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Sarah Jessica Parker's Ruse at the Guild Hall Gala

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 9/03/2016 Regina Weinreich

Sarah Jessica Parker is a terrific actress. That's what artist Eric Fishl, in his role as Guild Hall's President of the Arts and gala host, said on Tuesday night at the Rainbow Room where the Sex & the City star was being feted for a Lifetime Achievement Award in the Performing Arts. On the red carpet, she gave her insider East Hampton shopping tips to one reporter and told another about her new HBO series Divorce: "I play a married woman, sort of." And then accepting her trophy, she deftly segued to delivering an awards presentation to Ruth Appelhof, Guild Hall's executive director, now retiring after sixteen years. We should have realized the bait and switch: husband Matthew Broderick was nowhere in sight, in fact attending the opening night of Disaster! Then again, where was she last year when he was awarded? Doesn't "lifetime achievement" mean anything?
Also honored at the spectacular dinner, co-created by Florence Fabricant and featuring fois gras, salmon, and the Rainbow Room's signature Baked Alaska, were Mary Heilmann introduced by Adam Weinberg who noted the silver-haired artist's identification with the Sex Pistols' Sid Vicious. Roseann Cash presented to A. M. Homes, finding her "a surgeon of the psyche," and recalling Edward Albee's dubbing the author "a literary terrorist." Charlotte Moss and Barry S. Friedberg were also honored for their philanthropy.

A crowning Guild Hall achievement under Appelhof's tutelage is the newly inaugurated artist-in-residence program. Poet Tom Yuill told me he accepted the residency immediately when Philip Schultz called him because East Hampton was close to New York City, and with free Hampton Jitney tickets and three-day a week permission to be off grounds, he could pursue his cultural pursuits in the city. He also loves "The Met: Live in HD" opera series, part of Guild Hall's exceptional programming. By the end of this lovely evening, no one was quite sure who got what award, not even Ruth Appelhof, but it looks like SJP is due for hers --again-- next year.
A version of this post also appears on Gossip Central.

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