams and Andrew Forsyth.
Proceeds from the Gala Dinner Dance benefit French Heritage Society’s mission to ensure that the treasures of our shared French architectural and cultural heritage survive to inspire future generations. Beginning in 2022, FHS will celebrate its 40th Anniversary year with a full calendar of events leading up to a highly curated trip through Paris and gala evening at the Petit Palais, a stunning Belle Epoque masterpiece, in October 2022